Friday, April 17, 2015

Murderers Row at Columbia

Weather Underground terrorist and convicted cop killer Kathy Boudin is now surrounded by fellow felons on the staff of the Columbia University School of Social Work where she crusades against the supposedly systemic racism of the justice system.

The septuagenarian Boudin is assistant adjunct professor and director of the school’s “Criminal Justice Initiative: Supporting Children, Families and Communities” (CJI), which appears to be focused on keeping criminals like her out of prison by abolishing imprisonment as a punishment. As her official bio states, the initiative, which she co-founded, “is dedicated to ending society’s reliance on incarceration and retribution and advancing solutions.”

The school, which calls “mass incarceration” a “central social crisis of our time,” is little more than an indoctrination mill that churns out radical left-wing propaganda largely at taxpayer expense.

“There are approximately 1.6 million people in the nation’s prisons and jails and 7 million American children with a parent who is either incarcerated, on parole, or on probation,” according to the school. “The Criminal Justice Initiative focuses on how the social work profession can best address the educational and human needs of individuals, children, families and communities affected by incarceration.”

Boudin served 22 years in prison for her role in an assault on an armored-car in Nyack, N.Y. in which two police officers and a Brinks security guard died. Boudin was paroled in 2003 after telling officials that she took part in the $1.6 million robbery because she felt guilty for being white. Security guard Peter Paige and police officers Waverly Brown and Edward O’Grady died in the 1981 attack. Nine children subsequently grew up without their fathers.

Boudin is no stranger to irony.

This past Dec. 4 in a year in which two black men — Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y. — were killed by police in incidents that received national media attention, Boudin put her name on an online mini-manifesto titled, “BLACK LIVES MATTER: Statement from the Columbia School of Social Work Community.”

The document states that there is “systemic racism and oppression in our country overall and our justice system in particular.”

“We are outraged by the decision [not to indict Ferguson cop Darren Wilson] and call for immediate and sustained action to examine, analyze and redress the harmful and pervasive effects of racism.”

The document ends with “Michael Brown matters. Eric Garner matters. Black lives matter.”

But not all black lives matter to Kathy Boudin.

She didn’t declare in the statement that she was convicted of murdering a trailblazing African-American police officer. Nyack cop Waverly Brown, who was gunned down after Boudin distracted the police who had pulled over a getaway vehicle, had become his village’s first black policeman in 1966.

It is unclear if Boudin and the other Brinks robbers squealed with delight after offing someone left-wing radicals would call a “pig,” especially because Brown represented what they despised.

He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Known by the nickname “Chipper,” a fellow officer said “he had absolutely no enemies.” In the police station’s kitchen, he prepared meals for the other police officers on his shift. When the police department in his mother’s hometown of Lawrenceville, Va., tried to lure him away, he reportedly refused to go because he loved his job in Nyack so much.

In any event, Columbia University was the natural choice for Boudin, the cop killer.

With her Weather Underground comrades in 1970 she plotted to plant bombs in Butler Library on the university’s Morningside Heights campus. She received one of the most worthless advanced academic degrees America has to offer — the education doctorate (Ed.D.) — from Teachers College, Columbia University. Fellow terrorist and longtime Obama pal Bill Ayers received his Ed.D. from the same school two decades earlier. Neo-communist apostles of depravity and engineered social collapse, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, both taught at the Columbia University School of Social Work in the 1960s.

The crime that Boudin participated in was a joint action by the Black Liberation Army and May 19th Communist Organization. It was perpetrated to raise money for an insurgency against the U.S. government.

Of course, the Ivy League social work school doesn’t exactly boast about the fact that the Criminal Justice Initiative is overflowing with ex-cons convicted of violent crimes. It took reporter Perry Chiaramonte for the hidden nest of ivory tower felons to be revealed.

Cheryl Wilkins was the getaway driver in a 1996 hijacking at gunpoint of a Federal Express truck. She did a 12-year bid for robbery and assault at Manhattan’s Bayview Correctional Facility.

Wilkins was also co-director of the CJI. Today she is senior program manager at Columbia’s Center for Justice. Her official bio states that “her work is consistent with overcoming the damage that mass incarceration has left on families and communities.”

