Mitch Daniels calls Antifa prof an 'embarrassment' to Purdue

  • Purdue University President Mitch Daniels issued a scathing rebuke of a professor who co-founded the "Campus Antifascist Network" after the prof called for an investigation into white supremacist flyers found on campus.
  • In a strongly-worded statement, Daniels reminded the professor that nobody has benefited more from Purdue's free speech policies, noting that he has fielded numerous messages from people who find Mullen's ideas "abhorrent and unacceptable."

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels is blasting the founder of the “Campus Antifascist Network” amid calls to investigate weather students posted white supremacist fliers.

According to the Journal and Courier, Daniels dismissed the request of the network founder and Purdue professor Bill Mullen, who has been pressuring the school to punish those responsible for posting neo-Nazi recruitment material on campus last month.

"I have spent considerable time replying to...citizens who find your various pronouncements abhorrent."   

[RELATED: Profs solicit support for 'Campus Antifascist Network']

In his comments to Mullen, Daniels underscored the importance of the school’s free speech code, reminding the professor that “no member of the Purdue community has benefited more from this policy than you have,” given the provocative nature of Mullen’s extracurricular activities.

“In recent days I have spent considerable time replying to multiple messages from citizens who find your various pronouncements abhorrent and unacceptable, and demand that you be sanctioned or expelled from the university entirely,” Daniels wrote.

“In particular, your defense of the so-called ‘Antifa’ organization, a group that has not only advocated but practiced violence, gave deep offense and embarrassment to many,” he continued. “In the past, I have had to defend your right to speech that was widely interpreted as racist, in the form of that oldest of bigotries, anti-Semitism. On each occasion, I have given the simple answer I am giving to you.”

[RELATED: Purdue prez accused of 'silence' after condemning flyers...twice]

According to the report, the university originally maintained that there is “zero evidence” to suggest that the Purdue community posted fliers for Identity Evropa, a white supremacist organization that reportedly helped organize the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.

“A link to the trustee-approved Purdue University Commitment to Freedom of Expression is below, and I encourage you to review the statement in its entirety,” Daniels continued in his statement to Mullen. “Briefly put, we may condemn but we don’t silence individuals in the university community, regardless how offensive or preposterous their remarks or writings may be.”

[RELATED: VIDEO: Antifa, students shut down College Republicans event]

“In an honest moment you know that Purdue is a community deeply committed to tolerance and inclusion,” Daniels said in closing. “Our students will be very fortunate to reside again in a place more protective of those values.”

Mullen told the publication that he thought it was “unfortunate” that the letter focused on him, stressing that his antifascist organization is not formally affiliated with Antifa.

Ignoring his previous refusal to condemn Antifa’s proclivity toward vandalism and violence, Mullen declared that “the conversation right now, on this campus and nationally, should be about people who feel harassed, intimidated, bullied, and threatened by episodes of white supremacy, seven of those on our own campus in the last year.”

Daniels did not immediately respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.

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Nikita Vladimirov
Nikita Vladimirov | Correspondents Editor

Nikita Vladimirov is a Correspondents Editor for Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he wrote for The Hill, where he extensively covered the latest political developments in U.S. and around the world. A 2016 national finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists' "Mark of Excellence Award," Nikita now resides in Washington D.C. and contributes to the Washington Examiner. His work has appeared on the front pages of The Drudge Report and The Hill, and has been featured by leading media organizations including Fox News, MSN, Real Clear Defense and many others.

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