The same Cornell student groups that sought to get a law professor fired for criticizing the tactics of the Black Lives Matter movement are now seeking to boycott his course.
William Jacobson wrote two articles on his personal website, Legal Insurrection, about the current protests and riots in the wake of the police-involved death of Minneapolis man George Floyd before the calls for this termination began. Having failed to get him fired, the outrage mob is now organizing a boycott of his course.
“Earlier this week, the Black Law Students Association circulated an email statement to the Cornell Law School community repeating many of the false and misleading accusations against me that I have covered in earlier posts,” Jacobson wrote. “But it went beyond that. They refused my offer to debate their representative and a faculty member of their choice, issued a call to boycott my course, and demand the law school screen faculty hires for ideological purity.”
Jacobson quoted from the email:
Although the law school recently released a statement regarding Professor Jacobson and his blog, we further urge the administration to critically examine the views of the individuals they intend to employ. Faculty members who challenge students to debate them on the motives of those fighting to preserve Black life are clearly more interested in amplifying their own agendas than engaging in thoughtful and reflective discourse. Professor Jacobson has claimed no expertise nor any specialized training on matters of race and racial justice, rendering any future discussions on the matter entirely unproductive. We are not interested in subjecting ourselves and our community members to dialogue that reinforces the false dichotomy of “right” versus “left” when it comes to our humanity.
By mentioning BLSA by name on his blog and suggesting that we are somehow the cause of some unwarranted vitriol he is receiving, Professor Jacobson invites a hostility that we cannot ignore. Accordingly, the BLSA Executive Board will refrain from participating in the Securities Law Clinic that Professor Jacobson supervises. As the course selection period approaches, we encourage our membership and our allies to reconsider studying under an individual whose views perpetuate hatred towards their fellow students. Thinly veiled racism under the guise of “intellectual diversity” has no place in our law school.
Jacobson said the student effort is now “being amplified by the Cornell Law School chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (a left-wing national legal group).” He then quoted an email reportedly being circulated to organize the boycott.
“I am reaching out on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild regarding a letter we would like to send to the student body concerning Professor William Jacobson,” the email said. “We hope that everyone has had a chance to read the powerful statement the BLSA executive board sent on Monday regarding Prof. Jacobson. We support their statement, and hope to amplify it in one, unified campaign.”
Jacobson came under fire earlier this month after writing two articles critical of the riots that have broken out across the country, leading to deaths, looting, and destroyed businesses and property. One of those articles was a reminder that the “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative was false; the other was about the riots tearing down the country.
Alumni then began demanding Jacobson be punished, possibly terminated, The Daily Wire previously reported. Cornell’s law school dean defended Jacobson’s right to free speech while saying he personally disagreed with what Jacobson said.
Jacobson wrote that the effort to boycott his class is “not about my writing on the issues, which they misrepresent and distort in the statement they plan on circulating.” He says it is “an attempt not just to scare students away from my course, but to scare students away from speaking their minds, and to create a faculty and student purity test.”
“This toxic atmosphere didn’t need to take place. At a time when the law school desperately needs an adult in the room, so to speak, we have faculty and a Dean who denounce me,” Jacobson wrote. “This isn’t activism, it’s anti-intellectualism.”
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