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Robert Spencer: McCarthyite Stanford Professor David Palumbo-Liu Whines About McCarthyism

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In the Guardian Thursday, hard-Left Stanford Professor David Palumbo-Liu complains that “today anyone can be accused of anything, without basis in fact or evidence, and that accusation can be instantly trumpeted over the airwaves unchecked by any journalistic standard.” Yes, Professor, that’s how you and your colleagues treat anyone who dissents from the hard-Left. But David Palumbo-Liu isn’t confessing to his smearing of conservatives. He is actually claiming that he himself has been treated that way.

“As a scholar-activist working on issues such as sexual assault, Palestine, and anti-fascism,” he writes, “I am used to receiving abusive messages and being publicly maligned. Now, however, attacks on me have reached troubling new heights.”

Really? How is this poor fellow being persecuted? Well, it seems that “last month, the Stanford Review, a rightwing publication co-founded by Peter Thiel and based on my university campus, wrote that I have helped set up an ‘organization [that is] undeniably a chapter of a terrorist group’ and demanded my resignation. Their article was picked up by groups like JihadWatch, Campus Fix, Campus Reform, Fox & Friends, and other rightwing media outlets.”

What “terrorist group”? “The organization I belong to is called the Campus Antifascist Network. We advocate for organized resistance to fascist violence on campus, and for educating our communities and others as to the nature of fascism today. We claim solidarity with a proud tradition of anti-fascism dating back to the early 20th century.”

Whatever else David Palumbo-Liu may be, he certainly is a champion whiner. Here he takes to the Guardian to whine yet again about his critics claiming that he espouses violence. In doing so, he once again leaves the lingering impression that he does actually espouse violence. And he accuses those critics of McCarthyism, offering a helpful definition of that term which demonstrates that if anyone is engaging in McCarthyism, it is not David Palumbo-Liu’s critics, but David Palumbo-Liu himself.

McCarthyism, he says, involves “the use of tactics involving personal attacks on individuals by means of widely publicized indiscriminate allegations especially on the basis of unsubstantiated charges.”

“Indiscriminate allegations” and “unsubstantiated charges,” eh? Well, let’s look at the record. David Palumbo-Liu has accused me of purveying “right-wing propaganda,” and claimed that I published “lies and distortions” about him that “open[ed] the door to the hate mail, phone calls, threats and harassment that not only I, but also my family, am now subjected to.” Has he offered any evidence of these “threats and harassment,” and demonstrated that they’re connected to my writing about him at Jihad Watch? No, it’s an “unsubstantiated charge.” Has he demonstrated that what I publish is “right-wing propaganda”? No, it’s an “indiscriminate allegation.”

Meanwhile, he says that there is “no evidence” that he has “advocated violence.” Yet in this very article, he says: “The organization I belong to is called the Campus Antifascist Network. We advocate for organized resistance to fascist violence on campus.”

What fascist violence on campus, Professor? You mean like when Leftists rioted over Milo’s appearance at Berkeley? You mean the calls from Leftists that I be physically assaulted at Truman State University? You mean the Leftist mob that injured a professor at a Charles Murray event at Middlebury College in Vermont?

Leftist students such as those David Palumbo-Liu counts as his friends and supporters are the real fascists today, emulating the fascists of old in physically menacing and forcibly silencing those they hate, but those aren’t the fascists Palumbo-Liu has in mind. He means conservative students, who haven’t assaulted anyone, or threatened to do so.

In any case, note that he says that his group advocates for “organized resistance to fascist violence on campus.” What kind of organized resistance to violence? Sit-ins? Flowers in gun barrels? Locking arms and marching together toward those who are being violent? What? Palumbo-Liu reveals what he means by “organized resistance to violence” when he writes rather incoherently: “We do not – and never would – advocate – for initiating violence.” The key word in that sentence is “initiating.” He doesn’t condemn responding to perceived “fascist” violence with violence. So does he advocate violence? No. But is he ruling it out? Not in any clear or direct way.

David Palumbo-Liu has previously called for the suppression of views that deviate from the hard-Left line. That’s fascism, and he’s a fascist. And what’s worse is that he is a revered professor at Stanford, and that there are hundreds of professors just like him on campuses all over the country. Universities today, it bears repeating, are no longer institutions of higher learning in which views are freely debated and accepted or rejected on their merits, but centers of hard-Left indoctrination and recruitment. Professor David Palumbo-Liu and his followers at Stanford are just one small example of that fact.

 Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His new book is Confessions of an Islamophobe. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

 

 

 

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