Faculty urge Dartmouth to retract condemnation of Antifa prof
- A group of Dartmouth College professors is urging the school’s president to retract a statement condemning Professor Mark Bray’s defense of violent Antifa tactics.
- Bray had asserted on national television that Antifa's use of violence is a "legitimate response," but the professors insist that outlets like Campus Reform "intentionally, and predictably, distorted" his meaning.
A group of Dartmouth College professors is urging the school’s president to retract a statement condemning Professor Mark Bray’s defense of violent Antifa tactics.
As Campus Reform previously reported, Bray appeared on Meet the Press where he argued that Antifa’s use of violence is a “legitimate response” to white supremacist organizations.
The elite college subsequently released a statement in which it condemned Bray’s remarks, saying that comments “supporting violent protests do not represent the views of Dartmouth.”
“As an institution, we condemn anything but civil discourse in the exchange of opinions and ideas,” the statement added.
Now, a group of 17 professors is calling on the school’s president to revoke his condemnation of Bray, praising Bray’s scholarly work in a letter obtained by Campus Reform.
“Since the violent neo-Nazi attack in Charlottesville, we have watched with gratitude as our junior colleague Mark Bray, on the strength of his historical scholarship, has become the national expert on a subject that is suddenly, terribly urgent: the twentieth-century history of fascism and anti-fascism, in Europe and, more recently, the United States,” the letter states, calling Bray’s accomplishments the kind of “scholarship that is celebrated in most situations.”
The letter goes on to bemoan the fact that “instead, in this case, Professor Bray has been disavowed by Dartmouth at the request of a right-wing organization, Campus Reform, whose goal is to ‘smash left-wing scum’ and which offers bounty prizes to students who will turn in professors’ names for a campaign of harassment.”
To support such claims, however, the letter links to a nearly decade-old Think Progress article on the launch of Campus Reform as a social networking site for conservatives, and as such not a single link back to the previous version of the site is active.
Nonetheless, the letter then smears Campus Reform reporter and former editor-in-chief of the Dartmouth Review Sandor Farkas, saying he “intentionally, and predictably, distorted” Bray’s comments.
“The tone and content of Dartmouth’s statement takes at face value the distortions presented as truth by Farkas, Breitbart, and Daily Caller reporters, as though they were somehow more credible sources than Professor Bray himself—had anyone contacted him—or the transcripts and published pieces widely available for the College’s representatives to check for themselves,” the professors continue, apparently unaware of Campus Reform’s efforts to contact Bray directly.
Finally, the professors call on Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon to retract the school’s condemnation of Bray and even extend an apology.
“We urge you to consider the lasting damage to Dartmouth’s reputation that follows from such actions as well as the personal danger in which Professor Bray now finds himself,” the letter concludes. “We request that Dartmouth remove the statement on Professor Bray; apologize to him for exposing him to entirely predictable possibility of physical harm; and a [sic] initiate a review of peer-institution norms and recommended procedures on how to react when such a situation arises again—as it most certainly will.”
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