February 26, 2015
CONTACT: David Seidemann, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cop Beaters, Convicts, and CUNY: a University with a Radical Problem
The City University of New York (CUNY) has a problem: three of the six people charged in beating of policemen on the Brooklyn Bridge were teachers at CUNY (Eric Linsker, Cindy Gorn, and Jarrod Shanahan).[i]
Unfortunately, CUNY seems to have a soft spot for violent radicalism – and punching police is mild in comparison to the activities of past CUNY teachers
- After having served 16 years for explosives possession, Susan Rosenberg, former member of the Weather Underground, was hired as an adjunct professor at CUNY’s John Jay College. Rosenberg was also a suspect in the Brinks robbery that killed two policemen and a security guard. After four semesters, CUNY did not renew her contract following lobbying by both the New York City and Rockland County chapters of the Police Emerald Society.[ii] That did not stop John Jay College from holding “a celebration of Susan Rosenberg” in 2011.[iii]
- Mohamed Yousry, an adjunct lecturer at CUNY’s York College, was convicted in 2005 of providing material aid to terrorism.[iv]
Over the years, major CUNY faculty groups have expressed support for radicals of this sort:
- In 2002, the CUNY faculty union contributed to a defense fund for Sami Al-Arian, who later pleaded guilty to contributing services to a terrorist organization. In 2000, the same union contributed $5000 to a committee dedicated to freeing Lori Berenson,[v] an American who was convicted in Peru on terrorism charges.[vi]
- In 2004, the Chair of the CUNY Faculty Senate published a letter in support of rehiring Susan Rosenberg, the convicted former member of the Weather Underground.[vii] Similarly, three days after Mohamed Yousry was sentenced on terrorism charges, the Senate Chair speculated that he might be looking for work as a teaching adjunct.[viii]
- In 2007, the CUNY faculty union passed a resolution calling for “freedom now for Mumia Abu-Jamal,” [ix] who was convicted in1982 for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer. Note that the union calls for the immediate freedom of Abu-Jamal, not a retrial, betraying its bias against evidence based decisions .
And with an educational incubator like CUNY’s, it’s not surprising how some students respond:
- Farrooque Ahmed, who graduated from CUNY’s College of Staten Island in 2003, was sentenced in 2011 to 23 years in prison for his role in planning bombings in Washington D.C.[x]
- Syed Hashmi, a 2003 graduate of CUNY’s Brooklyn College, was sentenced in 2010 to 15 years for attempting to supply military gear to Al Qaeda.[xi]
The world-view of those who teach at a university counts. There is a pattern of support for radical causes among CUNY faculty.
Parents, tuition payers, and the tax paying public should think twice about choosing CUNY.
[i] Eric Linsker: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/12/14/1010-wins-suspect-charged-with-assaulting-2-cops-during-brooklyn-bridge-protest/ Cindy Gorn: http://www.hunteruap.org/faculty/affiliated/ http://www.hunteruap.org/about/ Eric Shanahan: http://www.newsday.com/news/new-york/brooklyn-teaching-assistant-arraigned-on-brooklyn-bridge-brawl-charges-1.9768985 http://www.newsday.com/news/new-york/brooklyn-teaching-assistant-arraigned-on-brooklyn-bridge-brawl-charges-1.9768985