Fordham U Punishes Chinese-American Student For Posting Pro-2A Reference To Tiananmen Square

P. Gardner Goldsmith | July 20, 2020
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Fordham University just offered a stark reminder of how U.S. leftism is following in the footsteps of murderous Communist China.

According to Zachary Faria, of The Washington Examiner, the Bronx-based school just disciplined a senior for two social media posts expressing his political principles - including a reference to a massacre in the country from which he himself had escaped: Red China.

Rising senior Austin Tong has been disciplined by Fordham University in New York for violating university regulations on bias and for threats and intimidation. Tong’s offenses were two Instagram posts. The first was a picture of slain retired police Capt. David Dorn (a black man) with the caption, 'Y’all a bunch of hypocrites,' referring to the Black Lives Matter movement. The second was an image of Tong holding a legally acquired firearm and the caption, 'Don’t tread on me,' along with a hashtag referencing the Tiananmen Square Massacre, posted on the 31st anniversary of the event.

That’s right. “Bias.” And as punishment for this alleged violation, the university mandated Tong write an apology letter and banned him from walking onto the campus without permission during his upcoming senior year.

One would think that folks populating the administration at an expensive university might have a better understanding of reality. This is Tong’s personal Instagram account. As a result, it is, by its nature, biased. It’s what he posts, for goodness sake, and all humans are subjective. Regardless of the validity of what Tong implied in his two posts (and both points are VERY valid), if Fordham has stipulations in its code of conduct allowing it to punish students for something like having their own peaceful opinions, prospective university students might want to factor that into their decisions about higher education.

Then there are the accusations of “threats” and “intimidation.”

How is a young man who skewers Black Lives Matter hypocrisy and supports the principle of self-defense in any way “threatening” or “intimidating” anyone? It seems like the shoe should be on the other foot. It seems as if the Fordham administration is intimidating Tong and any who might desire to follow in his footsteps to support truth and individual sovereignty.

In fact, it seems as if Fordham is more in line with the communist Chinese military that cracked down on pro-freedom rally participants in Tiananmen Square 31 years ago than they are with the Catholic Reverend John Hughes, who founded the school in 1841. (Which is doubly perverse and ironic, since the first people Chairman Mao Zedong targeted in his Cultural Revolution were university professors and students.)

Perhaps the folks at Fordham might want to check with someone familiar with that history - someone like Mr. Tong, who, as Faria notes, emigrated to the U.S. from China.

Tong, who immigrated to the United States from China as a child, is being forced by Fordham to write an apology letter and will be banned from entering campus without university permission for his senior year. He’ll also be forced to finish an implicit bias course. Tong has teamed up with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to fight his punishment.

All of which serves to remind others to contact the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and compliment them on their work supporting intellectual freedom, and to consider that age-old standard: Fordham is a private school, so it can do what it likes.

The problem is that Fordham isn’t exactly private any more. As is the case with most "private" universities, its rulers long ago started taking government handouts – handouts that come from taxpayers like us.

For example, in 2019, Fordham received $300,000 from the National Security Agency and Department of Defense. And in 2011, Fordham pocketed $1.8 million from the U..S Department of Education – you know, that completely unconstitutional federal bureaucracy started by Jimmy Carter that has yet to see any improvement in US educational output even as it’s centralized and bureaucratized education pedagogy for over forty years.

There seems to be a theme here. A university that it tightly connected to a central government bureaucracy punishing a student who stands for liberty and individual rights.

Where in the world could that be a thing? Perhaps a nation-state called China, the communist leaders of which have exterminated over 60 million people.

Thankfully, Faria offers readers the name of the Dean who sent Tong this absurd letter, and Faria also lets readers know how dangerously close the Dean’s actions are to the speech policing of communist China:

The letter from Fordham Dean of Students Keith Eldredge didn’t specify anything wrong with the posts other than the possession of a firearm, referring to social media posts ‘related to the current racial issues in the country and political issues in China.’ The refusal to specify what was wrong with them shows even Fordham knows how ridiculous this is, and referring to Tiananmen Square as a ‘political issue in China’ sounds like it’s straight out of a Chinese propaganda handbook.

So, since Fordham has gladly accepted money from us enslaved taxpayers, one wonders if Dean Eldredge will be open to hearing us voice our opinions. We can do so, by going here, and contacting his office. (And for those interested, it appears Tong is filing his own lawsuit against the school.)

We might not be able to stop the feds from handing his school our cash, but at least Eldredge and leftists like him can’t punish us for expressing our views.