Purdue’s president takes aim at the left

The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) expresses its utmost solidarity with our comrade and colleague, Bill Mullen, a member of the Organizing Collective of USACBI, in the face of these false and malicious attacks by Mitch Daniels. This attack is yet another chapter in the ongoing right-wing, Zionist and corporate attacks on progressive, anti-racist and critical scholarship and activism on campus.


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REPORT: ELIZABETH SCHULTE
October 12, 2017
…WHILE DANIELS focuses on attacking the campus left, the far right is trying to sink roots at Purdue. Two weeks after Trump’s election, the neo-Nazi American Vanguard put up posters, which included Third Reich iconography, on campus.

“Daniels said it was ‘not clear’ what the posters meant,” said Mullen. “After public outrage at his remarks, he again said he wouldn’t give the Vanguard unwanted attention by acting on them.”

Since then, there have been five more incidents of white supremacist or white nationalist fliers on campus. Two weeks ago, tables in the Purdue University’s Honors College and Residences were found arranged in the shape of a swastika. The meaning of this should be clear, even to Daniels.

While Daniels condemns left-wing activists as “racists,” he does all he can to make sure conservative ideas get a wider audience. “This is the first time he’s attacked me personally,” Mullen said, “but what he’s done is create a hostile environment on campus for progressive thought, minority students and left political dissent.”

Since taking over as university president, Daniels has adopted the “freedom of expression” policy developed by the University of Chicago, which he uses “to expand space for conservative thought and speech…[and] as a cover to diminish and restrict progressive speech,” said Mullen.

For example, Chief Diversity Officer Christina Taylor was fired not long after she helped organize campus talks by Angela Davis and Cornel West. Yet Daniels hosts the most visible lecture series on campus, stacked with white male conservatives such as George Will, Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State George Schultz, and Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance.

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