We previously reported how a Tufts University Committee on Student Life hearing condemned The Primary Source for “harassment and creating a hostile environment on campus through the publication of “Islam-Arabic Translation: Submission,” a commentary published in its April 11, 2007 edition that imitated the format of the MSA’s advertisement for events during Islamic Awareness Week.” The Primary Source and the Tufts Daily both allege that, during this hearing, Professor Barbara Grossman–a prominent Democratic Party donor–made remarks prejudicial to a fair hearing. She allegedly went so far as to compare the Primary Source’s criticism of affirmative action to “spray-painting a swastika on a synagogue.” Another CSL member stated that labeling Islam violent is unacceptable in any way, shape or form.
Daniel Halper’s Several Standards reports,
The CSL’s incentives to find the Source guilty of “harassment” and “creating a hostile environment” were extreme. The committee’s chair, Barbara Grossman (the wife of former Democratic National Committee chairman, Steve Grossman), has donated over $70,000 to democratic candidates in the last four years and was unable to contain her frequent, biased comments throughout the hearing. As expected, a week and a half after the five-and-a-half-hour hearing, the committee found the publication guilty of both charges.
On Monday evening at Tufts University, I attended a long, grueling show trial — the kind of show trial that doubtless will be repeated at campuses across the United States. This show trial was convened with the sole purpose of punishing The Primary Source, Tufts’ lone conservative periodical.
What was The Source’s sin? On December 6, 2006, The Source printed a tasteless parody carol entitled “O Come, All Ye Black Folk.” The carol was written from the perspective of an admissions officer, admitting students solely based on racially discriminatory stereotypes: “All come! Blacks, we need you, / Born into the ghetto. / O Jesus! We need you now to fill our racial quotas.” The point of the carol, the editors later said, was that affirmative action is inherently degrading to racial minorities. After the carol was misinterpreted, the editors repeatedly apologized for printing it.
In the April 11, 2007, issue, The Source printed a page entitled “Islam: Arabic Translation: Submission.” The page carried quotes from the Koran juxtaposed with facts about certain adherents of Islam — their involvement with terrorism, discrimination against women, and the slave trade, among others.
…So the CSL held a hearing to determine whether The Source ought to be punished. The show trial was closed to outside media; I was only present because members of The Primary Source editorial board asked if I would give a closing statement on their behalf.
…Barbara Grossman, the radical left chair of the CSL, compared printing the carol to spray-painting a swastika on a synagogue. Another CSL member stated that labeling Islam violent was unacceptable in any way, shape or form.
Unfortunately, the SOURCE had a difficult task in defending free speech, as the hearing was turned into a kangaroo court once again by CSL chair, Barbara Grossman. Grossman displayed complete disregard for fair judicial proceedings, allowing both complaining parties to drastically exceed their time limits and slander SOURCE staffers on dozens of occasions, while silencing the SOURCE in the middle of our questioning and comparing our actions to the “spray-painting a swastika on a synagogue.” It became apparent throughout the course of the hearing that certain members of CSL had already made up their minds to prioritize students’ hurt feelings over freedom of expression and meaningful intellectual diversity.
Had only The Primary Source (itself a party to the controversy and therefore hardly impartial) reported this, we might be inclined to question it. However, three different sources tell the same story, and the hearing’s outcome is consistent with these allegations. We did copy Professor Grossman (cc: The Primary Source) on the following on May 15, and have not yet been advised that there is another side to this story.
Professor Grossman, this is based only on The Primary Source’s side of the story regarding your alleged conduct at the hearing. I recognize that, in any controversy of this nature, there are often two sides to the story, and I acknowledge that you might well tell a different one.
Re: “comparing our actions to the “spray-painting a swastika on a synagogue,”” if Professor Grossman actually said this in the indicated context, then it sounds like the chair of what was supposed to be an impartial judiciary committee made biased statements prejudicial to the entire proceeding. While I am not an attorney and cannot give The Primary Source legal advice, it seems comparable to a judge calling the defendant a criminal before the jury has deliberated; an obvious mistrial or worse. This should therefore invalidate the committee’s proceeding and decision, again assuming that it happened as alleged.
“As a recent New York Post article reads, “Free speech [is] on trial” at Tufts University. Unfortunately, the SOURCE had a difficult task in defending free speech, as the hearing was turned into a kangaroo court once again by CSL chair, Barbara Grossman. Grossman displayed complete disregard for fair judicial proceedings, allowing both complaining parties to drastically exceed their time limits and slander SOURCE staffers on dozens of occasions, while silencing the SOURCE in the middle of our questioning and comparing our actions to the “spray-painting a swastika on a synagogue.” It became apparent throughout the course of the hearing that certain members of CSL had already made up their minds to prioritize students’ hurt feelings over freedom of expression and meaningful intellectual diversity.”
It is therefore reasonable to conclude that Barbara Grossman’s alleged conduct was prejudicial to a fair hearing, and should (if it happened as stated) invalidate the CSL’s decision against the Primary Source. We encourage The Primary Source to treat the CSL’s decision with the contempt it, and the CSL itself, deserve.
Meanwhile the Muslim Student Association should have lain low instead of giving us ideas like Militant Islamic Awareness Month:
And it is to the Committee on Student Life that we owe this idea. Per Wikipedia, the World Trade Center photos are public domain and therefore they can probably be copied and circulated without limitations. (We don’t know about the stoning and beheading.)
(Note: the people shown around the head are not the perpetrators; they appear to be Indonesian coroners or medical examiners who are examining the murder evidence.)