Why Hate Speech is Not Free Speech in an “Inclusive Excellence” Community

Why Hate Speech is Not Free Speech in an “Inclusive Excellence” Community

I am infuriated, repulsed and depressed. I feel unsafe.  Free speech is a given.  Free speech means that you have the right to say what you want to say without the penalty of breaking the law.  Does that mean free speech is acceptable in all circumstances? No. Not when your free speech is hate speech and takes place in a community which professes values of “diversity and equity,” and “inclusive excellence.”

I had not understood the exact importance of my role as Chair of Diversity and Equity until actual encounters with subtle institutional racism were taking place at our academic institution.  Not until the college decided to paste my face as the face of diversity, yet sweeps under the rug when an influential member of its own community actively engages in dangerous hate speech.  Not until it took a few of us students to identify a problem that should have been recognized long ago by the administration itself. This is not diversity and equity. This is not inclusive excellence. This is institutional racism.

People have this misconception that racism and bigotry are direct; that they are in your face; that they are physical acts. No.  Racism isn’t explicit. Racism is subtle.  Racism is institutional. Racism is systematic. Racism is embedding seeds of hate and bigotry into the psyche of social culture. Racism is only the foundation of what leads to later acts of violence.  Racism takes root when we have influential academics in our school who publicly express views of bigotry.  Racism is accepted when the institution fails to address the responsibility of academics to watch what they say.

I have had several email exchanges with Professor Andrew Pessin regarding my concerns as an underrepresented student on campus.  And each time, his response was more of a, “I’m sorry you misunderstood what I said.” On the contrary, I did not misunderstand.  I did not misunderstand his contribution at the Charlie Hebdo panel when he posed indirect, yet problematic questions such as, “How do we tolerate cultures of intolerance?” only to end his portion of the Q-and-A session with an emphasis of hate crimes perpetrated by Muslims. I did not misunderstand the content of this public Facebook post that insinuated Palestinians (NOT Hamas) as “rabid pit-bulls.“  I did not misunderstand when he told me that, “Muslim terrorists were at the top of the totem pole as perpetrators of violence.” Tell me, what part of all this did I misunderstand? The fact that I may be a “liberal animal rights activist” sympathizing with this “rabid pit bull?” Oh no wait, perhaps, I am the “co-specimen” who sympathizes. Because my people are breeds of dogs, and not human beings? Or, perhaps I misunderstood his floods of articles that specifically talk about the failure of addressing “Arab and Muslim terrorism.” 

Just imagine if he substituted Gaza for “Ferguson.” Imagine if he spoke of “Ferguson thugs” as “rabid pit bulls” needing to be “caged,” by its “owner” who provides it with “government assistance, affirmative action, and welfare.” But when giving these “Ferguson thugs” a little bit of space to “breathe;” they start “snarling” and “aim for the throat,” and as a result need to be “put down.” And if you sympathize with Ferguson thugs, you’re either one yourself, or a liberal animal rights activist. Just imagine if all his postings were about Black crime. Would you raise an eyebrow?

One only needs to look at the recent horrific murders of the three Muslim Arab Americans in the UNC shootings to acknowledge that violence against minorities occur through the repetition of stereotypes; through the repetition of “the other” as the violent one; through engrained feelings of fear, hate and bigotry.  I have had Professor Pessin as a student and never felt victimized in class.  As a matter of fact, many students find him smart, engaging, and influential. But that is the problem. If students are finding an academic within our institution as smart and influential, and then read his overtly public hateful posts regarding socio-political issues, they are going to listen and absorb. They are going to be influenced by his words, and that is the biggest danger.

In a time when everyday news headlines are sensationalizing the correlation between “Muslims” and “Terrorism,” it becomes increasingly hard to feel safe as a Muslim. I feel unsafe when I go out to the local community. I felt unsafe when my quick stop to Shop Rite resulted in dirty looks, and couples bringing up the topic of ISIS purposely in front of me. I feel unsafe if this is what our own academics are publicizing. 

Our academic community, and all academic communities need to address actual issues of diversity, acceptable speech and community values for the sake of the safety of all students, and faculty– especially underrepresented ones.  Our academic communities need to have zero tolerance for such speech.  It does not matter if these aren’t vocalized in a classroom. It matters if you are an active community member who publicizes such views, no matter where you are.

