Stupidity in action
CUNY Chief Orders Names Stripped From Student Center
By KAREN W. ARENSON
Published: December 13, 2006
The chancellor of the City University of New York yesterday directed the president of City College to remove the names of two fugitives linked to violent crimes from the entrance to a student clubroom.
Matthew Goldstein, the chancellor, called the designation of the room as the Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community and Student Center “unauthorized and inappropriate.”
Ms. Shakur — once known as Joanne Chesimard — was a member of the Black Liberation Army convicted in the 1973 killing of a New Jersey state trooper. She is currently a federal fugitive living in Cuba. Mr. Morales, also in Cuba, was a leader of the Puerto Rican independence group known as the F.A.L.N., which claimed responsibility for a tavern bombing in Lower Manhattan that killed four people and injured others. Both were students at City College.
Students at the center yesterday said the names had been posted there for 17 years, since a student group won the right to use the lounge in the aftermath of a campus shutdown over proposed tuition increases in 1989.
But yesterday the college was hit with complaints. City Council members James S. Oddo, Dennis P. Gallagher and Andrew J. Lanza, the council’s three Republicans, said in a letter to CUNY released publicly, “Unfortunately, this demonstrates that City College is woefully out of touch with the taxpayers who subsidize the university.”
They added, “The fact that CUNY employees would attempt to defend this outrage begs the question: ‘What is going on over at CUNY?’ ”
They also said, “A terrorist is a terrorist ... period.”
After receiving Chancellor Goldstein’s directive that the names be removed, Dr. Williams said yesterday in an interview that he would do just that and was trying to talk to the students. “Hopefully they will see the error of their ways, and will take it down,” he said. “If not, we will take steps to take it down.”
But the students were not ready to acquiesce.
Rodolfo Leyton, a City College senior and the center’s director, said students planned to speak to a lawyer, Ronald B. McGuire, and possibly “seek legal remedies.” The center sued college and university officials in 1998 when it discovered a surveillance camera in a smoke detector across from it. That suit is still pending.
Mr. Leyton also said that while others view Ms. Shakur as guilty, “we see her as a leader in her community who was framed and unlawfully convicted.” He said minutes of college proceedings in September 1989 dedicated the room to one of the groups still using the center, Students for Educational Rights. Others also use the space.
Ok, Chesimard is a terrorist, or not. In the scheme of things, doesn't matter much. Not in a city with intense racial tensions over a police shooting.
But if you pick a fight over this, led by the police union, you are asking for a racial whirlwind. You couldn't have picked a worse fight at a worse time.
This is the kind of fight which could suck in the New Black Panther Party and a bunch of other people who are enraged over what is looking more and more like the unjustified murder of Sean Bell. So what City College then imports is a fight over a sign with the passions of a police shooting.
Someone needs to ignore the ass covering cops and make this go away. Because if they move to take that meaningless sign down, they're pushing for an unpleasant reaction. Because there is no more hated organization in black New York than the PBA.
And if someone got hurt, this will be laid at the doors of the Daily News and PBA.
posted by Steve @ 12:58:00 AM