A group of conservative students at Stanford University want professor David Palumbo-Liu to resign or be reprimanded for co-founding a club called the Campus Anti-Fascist Network, Fox News reported.
“Antifa’s violence and thuggery is antithetical to the purpose of a university as an institution dedicated to the free exchange of ideas,” the conservative students wrote in a statement reported by Fox News. “We call on the administration to reprimand Palumbo-Liu and for him to resign immediately.”
A collection of groups using the "Antifa" name were recently associated with several violent incidents during protests and marches.
The College Republicans told Fox News that if Palumbo-Liu continues to lead the anti-fascist group, he should not allowed to teach at Stanford:
Prof. Palumbo-Liu should either disavow the organization he founded due to its apparent domestic terrorist ties or resign. We believe in the institution of tenure and that the university thus is bound not to force him out, but we call on him to do the right thing by either disavowing his domestic terrorist affiliate or resigning.
Students have also criticized Palumbo-Liu, a comparative literature teacher, for his reportedly anti-Israel rhetoric and alleged promotion of anti-Semitic websites in a column he writes, Fox News reported.
Palumbo-Liu was also categorized as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump. He was previously given the title, “Stanford’s Most Radical Professor,” by the Stanford Review, a libertarian student newspaper.
The professor told Fox News he would not comment on the controversy and has no plans to resign.
How did Palumbo-Liu defend his club?
In an opinion piece published by the Stanford Review, Palumbo-Liu stated that the publication's reporting on club the was “sensational” and “yellow journalism.”
In the piece, Palumbo-Liu said he named his group the Campus Anti-Fascist Network to “claim an alliance with the anti-fascists who fought Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and other fascist leaders” and to reflect opposition to certain speakers that use campus groups to get invitations to speak on campus:
One of our basic premises is that many, if not all, of the speakers whose ideologies are aligned with the alt-right — including the ideologies of white supremacy, hetero-normalcy, misogyny, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry — are using campus groups to invite them to speak at their universities not to debate, test, advance knowledge, which is the purpose of education, but to have the legitimacy — and in the case of institutions such as Stanford, Berkeley, Middlebury and others, the luster of these institutions — rub off on them.
How did the student paper respond?
In a counter editorial, the Stanford Review wrote that Palumbo-Liu should have picked a different name if he did not want the club to sound like it is affiliated with Antifa.
Let’s remember the facts here. A professor founds a campus group with a name almost identical to a national movement that has been classified by the government as a domestic terrorist organization and identified by most Americans as a group of club-wielding thugs. He defends himself by claiming that his organization has a slightly different name. He fails to roundly condemn the domestic terrorism Antifa members have perpetrated against peaceful citizens. And yet, he is angry at us for pointing out that his actions could be misconstrued as reflecting a preference for violent protest over the peaceful dissent and debate that Stanford stands for.