If I am going to recite, “We will never, by any selfish or other unworthy act, dishonor this our College; individually and collectively we will foster her ideals and do our utmost to instill a respect in those among us who fail in their responsibility; unceasingly we will strive to quicken a general realization of our common duty and obligation to our College. And thus in manifold service we will render our Alma Mater greater, worthier, and more beautiful,every Thursday night, then I expect to see such behavior on our campus on behalf of ALL its members. Or else, I don’t want to be your face of Diversity.•

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58 thoughts on “Why Hate Speech is Not Free Speech in an “Inclusive Excellence” Community

  1. John Taylor

    Ms. Khandaker is undoubtedly a bright young woman with exceptional passion for her views, but attacking a Professor on this issue seems not only misguided, by hypocritical.

    First, in her editorial Ms. Khandaker confuses the specific critique that is made of recent terrorism with the general principle of tolerance. To identify the dangers of Muslim terrorism is not to equate all Muslims as being terrorists. To turn Ms. Khandaker’s own debating technique back on her, would it be hate speech to condemn white racists in the antebellum south because most southerners were not racist? Or, more to the point, why is it not hate speech when she advocates that the United States should break off support for Israel because she doesn’t like Israeli policies? Doesn’t she recognize that her intolerance of the relatively small population of Jews not already annihilated by the Holocaust is tantamount to anti-semitic bigoty?

    Second, Ms. Khandaker’s presumption that Professor Pessin is not inclusive when he asks, “How do we tolerate cultures of intolerance?” shows that she knows little of the problems confronted by the victims of intolerant societies. Does she ever protest the repression of women in Saudi Arabia, who are not even allowed to drive cars? Is she concerned with the absence of democracy in virtually every mideastern nation (other than Israel)? When was the last time she protested genocidal slaughters in the Congo, Sudan, Syria, or Ethiopia? Muslim nations certainly aren’t the only ones that may practice intolerance, but it is certainly not racist to criticize those that do. Asking how we should deal with those cultures is a very good question. Perhaps Ms. Khandaker should learn a bit about the plight of Malala Yousafzai.

    Third, Ms. Khandaker conflates the notion of religious intolerance with racism. Islam is a faith, not a race. The plurality of Muslims live in Indonesia, and are not Arab. The confusion is fairly endemic but is worthy of clarification. Those who are intolerant of Christianity or Islam may demonstrate religious bigotry, but this is not what the term racism means.

    Fourth, Ms. Khandaker’s desire to have “zero tolerance” of what she feels is unacceptable speech reveals that she knows little about the First Amendment. Freedom of speech isn’t restricted to what the majority find acceptable. Although she might not “feel safe” going to the supermarket, there is no basis for her to denigrate a Professor with whom she has political disagreements. Professor Pessin has not attacked her, nor her religion, nor has he advocated for anything that would abridge any of her freedoms. Indeed, in the incendiary world that will live in her accusations of bigotry may put Professor Pessin’s safety in peril by those who don’t bother to take time to look at the facts. It is Ms. Khandaker whose words are placing a respected tenured Professor at risk. One need only consider the recent slaughters at Charlie Hedbo to recognize that there are unstable individuals who might resort to terrible crimes if they believe that their faith is being mocked.

    Ms. Khandaker’s interest in promoting diversity and fighting bigotry are noble goals. But selectively applying her criteria to ideas that she dislikes is, in itself, discriminatory. The only restriction that has been applied by the Supreme Court to the 1st amendment relates to public safety. One must not cry “fire” in a crowded theater because it puts people at immediate risk of injury. In this sense, it is Ms. Khankader who has cried “fire”. She owes Professor Pessin an immediate apology.

  2. Lamiya Khandaker

    Dear Whoever You Are,

    Don’t you dare talk to me about my political views as if you know them, and don’t you dare ask me to apologize either.
    “Or, more to the point, why is it not hate speech when she advocates that the United States should break off support for Israel because she doesn’t like Israeli policies? Doesn’t she recognize that her intolerance of the relatively small population of Jews not already annihilated by the Holocaust is tantamount to anti-semitic bigoty?”

