Posters from the California-based David Horowitz Freedom Center appeared on campus last week, targeting specific faculty and students for their pro-Palestinian activism, calling them “terrorist supporters.”
The right-wing think tank that has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “a driving force of the anti-Muslim, anti-Immigrant, and anti-Black movements” and has connections to top Trump officials including Stephen Miller and Jeff Sessions, as revealed by the Washington Post in June.
The Freedom Center’s website states its goals as combating “the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values and disarm this country as it attempts to defend itself in a time of terror. The leftist offensive is most obvious on our nation’s campuses, where the Freedom Center protects students from indoctrination and intimidation and works to give conservative students a place in the marketplace of ideas from which they are otherwise excluded.”
Brooklyn College President Michelle Anderson released a statement last Monday in response to the posters on campus.
“At Brooklyn College, we condemn this targeted intimidation. It seeks to defame and silence specific individuals for their political opinions by placing them at risk for further harassment and abuse. We reject these tactics, especially in the context of an academic community, where robust discourse on matters of great public import is central to our educational project,” she wrote in an email to students.
“Our students, staff, and faculty have the right to advocate for both popular and unpopular beliefs under the First Amendment. They have the right to express political opinions in an atmosphere free from hate and targeted intimidation.”
The Freedom Center began as the Center for the Study of Popular Culture in 1988 to establish a conservative presence in Hollywood and has grown to “several other programs” including Jihad Watch, The Israel Security Project, and TruthRevolt. The Freedom Center’s poster campaign has brought similar posters to college campuses around the country, including the University of Chicago and UC Berkeley.