By David Palumbo-Lui, From The Guardian |
I am used to receiving abusive messages and being publicly maligned. Now, however, attacks on me have reached troubling new heights
Today anyone can be accused of anything, without basis in fact or evidence, and that accusation can be instantly trumpeted over the airwaves unchecked by any journalistic standard. That is the painful lesson I have had to learn this year.
As a scholar-activist working on issues such as sexual assault, Palestine, and anti-fascism, I am used to receiving abusive messages and being publicly maligned. Now, however, attacks on me have reached troubling new heights.
Last month, the Stanford Review, a rightwing publication co-founded by Peter Thiel and based on my university campus, wrote that I have helped set up an “organization [that is] undeniably a chapter of a terrorist group” and demanded my resignation. Their article was picked up by groups like JihadWatch, Campus Fix, Campus Reform, Fox & Friends, and other rightwing media outlets.
The organization I belong to is called the Campus Antifascist Network. We advocate for organized resistance to fascist violence on campus, and for educating our communities and others as to the nature of fascism today. We claim solidarity with a proud tradition of anti-fascism dating back to the early 20th century.
The group was founded shortly after the election of Donald Trump, and responded to the steady rise of a well-funded rightwing campaign on college campuses. We do not – and never would – advocate – for initiating violence.
The attack on me is part of a broader phenomenon noted by the American Association of University Professors, which claims that college campuses are the new battleground for conservative groups, far-right organizations and white supremacists. These groups are all trying to intimidate faculty and students, to recruit members, and to attract publicity. Not just careers and reputations are on the line – often personal safety is as well.
Today, we are seeing the resurgence of a wretched phenomenon we thought we had put behind us – McCarthyism, which involves “the use of tactics involving personal attacks on individuals by means of widely publicized indiscriminate allegations especially on the basis of unsubstantiated charges”.
Read the entire article at The Guardian