    Nowhere in this article letter did I talk about Israel whatsoever, so the fact that you’re spewing things out of your ass is quite hilarious.

    Two, my personal views regarding my distaste for Israeli “POLICIES” as a “STATE” does NOT equate to calling an ENTIRE group of people “RABID PIT BULLS.” I did not use dehumanizing language. There’s a difference between constructive POLITICAL opinion, and hate speech. Don’t you dare call that anti-semitic bigotry. As a matter of fact, I don’t even know why you thought of that to be a legitimate argument. On a sidenote, thank you for stalking me.

    “Does she ever protest the repression of women in Saudi Arabia, who are not even allowed to drive cars? Is she concerned with the absence of democracy in virtually every mideastern nation (other than Israel)? When was the last time she protested genocidal slaughters in the Congo, Sudan, Syria, or Ethiopia? Muslim nations certainly aren’t the only ones that may practice intolerance, but it is certainly not racist to criticize those that do. Asking how we should deal with those cultures is a very good question. Perhaps Ms. Khandaker should learn a bit about the plight of Malala Yousafzai.”

    Again, do not talk about me as if you know me, or my political views. I do not have to justify any of that to you. And, yes, as a matter of fact, I DO care about feminism. I DO express my distaste for Saudi Arabia’s POLICIES as a STATE. I have expressed concern to Professor Pessin about VARIOUS forms of INTOLERANCE, in ALL societies. So again, quit talking out of your ass. Don’t you tell me to learn about the plight of Malala, I am very well aware of the plight of Muslim women all over the world, being one myself: be they in the US, in Israel, in Saudi Arabia, in Pakistan. None of what you are bringing up is whatsoever relevant to the issue at hand. Your tactics, are quite pathetic.

    Clearly, you haven’t read my acknowledgement about “free speech” and whether bigoted speech should be tolerated within an “academic community.” It is not unheard of for professional jobs to scrutinize individuals based on their speech in social media, ESPECIALLY in Academia. Just read about Brooklyn College, UC Berkeley, and the dozens of other cases. My argument is about community values, and don’t you dare equate what I wrote to Charlie Hebdo. I am not the one who justified violence against a group of people here, “sir.”

    My position on campus as a student leader, REQUIRES me, to voice out the concerns of underrepresented students, including myself, to the institution to ensure there is an atmosphere of acceptance, tolerance and respect.

    I will NOT apologize, because I was not the one who spewed bigoted speech. You are a repulsive human being. Keep your ill-misinformed comments to yourself. Thank you, and have a nice day.

  3. John Taylor's Mom

    JOHN BILLYBOB TAYLOR!

    You apologize to Lamiya right now! How dare you say things like that in such an unintelligent manner!

    1. Jay Bax

      You have got to be joking.

  4. We are One

    Can we please refrain from attacking the person that posted this, and like adults actually talk about the matter at hand. I am saddened to know that there are people in this community that care less about the topic and more about finding ways to blur the topic. We are an intellectual mass. MANY support the view of the articles posted in the Voice. WE are one, one is not WE. The only thing I liked about your post is your prose, that is beautiful my friend. You can definitely use that to write something more constructive. In any case, as a human and as a member of this society I still love you, and I do not owe an apology – along with my intellectual friends – to anyone. Have an excellent day, week, and break.

  5. We are Offput

    Lamiya, you do not respond to criticism well. Insulting a critic only strengthens their case.

    As for the FB post that has created such clamor, I would like to point out that nowhere in it does Pessin mention the Palestinian people or the people of Gaza for that matter – only “the situation in Gaza.” This post was made on Aug 11, at the height of the Gaza-Israel War, when Gaza could be interpreted as short-hand for the complex array of militant groups governing the Strip fighting Israel at the time. Admittedly, however, Pessin should have clarified this, and this is something he has to owe up to. Nevertheless, any insinuation that his post was a racial remark or intended slight against the Palestinian nation is one you made yourself. You are putting words in his mouth and that is entirely unfair.

    Also, it is worth mentioning to anyone who reads this that Professor Pessin apologized to Lamiya for the post and took it down over a week before this was published. This is no small detail and something that has been intentionally excluded from this article. Given this, this article is unwarranted and trying to turn Pessin into something he is not.

