Conservative student is victim of 'Racist Rape Apologist' attack fliers
A conservative student at Cornell University (CU) has been publicly smeared after fliers claiming the student is a “Racist Rape Apologist” were distributed on campus according to The Cornell Review's Review Blog.
Julius Kairey, a senior at CU and the only conservative columnist for the university’s mainstream student newspaper The Cornell Daily Sun, is the target of the attack fliers which label him a “Racist Rape Apologist” directly under Kairey’s full name, picture, and Daily Sun affiliation.
“I think it was cowardly and I think it shows how liberal or leftist students can’t form coherent, well-reasoned arguments so they resolve to smear campaigns or personal attacks.”
The Cornell Review, a conservative/libertarian student newspaper, discovered the fliers the morning of September 19 and proceeded to collect the material, which was distributed throughout Cornell's central campus and student housing facilities.
According to The Cornell Review, Kairey’s work, primarily his bi-weekly column “Always Right,” was often censored by Daily Sun staff, so much so that The Review wrote a letter to the editor requesting they respect Kairey’s First Amendment right to free speech.
“It is extremely unfortunate to witness the pervasive censorial instincts of those confronted by opinions and arguments contrary to their own. Cornell’s motto is ‘Any person, any study.’ It is not ‘Certain people, certain studies,’” reads the letter.
Casey Breznick, the editor-in-chief of The Review, has observed the hostility Kairey faces from readers who disagree with his conservative stance.
“Almost every article that he writes[,] there has been a campus-wide call for his censorship, usually by saying, ‘oh he shouldn’t be on The Sun’s editorial staff,’ and some students say he should be kicked out of Cornell,” Breznick told Campus Reform.
Deon Thomas is the first Daily Sun writer to publish a piece in response to the incident, posted this afternoon, where he shames the perpetrators of the incident.
“You are not adding to the conversation; you are not creating effective change; you are, however, refusing to respect a fellow student, which, in fact, is exactly what you seem to be accusing him of doing in the first place,” wrote Thomas in his opinion article, “ The Art of Constructive Criticism.”
The Review publicized its own investigation of the incident and writes that it “is currently in contact with several of Cornell’s administrative offices gathering information about the university’s response to this act and whether it qualifies as libel and/or personal harassment.”
“I think it was cowardly and I think it shows how liberal or leftist students can’t form coherent, well-reasoned arguments so they resolve to smear campaigns or personal attacks,” Breznick told Campus Reform. “I have never actually seen anything remotely like this.”
Breznick also told Campus Reform that students often post Facebook status bashing Kairey, with comments similar to those posted on the flier.
Kathy Zoner, the Chief of CU Police, told Campus Reform that the department was not familiar with the situation, but did make clear that a formal investigation could not take place until Kairey filed a personal complaint. Zoner said that the perpetrator’s right to free speech would be considered.
“Most of what you just spoke of are all centered in people’s free speech, people’s constitutional right,” Zoner told Campus Reform. “If someone were threatening someone, if they were trying to incite others to take action, that would be something we would be concerned about.”
CU and Kairey did not respond to Campus Reform in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @MaggieLitCRO