Fordham University’s War on Free Speech

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is taking aim at Fordham University for placing a student on probation for two images he posted on social media, one of which memorialized the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

On June 3, rising senior Austin Tong posted to his Instagram account a photo of David Dorn, a retired St. Louis police captain killed by looters in the unrest following the killing of George Floyd. The photo included the caption, “Y’all a bunch of hypocrites,” a reference to Tong’s frustration, as a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, with what he refers to as “the nonchalant societal reaction over [Dorn’s] death.”

The following day, June 4, was the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre of pro-democracy activists. Tong, who emigrated from China as a child, posed for a photo holding a legally-obtained gun off-campus, with the caption “Don’t tread on me.” The caption also included an American flag emoji, a Chinese flag emoji, and a hashtag commonly used by Chinese citizens to avoid censorship of online discussion of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Fordham actually punished the student for being critical of the Chinese Communist government. More evidence that schools should be 100 percent defunded of all taxpayer money. Let them spread totalitarian propaganda on their own funds. This student is a hero.

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