    Finally, the fact that the author of this piece repressed the aforementioned information and refuses to constructively engage with those who hold differing opinions suggests intolerance on her part and a cynical desire to slander Pessin. I for one find this very dismaying and unfitting coming from the Chair of Diversity and Equity.

  6. a

    Wow Lamiya, I think your response to valid criticism tell us everything we need to know.

  7. Please

    Lamiya,

    You bring up UC Berkeley as a test case, and claim we should have a zero tolerance policy, yet Berkeley’s students and faculty actively call for the end of Israel and the murder of “Zionists.” Just last month they prevented a jewish girl from joining the Judicial board because she attended one Hillel meeting. I don’t see you calling them out. You’re a giant hypocrite.

  8. Jade Jeung

    Thanks for the article Lamiya. I think you raise a lot of great points. Couple of things to consider are that private institutions can regulate speech differently than the federal government. It’s probably more useful to look at the underlying philosophies around free speech and also the modern movement to protect communities from violence.

    I’d also caution from conflating free speech and hate speech issues. Hate speech is part of free speech and the philosophy around it. Diversity and freedom from violence are important issues but the underlying problems and solutions aren’t always the same.

    Some articles you might find interesting related to this as it’s playing out not just on Connecticut College but also in other places:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/22/opinion/roger-cohen-a-21st-century-islam.html?hp&_r=0
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2012/09/free_speech_vs_hate_speech_why_is_it_legal_to_insult_muslims_but_not_jews_.html
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/04/the-culture-of-shut-up/360239/
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/06/rage-against-the-outrage-machine/373069/
    http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2012/09/27/free-speech.html
    http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/17/why-google-shouldnt-have-censored-the-anti-islamic-video/

  9. John Taylor

    Ms. Khandakar,

    I read your response with some degree of dismay. Your ad hominem defensiveness speaks for itself. I won’t resort to insulting you, but clearly your insults to my opinions further proves my point that it is you who is intolerant.

    As for your offensive comment that I am “spewing things” from my “ass” regarding your opinion of Israel, please note that you have been quoted in publications regarding your intolerant opinion of Israel:

    http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/05/us-ethnic-minority-youth-lead-new-wave-of-student-activism/

    Specifically: “Lamiya Khandaker, from New York City, is a first-generation U.S. citizen born to working-class, Bangladeshi parents. She founded an SJP chapter at her school, Brooklyn Technical High School (incidentally the site of a recent controversial Israeli boycott vote), to spread awareness of firm U.S. support for Israel with three billion dollars in yearly military assistance. “I truly believe that if more American citizens gain more knowledge on this conflict, then we can pressure our government to do something, and if necessary, break our bond with Israel,” she told IPS.”

    As for using “dehumanizing language” is is you who called me “repulsive” and that I should keep my opinions to myself. Is this really the opinion of someone in favor of diversity and free speech? Your very intolerance of my opinion reflects the fact that you won’t tolerate any speech if it doesn’t meet your approval.

    Ms. Khandakar, you aren’t speaking on behalf of underrepresented students. You are attempting to lead a witch-hunt against a respected, published PhD and Professor of Philosophy with more years of experience in academia than you should shake a stick at. It is you, with only a smidgeon of education and a high school degree, who has revealed an arrogance that is both offensive and alarming.

    I would repeat my belief that you should apologize, but it clearly isn’t in your vernacular.

    1. Anonymous

      Thank you for saying this Mr. Taylor. I have felt uncomfortable because I hear many antisemitic comments on campus after this controversy. I appreciate this comment and all the comments above. Thank you for not letting antisemitism slide. I really appreciate it.

    2. Jeff Parlin

      John Taylor, thank you for your well-articulated opinions here in this column. I now feel the desire to further contribute to the seriously underrepresented opposition in this ludicrously-coined ‘scandal’.

    3. Cody Fisher

      I echo the admiration for Mr. Taylor’s comments, which were well-reasoned and thoughtful, and in stark contrast to the original article and the author’s replies. The author should be ashamed of herself.