Denise Blackwell spent a decade in prison after being convicted of attempted second-degree for participating in a holdup in which three drug dealers lost their lives. Her son, Mack Moton, who was only 15 at the time, was tried as an adult. He is serving a sentence of 32 years to life at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, in Ossining, N.Y.

Chiaramonte identified Blackwell as “a ‘research assistant’ under the Social Intervention Group, the parent/umbrella group of the Criminal Justice Initiative.”

Mika’il DeVeaux served 24 years at a Westchester County, N.Y., prison, after being convicted of second-degree murder, Chiaramonte discovered. DeVeaux was a keynote speaker at CJI’s “Removing the Bars” Conference three years ago and he was co-director with Boudin of Citizens Against Recidivism Inc., a nonprofit organization in Springfield Gardens, N.Y. Today he is the group’s executive director.

His bio didn’t indicate he was an ex-con. Instead it stated DeVeaux “has more than three decades of experience working with men incarcerated in New York State maximum security prisons and many who have been released following periods of confinement.” The statement is accurate in a Media Matters kind of way.

Chiaramonte also discovered that Boudin’s old comrades-in-arms, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorhn, showed up for CJI’s “Removing the Bars” conference in 2012.

“Other former high-level members of the Weather Underground were invited to speak at CJI events,” he wrote. “They included Russell Neufeld, who went on to become an anti-death penalty attorney, and Laura Whitehorn, who spoke at an October 2011 called the ‘Troy Davis Teach-in.'”

Boudin claims to feel bad about those three murders.

“I have nothing but regret for the suffering that I caused, and I’ve attempted to lead a life that would express that remorse and that regret,” Boudin said in 2013 when cornered by Jesse Watters of Fox News.

But Boudin sounded less repentant in a speech that year. She forcefully urged the release of her fellow co-conspirators in the Brinks robbery.

“I want to also talk about the people who still in prison and not here and remember them,” Boudin told an audience at New York University’s law school in 2013. Boudin had the honor of delivering the “19th Annual Rose Sheinberg Lecture on the politics of parole and reentry.”

“People [like] David Gilbert, Judy Clark, Sekou Odinga, Roslyn Smith, so many other people that aren’t here but I’m thinking of them, we want them here with us, and hopefully some day they will be.”

All four persons Boudin named were convicted of murder or attempted murder.

David Gilbert was a co-conspirator in the Brinks robbery who is imprisoned in Auburn, N.Y. Gilbert was a member of the Weather Underground, Revolutionary Armed Task Force (RATF), and he helped to found the May 19 Communist Organization with Boudin and Clark. The name of the group was derived from the birthdays of Vietnamese Communist Ho Chi Minh who was born May 19, 1890, and Malcolm X who was born May 19, 1925.

Gilbert is also the father of Boudin’s son, Chesa Boudin, who was raised by fellow Weather Underground members Bill Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn when his parents went to prison. (Boudin handed little Chesa off to a babysitter before the robbery.) Wholly unrepentant, Gilbert still writes self-important, pompous propaganda pamphlets romanticizing his wasted life of error.

The “Judy Clark” is Judith Alice Clark, another Weather Underground member who participated in the robbery. Clark is currently a guest of the State of New York at the Bedford Hills maximum-security facility where she is serving a 75 years-to-life prison term.

Sekou Odinga, also known as Nathanial Burns, was a member of the Black Liberation Army (BLA) and Black Panther Party who was found guilty in 1984 of six counts of attempted murder of police officers. Odinga participated in the Brinks robbery and was convicted of breaking fellow BLA member Assata Shakur, the former Joanne Deborah Chesimard, out of a New Jersey prison where she was doing time for murdering a New Jersey state trooper. Shakur now lives in Communist Cuba. Although imprisoned at Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York when Boudin spoke at NYU in 2013, Odinga was released the next year.

The “Roslyn Smith” must be Roslyn D. Smith, one of Boudin’s fellow inmates at the Bedford Hills correctional facility. Smith and Boudin both were involved with the prison’s Children’s Center which provides parenting classes. According to court records, Smith was convicted in the robbery and brutal 1979 murder of “80-year-old, bedridden Louis Feit and his 73-year-old wife … in their Brooklyn apartment.” Smith remains behind bars.

