And while many civil libertarians have lauded their actions, Alan Dershowitz, a prominent Harvard Law professor, has ripped into these students for what he argues are hypocritical demands.
“The last thing these students want is diversity,” Dershowitz told Business Insider.
“They may want superficial diversity, because for them diversity is a code word for ‘more of us.’ They don’t want more conservatives, they don’t want more white students, they don’t want more heterosexuals.”
Dershowitz, a leading proponent of civil liberties, is commenting on what he calls a dangerous trend of “tyrannical students” on college campuses.
At a number of schools — including The University of Missouri and Yale University — students have protested racism on campus and called for the resignation of administration members who they claim are creating a dangerous environment. And at Amherst College, students have threatened to respond in a “radical manner” if their demands are not met.
At Mizzou, Tim Wolfe stepped down as president following months of tension on campus. Students there have now demanded a more inclusive campus and to see black faculty grow to 15% within 10 years.
But Dershowitz counters that students don’t want actual diversity on campus.
“I think the most important thing to point out is the double standard and the hypocrisy,” Dershowitz said. “These are students who want safe spaces for themselves but not for others. They’re prepared to spit on people going out of lectures.”
Dershowitz is referring an incident after a free-speech conference at Yale earlier this month, where several attendees were spat on and called racists, people who went to the conference told Yale Daily News. One minority student who attended the conference told the YDN he was called a traitor.
Further, Dershowitz, who’s Jewish, argues that he has been the victim of anti-Semitism and hateful language on campus by the very students who intend to remove all harmful language from campus.
When he spoke at the City College of New York (CUNY) he was met with shouts of “Zionists out of CUNY,” he said. At Johns Hopkins, he said, posters showing his face were defaced with Hitler mustaches. When he attends lectures or gives speeches on campus, Dershowitz says, he needs police officers to escort him around campus for his own safety.
“These students don’t want me to be safe,” he said. “They don’t students who agree with me to be safe. They just want their ideas to be safe and protected from any contrary point of view.”
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