  10. Healthy Mind

    Please let us not make mountains out of molehills. The article or her opinion does not speak to or promote anti-semitism. Cutting off ties, “if needed”, does not translate to intolerance. The goal of this criticism and all conversations revolving around this was NOT to address, as far as I perceive, a Palestine vs. Israel issue. Why is it that we cannot unite instead of pointing fingers at one another. Let us not divide, but cherish our differences and become a single community for once.

  11. Thanks Healthy Mind

    Healthy Mind–I agree with you and think people are veering away from the subject matter at hand. I agree, and at the end of the day think that she raises issues of community values. I think it’s quite shameful to turn a larger campus problem into a personal political problem. Nowhere does she talk about her personal opinions in the article, but rather talks about the insecurity she feels as a minority student because of something an influential professor publicizes. I don’t think she is at all criticizing his political views as much as she is criticizing his use of harmful language which can marginalize and further stereotype people within her community. Let’s keep it in perspective people.

  12. Is it just me?

    Or isn’t it obvious to everyone who “John Taylor” is?

  13. Chip

    The editor of *The Voice*, Ayla Zuraw-Friedland, is also the creator of the anti-Pessin online petition. Conflict of interest, anyone? In addition, *The Voice* magically deleted an intemperate and hate-filled comment written by Lamiya Khandaker in response to a critic. Gee: They are digging up Pessin’s old Facebook messages, but they are protecting angry anti-Israel zealots. Ayla Zuraw-Friedland is an activist masquerading as an editor. She has failed to live up to basic standards of journalistic integrity and should be removed from her position.

  14. Chip

    Lamiya Khandaker, a leader of this witch hunt, has reasonably deleted her Facebook account. Although she strolls through a professor’s old posts, she doesn’t want anyone doing the same to her.

    Even so, Google searches demonstrate that Ms. Khandaker is not a beacon of “inclusive excellence.” A member of Students for Justice in Palestine (a group opposed to Israel’s existence), she frequents and approves of such Web sites as the “Electronic Intifada”–that is, the Internet extension of the violent campaign to destroy the lone Jewish state. It appears that she was also an advocate of the BDS movement in high school (SJP is a promoter of BDS), and may very well be one in college.

    Her attempt to distort Pessin’s words as part of a campaign to silence all pro-Israel voices must be seen for what it is: A political attack masquerading as concern for “inclusive excellence.” How “inclusive” is the Electronic Intifada, a news outlet that regularly promotes anti-Semitism and that is dedicated to Israel’s destruction?

    Conn College does not need any lectures on inclusivity from the likes of Ms. Khandaker. Do the faculty members who are joining in lockstep condemnation of Pessin condemn anti-Israel extremism? Do they condemn anti-Semitism?

    I fear that what is presented as concern for tolerance is actually part of a propaganda war against Israel and Jews on campus. The College should be ashamed.

  15. […] after a student lately busted professor Andrew Pessin, who is the author of several books of philosophy for the general public, […]

  16. Chip

    Here’s more proof–if more proof were needed–that Lamiya Khandaker is not concerned with “inclusive excellence,” but with demonizing anyone who dares to speak up in favor of Israel.

    From Ms. Khandaker’s cached Facebook profile, she can be seen minimizing and scoffing at anti-Semitism:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:UjVXDvImCtEJ:https://www.facebook.com/ya.wazwaz/posts/10204522338681554+&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    This is not surprising, given Ms. Khandaker’s frequenting of the anti-Semitic Electronic Intifada.

    To Ms. Khandaker, anti-Semitism is part of “inclusive excellence.”

  17. Chip

    This video ably demonstrates what Lamiya Khandaker (an SJP member), Michael Fratt, and Kaitlyn Garbe hope to accomplish with their witch hunt:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNDCcsH_wgU

    These students are either militants who oppose the very existence of Israel, or they are dupes. Do not believe them when they say that they care about tolerance and inclusivity. They care about destroying Israel, and making the world less safe for Jews.

