In a stealth campaign to circumvent campus censors and reach students directly, the David Horowitz Freedom Center distributed 2,500 newspapers across the Georgetown University campus containing its new report naming the “Top Ten Campus Hate Groups in America.” The Black Law Student Association at Georgetown is listed as #1 on the list.
The report exposes and ranks ten campus organizations that have become vehicles of resentment and hatred directed at our nation, at Jewish students and supporters of Israel, and at the founding principles that are supposed to buttress the universities themselves—open discourse and academic freedom.
The Black Law Student Association (BLSA) at Georgetown University may seem an unusual candidate for a list of campus hate groups, but the association has repeatedly promoted racism and racial preferences for African-Americans and attempts to shut down all discourse that deviates from these positions. The group has also deliberately suppressed free speech and open discussion on campus and has attempted to ruin the careers of several faculty members over comments that signified their opposition to racism.
In January 2022, law professor Ilya Shapiro, who had just been hired as a senior lecturer and to head Georgetown’s Center for the Constitution, was placed on administrative leave after he tweeted his opposition to Biden’s pledge to select an African-American woman to serve as the next justice on the Supreme Court. Shapiro believed that Sri Srinivasan would be Biden’s “best pick” for the Court but noted that “alas [Srinivasan] doesn’t fit into latest intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get [a] lesser black woman.”
Shapiro quickly apologized for the somewhat inelegant wording of his post and his use of the term “lesser black woman,” and clarified that he simply meant that Biden should not let racial preferences guide his decisions on Supreme Court nominees and should pick the best candidate regardless of race. But to the BLSA, his promotion of meritocracy at the highest level of the American judiciary was apparently a racist thoughtcrime. The Black Law Student Association released a lengthy statement calling on the administration “to demand the revocation of [Shapiro’s] employment contract and to condemn his racist tweets.”
The BLSA statement also made further outrageous and racist demands including “committing to a thorough hiring process that considers incoming faculty and staff’s cultural competency” and “reserving a seat for a BLSA representative on every Faculty Appointment Student-Faculty Committee and requiring inclusion of Black students in the hiring for all faculty and staff.”
Instead of defending Shapiro’s academic freedom, Georgetown Law Dean William Treanor joined the pile-on, condemning Shapiro’s tweet as “appalling” and placing the new hire on administrative leave before he was able to teach a single class. The university initiated a four month investigation to determine whether Shapiro had violated Georgetown’s diversity and inclusion policies, during which time the professor was entirely sidelined at his new job,
Georgetown reluctantly reinstated Shapiro after the end of the school year and acknowledged that he did not violate Georgetown’s absurdly restrictive free speech policies—not because his comments about Biden’s Supreme Court nominee constituted legitimate political discourse, but only because he was not yet an official employee of Georgetown at the time of his tweets.
The Black Law Student Association chose this occasion to make additional demands. In a public statement to the administration of the law school, BLSA wrote “to express our outrage, offense, and disheartenment over the Law Center’s decision to keep Ilya Shapiro on University staff” and claiming that “The University’s decision reinforces that there are no repercussions for demeaning Black women.” The BLSA demanded that the University immediately terminate Shapiro for his “committed transgressions against Black Women” and further demanded that all faculty and staff “attend implicit bias training that centers around historically oppressed groups”—that is, reeducation in progressive groupthink.
The BLSA’s statement went on to claim that “Georgetown’s decision to hire Shapiro is not only wrong, but it puts Black students in harm’s way by fostering a community that allows racism to be accepted as conservative.” This statement is exactly the opposite of the truth. Shapiro was criticizing Biden’s racist decision-making and his pre-determination that the next Supreme Court nominee would be a black woman. It is the BLSA that actively promoted and exercised racism by attempting to fire a law professor for daring to ask that nominees be chosen solely on their professional merits as legal scholars, without consideration of skin color or racial heritage. This racist agenda (disguised as “anti-racism”) along with a total disregard of the facts and an abject hostility to free expression and dissenting views is why the BLSA deserves to be known as a hate group.
Nor was Shapiro’s persecution the only instance of the BLSA’s brutal repression of free expression and commitment to racial prejudices. In a separate controversy occurring in March of 2021, when many classes were still taking place over Zoom, two colleagues, Georgetown Law professors Sandra Sellers and David Batson, were accidentally recorded commiserating on a Zoom call over their experiences grading students.
“You know what? I hate to say this, I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks,” Sellers commented to Batson. “Happens almost every semester and it’s like ‘oh come on.’”
Sellers added, “I get some really good ones but there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom, it drives me crazy… so I feel bad.”
The video shows Batson nodding his head, possibly indicating agreement, but remaining silent while listening to his colleague.
It was evident from the context that Sellers’ comments were the opposite of racist. She expressed her dismay that when assigning grades meritocratically, her African-American students, on average, earned lower grades than those of other races. This is a statement of fact, not evidence of discrimination. Moreover, she was expressing her discomfort at the unfortunate fact that her African-American students are more likely to end up at the bottom of the grading curve. But neither Georgetown nor the Black Law Student Association cared that her comments came from her genuine desire for students of all races to succeed.
The BLSA released a statement which called on the university to fire Sellers without due process. “We demand nothing short of the immediate termination of Sandra Sellers as adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center,” the BLSA exhorted. “Not suspension. Not an investigation. The University must take swift and definitive action in the face of blatant and shameless racism.”
Georgetown Law School Dean Bill Treanor immediately acquiesced to the mob and fired Sellers. For the apparent thought crime of possibly agreeing with Sellers, Professor Batson was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, and later resigned.
The BLSA statement also twisted and deliberately obscured the intention of Sellers’ comments.
“These racist statements reveal not only Sellers’ beliefs about Black students in her classes, but also how her racist thoughts have translated to racist actions,” the BLSA wrote. “Professor Sellers’ bias has impacted the grades of Black students in her classes historically, in her own words.”
According to the skewed logic of the BLSA, merely recognizing that African-Americans have historically not performed as well in a law school class, is tantamount to racism and indicates that racism must be at work. No matter how factually accurate the statement may be or the many reasons, including the now-banned use of racial preferences in admissions, why it may be true.
For its promotion of racism and deliberate attempts to censor free expression and tank the careers of those who deviate from DEI orthodoxy, the Black Student Law Association deserves to be recognized as a Campus Hate Group..
“We call on the universities implicated in this report to investigate and defund these campus hate groups,” said Freedom Center Founder David Horowitz. “If they should fail to do so, we urge Congress to withhold all federal funding until they eliminate this cancer in their midst.”
Read the full report on the Top Ten Campus Hate Groups in America HERE and view additional pictures of the Freedom Center’s newspaper campaign below.