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Assemblyman Alex Sauickie Condemns Hate Speech at CUNY Commencement

Assemblyman Alex Sauickie is condemning a City University of New York (CUNY) law school graduate’s hate-filled remarks during a May commencement ceremony and supports calls to withdraw public funds from the institution.

“There’s a big difference between an individual expressing bigoted views that should be condemned, and endorsement of those views by a state-sponsored institution,” Sauickie (R-Ocean) said. “If any state-funded New Jersey school condoned this kind of disgusting hate speech or any kind of hate speech targeting any group, as a legislator I’d be the first to call for defunding it. This kind of intolerance and demonization has no place in our public discourse.”

During the graduate’s speech, she claimed, “Israel continues to indiscriminately rain bullets and bombs on worshipers, murdering the old, the young, attacking even funerals and graveyards.”

“These and other anti-Jewish and anti-Israel tropes constitute clear hate speech, and must be called out and condemned,” Sauickie said. “Even the school’s board of trustees admitted this, after an 18-day delay.”

Sauickie noted that this is not an isolated incident. SAFE CUNY, a group advocating for Jewish people in the CUNY system, also called out “last year’s hate spewed” by another student commencement speaker chosen by the student government association. That person was named “Antisemite of the Year” by the NGO StopAntisemitism.

“Back-to-back antisemitic commencement speeches warrant an immediate response and assurance that it will never happen again,” he added.

Sauickie also took umbrage at this year’s remarks characterizing the New York Police Department as “fascist” and denigrating the U.S. military.

“As violent crime is on the rise and threats from foreign adversaries increase, fewer people are willing to serve as police or in the military,” Sauickie said. “We should be grateful for those who serve to keep us safe, not bash them with unfounded and far-out name-calling. While I believe these contrary views are from a very small minority, when they are given a platform to project their lies, those of us who value the people who protect us must stand up and speak up – which is exactly what I am doing.”