  18. pam

    I am afraid al your universities and colleges are owned by Aipac..the zionists who control America and its foreign policy, apart from its banks, media and mov ie business. This professor’s attitude is exac tly the attitude of israeli zionists, no different..and we in the UK now are fighting back against rabid dog zionists who are trying to stifle our freedom of speech, we are serious, we wil not go down aipac’s vile racist path..we stil have some freedoms left and we wil not rest til the racist apartheid enclave of israel is restored to Palestine..you American smust fight too..you are OWNED, you give $8 million oer day to the zionist enclave, you are nuts, what about your poor, your homeless, your c hildren, your old folk, they are far far more important than any racist pig t hat has stolen somebody else’s land..we wil not rest till Palestine is free, we are many, many more than the zionists that live in the UK, we will win

    1. Anthony

      “This professor’s attitude is exac tly the attitude of israeli Zionists”

      The attitude of being fed up by disgusting ignorant fools like you? Or the attitude of being fed up by terrorists who are always trying to wipe us out? Contrary to your neo-Nutzi hate-speech talking points, AIPAC doesn’t wield the power you claim. And they are a Left-wing organization to begin with. Go educated little kid, or at least learn how to formulate a thought of your own.

  19. Nick

    How does one define “hate speech?”

  20. P911G

    It was a mistake to allow mohammedans to immigrate to the USA. This woman is so upset about the murder of her co-religionists in N.C. but has she ever objected to the murders of Christians in Syria; Irag; Egypt; Libya; in Nigeria: in Paris; in NYC on 9/11?

  21. […] wasn’t enough. The student, Lamiya Khandakar, then wrote a letter to the college newspaper, “Why hate speech is not free speech in an ‘inclusive excellence’ […]

  22. Michael Davies

    I thought universities were for learning and diversity of opinion, not places where very young children hide from speech they don’t care for. What makes it even worse is the speech made my the professor was on a private account and and clearly isn’t hate speech. He was talking about Hamas, an organization that is sworn in it’s charter to destroy Israel and the Jews. They spend aid money on weapons and rockets, they use materials purchased for reconstruction to build tunnels into Israel for the use of suicide bombers.

    This is not to say that Israel is completely without faults, hardly. But there is increasing antisemitism in universities, including this one where we see students denied positions because of their being Jewish. And this antisemitism is coming from one religious population.
    This is not surprising, Saudi Arabia has been exporting extreme versions of Islam all over the world, funding extreme Imams and madrassas that teach hatred towards the West, Israel, Jews and “the great Satan”, the USA.
    Now we are seeing the result of the spread of antisemitism as ‘normal’, American University students are desperately trying to destroy a professor for doing nothing more than espousing a reasonable opinion, on his own time on a private network.
    I thought in the USA and American universities in particular, freedom of speech was something that is welcome.
    Instead we are seeing the inroads of the kind of thinking behind Muslim countries UN resolution for all other countries to enforce penalties against those who say anything against Islam or blasphemy against Mohammad.

    This is just frightening, and I feel sorry for Andrew Pessin and disgust for the actions of Lamiya Khandakar.

  23. Michael Davies

    By the way, when the professor talks about the dog being chained up as a metaphor for Hamas, besides Hamas having in it’s very charter the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people, Hamas has long been teaching it’s children from birth to hate Israel and Jewish people. A search on Youtube will reveal the childrens videos that talk about killing Jews as casually as Sesame Street talks about the number 4. Palestine children’s TV teaches them hate and turns their mind to senseless brutality. What TV doesn’t do many parents do.

    The difference is clear between the two sides. One of them has the ability to wipe the other from the face of the earth, if they wanted to. They do. The other wants to wipe their hated enemy from the face of the earth, but luckily they do not have the ability. For if they did there is no doubt they would use whatever weapons they could, as they hide behind women, children and hospitals as they fire their rockets into Israel, then weep crocodile tears when those human shields are killed. Just as Hamas knew they would be when they ordered the attack to take place behind them.

  24. […] Khandaker writes that she feels “unsafe” because racism is “institutional” and also exists in “micro”-forms. Although she admits […]

  25. […] our school who publicly express views of bigotry,” sophomore Lamiya Khandaker wrote in one of the letters. “Racism is accepted when the institution fails to address the responsibility of academics to […]

  26. Tom Paine

    The author of this piece used an awful lot of words to say nothing. Poorly written gibberish disguised as prose doesn’t serve as substance.