Retired Nyack police detective Arthur Keenan, who was wounded during the Brinks robbery, told Fox’s Megyn Kelly that Boudin never apologized to him. He also said he didn’t believe the former prisoner was sincerely remorseful.

“She’s on a soapbox at these two colleges to try to accomplish her mission by swaying the young students there that weren’t even born when these crimes took place. Her radical views are still the same as they were in the Sixties.”

Kelly replied that Boudin has “a lot of empathy for the people who are in jail for their crimes and their murders — not so much for their victims and the families of their victims.”

It’s a fair point.

Left-wingers, including community organizers, have a certain reverence for criminals. The more radical the activist, the greater the reverence.

A criminal, especially one who commits violent, socially disruptive crimes, is viewed as a kind of revolutionary attacking the system.

Someone like unrepentant Philadelphia cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, a black man who murdered a white man, will sometimes be worshiped by segments of the Left.

It’s a little-recognized part of the psychopathology of the Left.

And Kathy Boudin and her Criminal Justice Initiative are doing their damnedest to spread this disease.


Columbia Prof. Who Says Zionists Supported Nazis Speaks at Cornell: Israel Has No Right to be Jewish State

Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad, a controversial speaker who in the past has written and spoken about alleged Zionist-Nazi collaboration and the “Anglo-American gay agenda,” delivered a speech at Cornell claiming Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state, and recognizing it as such is equivalent to recognizing Israel as a “racist state.”

In fact, this claim is a step back from Massad’s previously quoted contention in a 2002 speech at Oxford University that Israel has no right whatsoever to exist: “The Jews are not a nation… The Jewish state is a racist state that does not have a right to exist.”

Massad concluded his speech by remarking: “It is the end of the Zionist colonial adventure, especially the removal of all the racist, legal, and institutional structures that Israel has erected, that is the precondition for lasting… justice and peace for all the inhabitants of Palestine and Israel.”

Massad, a professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History, spoke on Wednesday evening to a crowd of about 35 for an event entitled “Palestinians and the Dilemmas of Solidarity: Is the Two-State Solution Viable?” Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) sponsored the event.

Though the speech started out as assessment of the merits and demerits of various forms of solidarity among and with Palestinians, Massad soon turned to the topic of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), an economic and political strategy that seeks to dismantle the state of Israel and one which is particularly popular on college campuses, including Cornell. Despite the fact that no major university has adopted any measure of BDS, Massad praised its “success,” but he also criticized what he called the “co-opting of BDS” by Europeans when they try, according to Massad, to make BDS’s goal the establishment of a two-state solution.

“BDS is about boycotting all Israeli academic and cultural institutions, and expanded into even economic products, [not] until Israel goes back to the negotiating table, but rather until Israel ceases to be a racist state,” Massad said.

In response to an audience member’s question about the optics surrounding BDS, Massad suggested that U.S. students use words like “racism” and European students use “colonialism” and “occupation” when referring to Israel and BDS. The former, Massad said, is more emotionally powerful in this country whereas a word like “occupation” is more powerful in Europe because it “reminds” them of Nazi occupation.

Massad’s past writings and lectures demonstrate his fondness for the Israel-Nazi Germany analogy. Along with the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), which he praised in his Cornell speech, Massad argues Zionists collaborated with the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s in order to promote Jewish immigration to Palestine.

In a 2013 piece titled “The Last of the Semites” published by Al Jazeera, Massad wrote:

“… It is this shared goal of expelling Jews from Europe as a separate unassimilable race that created the affinity between Nazis and Zionists all along.

While the majority of Jews continued to resist the anti-Semitic basis of Zionism and its alliances with anti-Semites, the Nazi genocide not only killed 90 percent of European Jews, but in the process also killed the majority of Jewish enemies of Zionism who died precisely because they refused to heed the Zionist call of abandoning their countries and homes.” ...

West Germany’s alliance with Zionism and Israel after WWII, of supplying Israel with huge economic aid in the 1950s and of economic and military aid since the early 1960s, including tanks, which it used to kill Palestinians and other Arabs, is a continuation of the alliance that the Nazi government concluded with the Zionists in the 1930s.”

