Clemson profs go on hunger strike against executive order
Clemson University professors Chenjerai Kumanyika and Todd May announced a week-long hunger strike Friday to protest President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration.
Beginning Monday at Sikes Hall, The Fast Against Silence aims to pressure the Clemson University administration into publicly denouncing the order.
“By fasting Professors Kumanyika and May would like also to express solidarity with those, for instance in Syria, who will be forced to go hungry because they will not be accepted as refugees into the United States,” Kumanyika explained in a press release on Facebook.
Criticizing the response to KKK flyers being left on campus in October, he charged Clemson President Clements’ statement with being “behind the curve,” compared to statements from other public universities.
Echoing Kumanyika’s statements, May insisted that by not condemning the order, “Clemson is actively assisting in the creation of alternatives that further normalize the ban,” asserting that failing to speak out forcefully against Trump’s executive order “is the very definition of cowardice.”
Professor Kumanyika is no stranger to controversy. Early last year, he was escorted from a Trump campaign rally early last year for impeding the crowd’s view while wearing an Islamic headdress, despite being a non-Muslim. He also occupies a spot on the infamous Professor Watchlist and was intimately involved in the nine day Clemson “Sikes Sit-In” last April.
Clemson Football coach Dabo Swinney, whose team recently won the National Championship, is routinely the subject of Kumanyika’s ire. In an open letter, Kumanyika described Swinney as, “a white man who makes somewhere in the area of $5 million a year from the physical labor and bodily risk of unpaid black athletes.”
In a similar vein of activism, Professor May recently advocated for a boycott of the Wendy’s fast food chain in the Clemson campus newspaper. He also advises the Clemson chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (CSDS), a leftist political organization on campus that had threatened to disrupt and cancel provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos’ visit to Clemson in October, and the president of which even went so far as to advocate for Yiannopoulos’ death via Twitter.
Reportedly, Kumanyika was involved with CSDS’ protest plans, but the organization ultimately failed to act on them.
A Seattle District Court Judge ground President Trump’s executive order to a halt hours after Kumanyika and May’s announcement, but the Justice Department announced plans to challenge the ruling. It remains to be seen whether or not this will affect the hunger strike as planned.
“There will be a sign-up sheet for sympathy fasters at Sikes,” Kumanyika and May inform any supporters who wish to join them.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @RobertMGunter