    How do we tolerate cultures of intolerance?” only to end his portion of the Q-and-A session with an emphasis of hate crimes perpetrated by Muslims.

    Why not ask ISIS what they think. Why not ask Hamas to explain how they used mafia style tactics to gain power. Why not ask why Egypt refuses to engage in trade with Gaza.

    Fact is not racist and the facts are that the barbaric acts being carried out in the name of Islam are being done by Muslims.

    The terrorist attacks at Charlie Hedbo were carried out by muslims who refused to protest by non violent means. The terrorist who murdered innocent people at the Kosher market in Paris was Muslim and stated he did so for religious reasons.

    Go cry your crocodile tears elsewhere lamebrain.

  27. […] Khandaker writes that she feels “unsafe” because racism is “institutional” and also exists in “micro”-forms. Although she admits […]

  28. Where's the comment?

    From the above comments, it’s clear that Ms. Khandaker posted a reply to John Taylor that was subsequently scrubbed. Why? And by whom?

  29. Joey

    In regards to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict I would ask all to consider 2 options:
    !.) The Palestinians announce that they want peace and to prove it, at midnight tonight, they will lay down every and all weapons. If this were to happen, do you think they would be attacked by Israel?
    2.) The Israelis announce that they want peace and to prove it, at midnight tonight, they will lay down every and all weapons. If this were to happen, do you think they would be attacked by the Palestinians?

    It’s not a trick question but the answer is obvious – Israel would cease to exist in an instant if did not have a huge and capable military. If Israel really wanted to destroy the Palestinians it could have done so long, long ago.

    In regards to Ms. K’s hurt, pain, fear, outrage, etc. I would say – you’re in college sweetie; grown the f#@k up and start acting like an adult. The professor said nothing outrageous, slanderous, hate filled, or potentially violent – you just don’t like it. Colleges have been ruined by critical theory, moral relativism, political correctness and multiculturalism.
    I hope that the students and faculty at this school stand their ground and refuse to give in to your tantrum.
    Free speech must be protected and if it’s not, totalitarianism is sure to follow.

  30. The Professor’s only mistake was thinking a Liberal could be intelligent enough to get the concept of an analogy. He should start all future posts with;

    “analogy [ əˈnaləjē ] NOUN

    noun: analogy · plural noun:
    analogies

    a comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation or clarification:

    “an analogy between the workings of nature and those of human societies”

    Although Liberals are so stupid they probably still wouldn’t get it. This professor’s analogy was dead on, and bordering on brilliant, but he has been working at a college in Connecticut and should have known Liberals are too stupid to get it.

  31. Tim G

    Lamiya Khandaker – you’re a tool. Sorry I cannot articulate anything more intelligent than that. You’re a typical liberal joker who believes free speech is acceptable as long as it doesn’t contradict your liberal ideology. The time is coming where you and your kind – not your race, which I can see you would love to ridicule me about, AND be offended about, but your kind as in the-type-of-people-who-are-way-too-easily-offended-and-attempt-to-ban-or-destroy-the-lives-of-people-you-don’t-agree-with – will be paying the price for such nonsense. Professor Andrew Pessin states facts and you counter with this…logic…I cannot even continue writing since, alas, I am so saddened and deeply offended – don’t forget depresses – by your article here I need to go and cry. I suppose you’ll be coming after me for disagreeing with you…

