Still-employed prof says Wake Forest 'threw me to the wolves' after defending Hamas music festival massacre
'....I could be tempted to shoot up your dance party yeah even knowing you will scorch the earth.'
This article was originally published by The Wake Report.
Professor Laura Mullen, Kenan Chair of the Humanities, English & Creative Writing at Wake Forest University, took to X to write, “So it’s kind of a Duh but if you turn me out of my house plow my olive groves under and confine what’s left of my family to the small impoverished state you run as an open air prison I could be tempted to shoot up your dance party yeah even knowing you will scorch the earth.”
Mullen said the tweet was “raw, direct, [and] poetic, in that it involved imagery.”
The tweet received over 25,000 views and sparked outrage within and beyond the Wake Forest community. Mullen reportedly received two angry letters directly from parents calling for her to be fired, but was aware of many more that had made their way to upper administration.
Although the university stood by Mullen’s comments as an expression of free speech and did not relieve her from her position, Mullen is deeply unhappy with the way she was treated by the administration.
Mullen told The Report that “[the University statement] is like if you watch animal films and you isolate one gazelle, that’s the one that gets eaten. They kind of threw me to the wolves.”
After a week of backlash from those in the Wake community and online, she took down the tweet.
“I took the tweet down [because] the administration had said that my tweet may be making things harder on the Muslim population,” said Mullen.
Despite all the backlash, some students sent Mullen emails offering support: notably, one student left an anonymous handwritten note at her office. Mullen said that a mother of a Muslim student told her “we will give you any support you need.”
“I don’t have any students coming to me and saying, hey, you increased my fear and anxiety,” said Mullen.
Junior Andrew Orfaly, Wake Forest Hillel’s Religion and Education Chair, stated in response to Mullen’s comments that “as a result of all of the hatred outside of Israel and Gaza, my parents sat my siblings and I down and told us to tuck our Star of David and Mezuzah chains into our shirts.”
“I cannot help but fear for my life at school, an alleged ‘safe space,’” said Orfaly.
Samantha Perrotta, Chief of Staff in the Office of the Provost, said that “while we are not aware of any threats to physical safety on campus, we are aware that some students, particularly Jewish and Muslim students, are feeling that their psychological safety has been threatened.”