On June 1, the Dean of Students at Stanford University sent an email to students in which she approvingly cited a quote from Assata Shakur, a fugitive on the list of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists who was convicted of murder in the violent 1973 death of a New Jersey policeman.
The email from Dean Mona Hicks started by addressing COVID-19 issues, with a “variety of safety tips and advice to those who wish to engage in the nationwide protests,” Charles Hilu of The College Fix reported. Hicks stated, “As protest organizers around the world plan non-violent demonstrations, we must also recognize the grief and pain that are thrust into these spaces. Despite efforts to organize civilly, there are times when some will engage in destructive or harmful behavior. In every case, the well-being of our students is our top priority.’ The conclusion of the email stated, “I appreciate all of the emails and texts of solidarity and encouragement that I have received in my short tenure at Stanford. As a Black woman, I am also struggling to make meaning in our world today, but your humanity gives me hope — your energy, your education, your truth, and your purpose. This loving refrain from Assata Shakur still rings true as I shelter-in-place: ‘It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.’”
The Stanford College Republicans issued a statement condemning Hicks’ reference to Shakur, writing:
We are absolutely disgusted that the Stanford Dean of Students, Mona Hicks, praised and quoted cop-killer and domestic terrorist, Assata Shakur, in an email to the student body yesterday. Assata Shakur, (whose real name is Joanne Chestnut) is a convicted murderer who shot two police officers execution style in 1973. Hicks included what she described as “a loving refrain” from the murderer Shakur. For Hicks to praise and endorse a cop-killer at a time when thugs and murderers are terrorizing Americans in their businesses, vehicles and homes is unacceptable and unbecoming of anyone in a position of authority at Stanford University. We condemn Mona Hicks in the strongest terms and demand that she apologize immediately.
Shakur, who was born as JoAnne Deborah Byron, changed her last Chesimard when she married fellow CCNY student Louis Chesimard, in 1977, keeping the last name Chesimard after they divorced in 1970. She changed her name to Assata Shakur in 1971. She later wrote, “The name JoAnne began to irk my nerves … . I didn’t feel like no JoAnne, or no Negro, or no amerikan. I felt like an African woman. My mind, heart, and soul had gone back to Africa but my name was still stranded in Europe somewhere.”
Shakur joined the Black Liberation Army in the early 1970s, a group that justified the murder of police officers. Former FBI Assistant Director John Miller described Shakur as “the soul of the Black Liberation Army.”
Discover the Networks recounts:
At about 12:45 a.m. on the morning of May 2, 1973, the fugitive Shakur was being driven to a new hideout in Philadelphia by BPP (Black Panther Party) Information Minister Zayd Malik Shakur (Assata’s brother-in-law) and BLA member Sundiata Acoli, when their car was pulled over by state trooper Jaibes Harper for a tail-light violation on the New Jersey Turnpike. Fellow trooper Werner Foerster provided backup for Harper.
While the lawmen conducted routine questioning of the vehicle’s occupants, Shakur (who was in the front passenger’s seat) and her companions suddenly fired upon them with semi-automatic pistols. As Foerster grappled with the driver, Shakur shot the trooper twice before her gun apparently jammed. With Foerster on the ground wounded and helpless, Shakur grabbed the trooper’s own firearm and blasted two fatal shots into his head, execution-style.
Shakur was found guilty of first-degree murder plus seven more felonies; she was sentenced to life plus 33 years. She escaped from prison on November 2, 1979. New Jersey State Police Lieutenant Mike Rinaldi explained in 2013: “Armed domestic terrorists gained entry into the facility, neutralized the guards, broke her free, and turned her over to a nearby getaway team.” He added, “This case is just as important today as it was when it happened 40 years ago. Chesimard was a member of the Black Liberation Army, a radical left-wing terror group that felt justified killing law enforcement officers. … This group conducted assaults on police stations and murdered police officers.”
The College Fix notes, “In 2013, the FBI placed her on a list of most-wanted terrorists. The bureau and attorney general of New Jersey are offering a combined reward of up to $2 million for information leading to her arrest.”
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