A matter of perception
Celebrating killers at City College
The message to students and to members of the public on the third floor of a main building on the City College campus is loud, clear and abominable.
The message is that, as an institution, CCNY supports, endorses and celebrates the lives and crimes of two fugitive murderers.
The message is that CCNY stands foursquare behind Joanne Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur, who was convicted in the execution of New Jersey Trooper Werner Foerster and now enjoys life in Cuba.
The message is that CCNY believes wholeheartedly in Guillermo (William) Morales, chief bombmaker of the FALN, which planted explosives that killed six people in New York City in the 1970s.
A sign above Room 3/201 in the North Academic Center proclaims it to be the "Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community and Student Center."
Passersby have every reason to believe City College has bestowed upon Chesimard and Morales the honor of a facility officially dedicated in their names, much as CCNY trumpets the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies. Instead, the sign was slapped on the place by two whacked-out, left-wing organizations, Students for Educational Rights and the Student Liberation Action Movement (SLAM). But by letting the sign remain, the administration sanctions a shrine to killers.
It is the students' American-given right to speak and associate as they wish. And it is the American-given right of their faculty adviser - tenured Spanish Prof. Elizabeth Starcevic - to hold forth repulsively that Chesimard is "someone to be proud of." But it's not their right to commandeer a public facility and desecrate the memories of Foerster and fellow murder victims.
When the City named a street after IRA member Joe Dougherty, the Daily News had nothing to say. The fact that there is a New York police station with a mural dedicated to the IRA hunger strikers attracts no notice.
But this student center is now something I should give a shit about? New York city legally and openly supported the IRA, and that's OK. The cops supported the IRA, and that's OK. Pete King openly defended the IRA. And that's not a problem.
But a student center named for Joanne Chesimard is now a problem? Please.
posted by Steve @ 10:30:00 AM