BRANDEIS STUDENT JOURNALIST: ‘SELECTIVE OUTRAGE’ ON CAMPUS, STUDENTS ‘INTIMIDATED,’ ‘SHAMED INTO SILENCE’
by DR. SUSAN BERRY11 Jan 201594
A Brandeis student who reported on the anti-police tirade of one of the school’s student leaders says the ensuing attacks he has endured have led him to the conclusion that the university’s actions have invited a culture of “selective outrage,” in which the expressed prejudices of the left are protected, while opposing views are portrayed as hate speech and quashed through intimidation.
On December 20, Daniel Mael, a Brandeis University senior and a contributor to the conservative Truth Revolt and the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, reported on a tweet sent out by student leader Khadijah Lynch, a Brandeis junior and an undergraduate department representative in the African and Afro-American Studies Department.
Though Lynch’s Twitter account is now “protected,” on the day New York City police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were murdered, she reportedly tweeted out, “I have no sympathy for the NYPD officers who were murdered today… LMAO, all I just really don’t have sympathy for the cops who were shot. I hate this racist, f***ing country.”
In a piece published in Time on Thursday, where Mael wrote about the response to his report, he said, “As a student journalist who frequently writes about the culture wars on campus, I knew her comments were newsworthy.”
“Here was a student leader at a well-known American university publicly condoning cold-blooded murder,” he added. “So I wrote a short blog post highlighting Lynch’s public comments. These pieces usually generate a local response, but this post went viral.”
Mael said that when he contacted Lynch for comment about her tweets, she tweeted, “I need to get my gun license. Asap,” and then reportedly deleted the tweet.
At Truth Revolt Mael reported that, previously, in the university’s student paper titled The Justice, Lynch commented on the notion of a “trend of racial bias in law enforcement violence” in America with the following statement:
The American police forces of today descend from a legacy of slave captives and overseers whose job was to protect the property (enslaved black bodies) of rich, slave owning capitalists. We must understand that we are not that far removed from this country’s legacy of slavery and that most of our laws are shaped to uphold a system of white supremacy.
Mael observed as well that student leader Lynch had previously tweeted other bigoted statements, which she subsequently deleted, such as one that referred to Brandeis as a “social themed institution grounded in Zionism. Word. That a f***ing fanny dooly.”
Lynch’s other prior deleted tweets, according to Mael, included one in which she expressed lack of understanding why “black people have not burned this country down…” and then described herself as “in riot mode. F***this f***ing country.”
Following his report, Mael said some online commenters made “morally repugnant and offensive remarks about Lynch,” including some death threats.
“I immediately condemned these sentiments,” Mael wrote at Time. “A journalist does not control how others react to a story he writes.”
Since his report, Mael states he himself has been the recipient of threats as well as demands from fellow Brandeis student Michael Piccione that the school’s administrators punish him for reporting on student leader Lynch’s tweet.
As reported in Campus Reform, Piccione, whom Mael does not know personally, distributed on December 22 a mass email to Brandeis students, titled “Holding Daniel Mael accountable,” in which Piccione accused Mael of provoking hate, placing student safety in jeopardy, and violating the school’s policies.
“[Mael] must be aware of the impact that publishing such articles could have on other people’s safety, and it is important that he be held accountable for his actions,” Piccione reportedly said in his email to Brandeis students.
On the same day, a change.org petition written by Shane Scott appeared in which Scott wrote that Lynch “spoke her mind on issues regarding the execution of two Brooklyn police officers,” and referred to the reaction to Mael’s reporting of Lynch’s tweet as “public vilification that ensued due to the misguided, diluted and unscrupulous representation of her character” by Mael.
The petition continues:
The deliberate targeting and misrepresentation of Khadijah’s thoughts as well as the misuse of her personal photos have catalyzed a series of hate speech that puts her life and safety in danger. This is Libel. This is Defamation of Character. This is Cyber bullying. This should not be condoned. It is clear, that the intentions of the author were not to spurt a healthy conversation welcoming all sides, but rather to publicly defame Khadijah.
Following the launch of this petition, another titled “Ensure Daniel Mael’s Safety and Free Speech Rights” was initiated as well.
Two days after the petition against him was published, Jamele Adams, Brandeis Dean of Students, notified Mael that the school was issuing a “no contact order” against him in which he was ordered not to have any contact with Piccione. The same order was reportedly issued to Piccione.
“That contact ban has since been lifted,” Mael wrote in Time, but added his concern, “I could potentially face trouble in Brandeis’s student judicial system, as ‘[a]ny alleged violation(s) of these conditions should be reported to the Dean of Students Office.’”
Mael also reported that the Brandeis Asian-American Student Association stood “in solidarity with” Lynch. He stated as well that when he met with Brandeis public safety officials to discuss the threats made against him, “I was told that I should consider changing my dorm room, and that it is a reasonable expectation that my car would be vandalized. They also recommended that I purchase mace at the local Walmart.”
In a telephone interview with Breitbart News, Mael said Brandeis University’s decisions during his ordeal are “unfortunately in line with prior actions of the university.”
“Many of their procedures are bizarre,” he added. “They’re infringing on basic fundamental rights.”
In Time, Mael discussed the university’s decision last spring to disinvite international human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali from commencement exercises and withdraw her honorary degree “because of comments she made criticizing Islamism.”
Brandeis, Mael explained, said that Hirsi Ali’s comments are “inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values,” and, in that decision, “opted to create a safe space instead of an intellectual space, and the students who protested Hirsi Ali were comforted rather than challenged.”
Perhaps what troubles Mael the most about his ordeal is that it only appears “the majority of people – the most vocal camp on campus – are in support of Lynch. Unfortunately, most of the others feel suppressed.”
Mael said fellow students who supported him created fake email accounts to communicate with him.
“There’s an attitude of shame among these people. No professor feels publicly comfortable to support me,” he explained. “Unfortunately, many on campus have intimidated people into silence. Students are willing to entrench themselves in such extreme, malignant positions. They’re just looking for something to protest.”
In his piece at Time, Mael notes constitutional attorney Alan Dershowitz’s comments in Newsmax about his ordeal at Brandeis.
“So welcome to the topsy-turvy world of the academic hard left, where bigoted speech by fellow hard leftists is protected, but counter expression is labeled as ‘harassment,’ ‘incitement,’ and ‘bullying,’” Dershowitz wrote. “Imagine how different the reaction of these same radical students would be if a white supporter of the KKK had written comparably incendiary tweets.”
“It seems true of Brandeis, and perhaps true of other institutions of higher learning, that students fail to have a basic understanding of our fundamental rights,” Mael said. “This is not even a conservative issue per se. I would appreciate a debate on campus – that’s how we become better as a society. We should be committed to a free exchange of ideas.”
“But it seems it’s far easier to brand conservatives as evil and malignant,” he added, “and that concerns me about the future of our country.”