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George Mason University’s DEI Ignorance — Or Antisemitism

As a George Mason University law student, I am appalled by my university’s legal ignorance and moral perversity.

Earlier this week, the X handle @StopAntisemitism posted a video of a George Mason student destroying a flyer showing pictures of kidnapped Israeli children. GMU responded on X with moral equivalence and legal and linguistic ineptitude by threatening to discipline the student who took that video. “Neither property destruction nor doxing,” it said, “are constitutionally protected speech. While we have been advised by the Commonwealth Attorney that the conduct does not appear to be criminal in nature, it does violate our student code of conduct and we will address it in accordance with our code.”

The second sentence of this poorly constructed statement cannot possibly refer to the property destruction, which is, of course, criminal in nature. It must refer to the recording and posting of that criminal act. Maybe administrators did not read their own code of conduct. Recording other students is only prohibited in places where the recorded student would have an expectation of privacy. It is expressly permitted for “recordings made for law enforcement purposes.” The code of conduct, therefore, could not be clearer that recording this student was permitted.

Posting that video is, of course, not doxxing. Doxxing is defined as the search for and publishing of private or identifying information about an individual. Recording and posting a public crime simply does not meet that definition. And, contra GMU administrators, it does fall squarely within the protection of the First Amendment. Reflecting on this statement, GMU law professor David Bernstein commented: “As a law professor at this university, I’m embarrassed. If the issue is filming the student in a public place, that’s not doxxing and it’s constitutionally protected. … If the university tries to penalize any university affiliate who took the video, it would be looking at a slam-dunk First (well, really 14th) Amendment lawsuit.”

Why, then, did GMU make this statement, which has now been seen by about one million people? It might be because of something more than staggering constitutional ignorance and professional incompetence on the part of university administrators. This incident occurred in an ideologically charged context. And GMU is uniquely beholden to DEI ideology. GMU has the most DEI administrators per capita of any university, public or private, as assessed by the Heritage Foundation.

As has been well documented, DEI administrators are, as a group, often quite antisemitic. “Woke” DEI ideology places Jews in the category of “oppressor” and demands that “oppressors” face harsher moral judgment for their actions than the “oppressed.” The expressed moral equivalence between committing a crime and recording a crime is actually entirely consistent with “woke” moral ideology. It’s little wonder, then, that university President Gregory Washington’s response to the terrorist attack on Israel and the mass student endorsements of that attack was so weak that Bernstein and sixteen other law school faculty sent him an email to object to it. Washington did not even acknowledge that he received that email. Some university presidents lead. Others follow their own woke herd.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) was elected on a mandate to lead on education. Yet on higher education, his track record to date has not been bold. He has the power to appoint trustees to public universities such as George Mason. Those trustees have the power to, among other things, defund DEI personnel and fire university presidents. Appointing board majorities takes time, so Youngkin can’t be faulted for the fact that, unlike in other red states, DEI remains fully funded in Virginia universities. But if it’s still standing by the end of his term, that would be entirely on him.

Youngkin appointees currently represent exactly half of George Mason’s 16 trustees. When they comprise the majority next year, their first priorities should be to take a hard look at the leadership record of Gregory Washington and to totally defund all DEI staff and activities. If they’re looking for somewhere to park the newly freed millions of dollars, might I humbly suggest the law school?

Aside from its meteoric ascent through the U.S. News rankings, it’s also quite clear that GMU administrators could use remedial courses in the Constitution.

Source:https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/restoring-america/courage-strength-optimism/george-mason-universitys-dei-ignorance-or-antisemitism#google_vignette