OpinionSchools & Higher Education

How to fight racism, antisemitism and BDS at CUNY law school

Law firms around the country should publicly declare that they will not hire graduates from CUNY unless and until it changes its anti-American curriculum, and ends its support for racism and anti-Semitism.

Home page of City University of New York website, 2018, Credit: Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock.
Home page of City University of New York website, 2018, Credit: Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock.
Eric Levine
Eric Levine
Eric R. Levine is a founding member of the New York City law firm Eiseman, Levine, Lehrhaupt & Kakoyiannis, P.C. He is an essayist, political commentator and fundraiser for Republican candidates with an emphasis on the U.S. Senate.

Fatima Mohammed, this year’s student-elected Commencement speaker at the City University of New York Law School, spoke the truth about what the social justice movement is really about. Her 12-minute speech highlighted that at its core, the movement is racist and anti-Semitic. Moreover, it exists to “transform” American society by replacing our great American democracy and its blessings of freedom with an authoritarian police state. For that epiphany, she was rewarded with a standing ovation from the CUNY law students, faculty and administrators. The speech and reception were repugnant.

As a law-school graduate, one might think that Mohammed would have a love of and appreciation for the rule of law and its essential role in a free and open society. One would be wrong. According to her, the rule of law “is a manifestation of white supremacy” and has been used to “build an unjust empire.” The law, according to her, is an obstacle to social justice. Thankfully, it is. Indeed, social justice requires reverse discrimination and bigotry prohibited by the U.S. Constitution and the laws of all 50 states.

Mohammed has a special place in her heart for anti-Semitism. She proudly notes that the students and faculty at the CUNY School of Law overwhelmingly voted to support the BDS movement against Israel. BDS is a well-known anti-Semitic movement premised on the narrative that Israel has no right to exist and that the Jews are the only nation on earth not entitled to a state of their own. She ignores and rewrites history, and presents it as fact. Only the most ignorant, intellectually limited or malevolent among us could possibly accept anything she says as true. However, for each hateful lie she told, she was rewarded with a resounding round of applause by the audience.

This from a woman whose family emigrated from Yemen, the site of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Rather than embrace the freedoms and opportunities her American home affords her, she chose to wax eloquent about how her parents in Eden, Yemen, were setting off fireworks, and celebrating her and her classmates’ achievements. If only America were more like Yemen—the land of celebration and fireworks—our country would be the better for it.

To be clear, there are no human rights in Yemen. Rather, there is a civil war currently raging between the Houthis—an Iran-backed terrorist organization—and the internationally recognized Yemeni government supported by Saudi Arabia. Regardless of which side wins that struggle, human rights and the rule of law will continue to have a very low priority. Apparently, for Mohammed and the social-justice activists at the CUNY law school, a war-torn human-rights hellhole like Yemen is their American dream. Once again, these statements received feverish adulation from the CUNY crowd.

American institutions such as the law-enforcement community were not immune from assault. Even New York City Mayor Eric Adams was a target for holding the radical beliefs that crime is bad and entrepreneurship is good. Not surprisingly, those full-throated attacks were well-received by the audience of true believers.

Most frightening and informative, however, was her policy prescription for how to achieve her goal of social justice: “By any means necessary.” That includes violence, undermining the rule of law and destroying our country’s institutions, just to name a few. Her declarations sound more like Angela Davis circa 1965 than Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Davis—a pioneer in the social justice movement and now a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz—is an avowed Communist devoted to the violent overthrow of the U.S. government, and who believes America is a systemically racist and evil society.

In contrast, Justice Ginsburg was a liberal dedicated to the American vision of equal justice and a patriot who believed America, while flawed, was inherently good. While Davis’s violent ideology was once viewed as extreme and dangerous, it is fast replacing the Ginsburg vision and is being mainstreamed throughout America in large part thanks to incubators of hate like the CUNY law school.

Mohammed’s speech should be a wake-up call to the management committees of law firms across the country, boardrooms of Corporate America, parents of schoolchildren and members of the clergy—in particular, rabbis in the Reform and Conservative movements—who have little or no idea what social justice is actually about. Many have chosen to redefine it in a way that filters out its true meaning and allows them to assuage their collective consciences. They have blithely agreed to impose fatuous Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training on their employees, students and congregants with the goal of “educating” them about the “injustices” in American society. Of course, the training is diverse in every way but thought; equitable in a way that discriminates against whites, Jews, Asians, men and other “oppressors”; and inclusive only for those who agree with its indoctrination.

Many business, religious, governmental and community leaders have concluded that even if they do not ideologically support the social justice movement or DEI indoctrination, they must virtue signal to attract new workers, clients and congregants. Whether this is motivated by their belief in the “cause” as they understand it or the cynical view that it is good for business, they are succeeding only in undermining the very freedoms, opportunities and institutions they profess to love. True social-justice warriors like Mohammed exploit these feelings of angst, guilt and greed by claiming their movement of hate and authoritarianism has broad support in American society when, in fact, if these same “leaders” are simply intellectually lazy and/or too constitutionally weak to push back.

Truth be told, Mohammed’s speech should come as a surprise to no one. After all the Mission Statement of the CUNY School of Law declares:

CUNY School of Law is the nation’s #1 public interest law school; its dual mission to practice law in the service of human needs and transform the teaching, learning, and practice of law to include those it has excluded, marginalized and oppressed make it a singular institution.

Mohammed and her hateful colleagues are free to espouse any view of America they wish. They are free to publish their theories in newspapers. They can say it on NPR or on MSNBC with Rev. Al Sharpton. They can write books and sell them. They can obtain a permit and host a “Day of Rage” on the streets of New York. However, it does not mean that New York State and/or New York City taxpayers have to fund it. It also does not mean that board rooms, law firms, schools and places of worship are required to give them a platform.

The best way to deal with Mohammed and her America-hating co-religionists is to boycott, divest and sanction the CUNY School of Law.

We should start with the State of New York. It is the primary funder of the law school. New York City also uses tax dollars to support the CUNY Law School cesspool of hate. However, Executive Order No. 157 directs all state entities to divest all public funds that support the BDS campaign against Israel. The order was issued in June 2016, to assure that no state agency or authority engages in or promotes any investment activity that furthers the harmful and discriminatory Palestinian-backed BDS movement. Therefore, as a matter of state policy, New York State and New York City should immediately cease all funding of the law school.

Law firms around the country should publicly declare that they will not hire graduates from CUNY unless and until it changes its anti-American curriculum, and ends its support for racism and anti-Semitism. More broadly, law firms, corporations, places of worship and our schools must end their tacit support for the social justice movement. The DEI agenda must be called out for what it is—a force multiplier of social justice—and ended. It’s time to fight back.

For those who worry about putting the CUNY School of Law out of business, fear not. It is currently ranked the 154th best law school in the country by U.S News & World Report. We can survive without it and save a few bucks in the process.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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