    1. Daniel Some

      Tim G – you are mistaken. Khandaker and her comrades at SJP are not liberals, they are fascists. They seek to repress reasonable discussion and criticism, violently if necessary, though initially by means of slander campaigns. They seek to deny to others what they demand for themselves, from an open mic on campus to sovereignty, peace and justice. If not stopped by people of good will and sound mind, these neo-brownshirts will grow stronger and more brazen, moving from witchhunts and graffiti and BDS resolutions to physical intimidation (already happening on some campuses) and armed violence.
      Some of these fascists masquerade as liberals, shouting ‘heil inclusiveness’ and ‘heil diversity’ – not in order to nurture true inclusiveness and diversity, but in order to kill them.
      Others shout ‘Islamophobia’, not in order to protect Muslims but in order to justify suppression and violence against valid criticisms of racist, inhumane and criminal behavior by radical or fundamentalist Muslim extremists.
      It’s a strange twist of reality that some who see themselves as liberal side with these fascists, but maybe not so surprising. In the 1979 Iranian revolution, secular, liberal activists worked with Islamofascists to overthrow the Shah, only to be turned on by the Islamists as soon as the regime was deposed. The liberals were suppressed, incarcerated, executed. The lesson is clear.
      A quick scan of Khandaker’s record indicates that she is motivated by hatred of Jews, seeks to deny them a postage stamp of a country amidst a sea of Muslims, and justifies terrorism. I can only assume that she objects to facts being pointed out, e.g. the prevalence of Muslims among global terror, because she herself does not differentiate between Muslim extremists and ‘average’ Muslims. This speaks volumes about her motivations. A true liberal Muslim (trust me, they do exist!) would speak out against Muslim extremists, who mostly cause harm to other Muslims, rather than try to hide their existence and attack those such as Pessin who support peaceful co-existence.
      Do not fall for these cries of ‘I feel unsafe’ by those who seek to intimidate, or pleas for ‘inclusiveness’ by those who seek to exclude. It is incumbent on all who seek a liberal, tolerant society – whether Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu or atheist (or anything else) – to stand up against this kind of neo-fascism lest we become like Iran or Saudi Arabia. Zero tolerance.

  32. […] the firestorm was ignited when three letters on March 3 accused Pessin of racism in the school […]

  33. EB

    Professor Pessin is being demonized for calling things by their proper name. To deny that there is a strong culture of hate in the Arab-Muslim world is to either be too naive, or a liar. To me it seems that Ms. Khandaker is more of the latter.

  34. Jay Bax

    In all fairness Ms. Lamiya Khandaker, you are Arabic and Muslim and therefore are taking this alleged Palestinian bashing personally. But unless you have any supporting documentation that “it” was referring to the Palestinian people and not Hamas (a terrorist group, sworn to destroy the State of Israel) in all fairness, common sense dictates you must give Professor Andrew Pessin the benefit of the doubt. If you are a mature woman, I accuse you of anti-semitism or an Hamas supporter. For Professor Andrew Pessin is a Jew and states he was referring to the terrorists. Did you come to collage to attack Jews, or get a degree to help your people and make the world a better place.

    1. Neil Schipper

      In case it’s not clear, the links in my prior post are all instances where a dog is used as a metaphor for a political program or organization.

      It’s done in the U.S. both by the right and the left, and (last link) it’s sometimes done (with consequences) by a Palestinian to express an opinion about a Palestinian organization.

  35. Lamiya,

    One has to ask what is your stake in what Pessin said? Did his Facebook message say anything about Muslims? He talked about Hamas and Arab enmity to Israel. How does that make you, a Bangladeshi-American, feel unsafe?

    What you betray here is your Muslim solidarity against Israel. That suggests that this conflict is not about land. It is about religion.

  36. Looks like it time to go back to Bangladesh. The land of free speech!

  37. fred

    Why don’t you back to Bangladesh and blow your mouth off under the ruling Awami League regime. Why don’t you do something everybody will actually benefit from like saving the elephants.

  38. […] Andrew Pessin, an acclaimed philosophy professor at Connecticut College, of engaging in “hate speech” and “institutional racism,” based on a (possibly deliberate) misreading of a 6-month old […]

  39. […] Why Hate Speech is Not Free Speech in an “Inclusive Excellence” Community […]

  40. […] its diversity goals, the students asked, if it won’t call racist language what it is?  One letter, by Khandaker, acknowledged that she was never mistreated in any way by Pessin as his student, but denounced him […]

  41. […] she wants her foes to suffer. Her skin is accordingly exceptionally thin when it is a matter of criticism that damages her side; it is exceptionally thick, a veritable hide, when it comes to damaging those she doesn’t […]

  42. […] feel unsafe,” Lamiya Khandaker wrote, not really explaining how a Facebook post from the previous summer that originally went unnoticed […]

  43. […] feel unsafe,” Lamiya Khandaker wrote, not really explaining how a Facebook post from the previous summer that hardly anyone had noticed […]

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