In 2008, Massad published a book titled Desiring Arabs in which he expounded upon his numerous contentions about homosexuality in the Arab world first outlined in a 2002 article titled “Re-Orienting Desire: The Gay International and the Arab World.”  In his article and book, Massad argues that homosexuality does not exist in the Arab world, or at least the homosexuality the “Anglo-American gay agenda” promotes, as he said at a 2010 speech delivered at UCLA. In that same speech, he also remarked, “Queer is about resistance to Islam” and “Queer is an example of cultural imperialism.”

Here are some more interesting quotes from Professor Massad:

“All those in the Arab world who deny the Jewish holocaust are in my opinion Zionists.”

“What is it about the nature of Zionism, its racism, and its colonial policies that continues to escape the understanding of many European intellectuals on the left?”

“For the Gay International, transforming sexual practices into identities through the universalizing of gayness and gaining ‘rights’ for those who identify (or more precisely, are identified by the Gay International) with it becomes the mark of an ascending civilization, just as repressing those rights and restricting the circulation of gayness is a mark of backwardness and barbarism.”

“[I]t is the very discourse of the Gay International which produces homosexuals, as well as gays and lesbians, where they do not exist.”


Princeton Votes for Academic Freedom

At campuses across the country, traditional ideals of freedom of expression and the right to dissent have been deeply compromised or even abandoned as college and university faculties and administrators have capitulated to demands for language and even thought policing. Academic freedom, once understood to be vitally necessary to the truth-seeking mission of institutions of higher learning, has been pushed to the back of the bus in an age of “trigger warnings,” “micro-aggressions,” mandatory sensitivity training, and grievance politics. It was therefore refreshing to see the University of Chicago, one of the academic world's most eminent and highly respected institutions, issue a report ringingly reaffirming the most robust conception of academic freedom. The question was whether other institutions would follow suit.

Yesterday, the Princeton faculty, led by the distinguished mathematician Sergiu Klainerman, who grew up under communist oppression in Romania and knows a thing or two about the importance of freedom of expression, formally adopted the principles of the University of Chicago report. They are now the official policy of Princeton University. I am immensely grateful to Professor Klainerman for his leadership, and I am proud of my colleagues, the vast majority of whom voted in support of his motion.

At Chicago and Princeton, at least, academic freedom lives!

Here are the principles we adopted:

    ‘Education should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think. Universities should be expected to provide the conditions within which hard thought, and therefore strong disagreement, independent judgment, and the questioning of stubborn assumptions, can flourish in an environment of the greatest freedom.' . . . Because the University is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn. Except insofar as limitations on that freedom are necessary to the functioning of the University, the University of Chicago fully respects and supports the freedom of all members of the University community ‘to discuss any problem that presents itself.' Of course, the ideas of different members of the University community will often and quite naturally conflict. But it is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive. Although the University greatly values civility, and although all members of the University community share in the responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect, concerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as a justification for closing off discussion of ideas, however offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be to some members of our community.

    The freedom to debate and discuss the merits of competing ideas does not, of course, mean that individuals may say whatever they wish, wherever they wish. The University may restrict expression that violates the law, that falsely defames a specific individual, that constitutes a genuine threat or harassment, that unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests, or that is otherwise directly incompatible with the functioning of the University. In addition, the University may reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of expression to ensure that it does not disrupt the ordinary activities of the University. But these are narrow exceptions to the general principle of freedom of expression, and it is vitally important that these exceptions never be used in a manner that is inconsistent with the University’s commitment to a completely free and open discussion of ideas. In a word, the University’s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed. It is for the individual members of the University community, not for the University as an institution, to make those judgments for themselves, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas that they oppose.

    Indeed, fostering the ability of members of the University community to engage in such debate and deliberation in an effective and responsible manner is an essential part of the University’s educational mission. As a corollary to the University’s commitment to protect and promote free expression, members of the University community must also act in conformity with the principle of free expression. Although members of the University community are free to criticize and contest the views expressed on campus, and to criticize and contest speakers who are invited to express their views on campus, they may not obstruct or otherwise interfere with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even loathe. To this end, the University has a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.


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