A law school professor recounted on Friday the heckling he received last month during an appearance at a New York City college campus — ironically as he was lecturing about free speech.
Josh Blackman, who teaches at South Texas College of Law, Houston, said on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that his March 29 appearance at City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law was the first time he has been publicly heckled.
Students holding signs shouted “shame, shame, shame” and prevented him from speaking for about 10 minutes.
“Fortunately, 10 minutes into it, the hecklers lost interest and left the room, and then I went on to give my presentation,” he said. “But for a good eight or nine minutes, they were disrupting the presentation.”
Blackman, who regularly writes and speaks on legal issues and has written a pair of books critiquing Obamacare, said he does not even know what the students specifically were protesting.
“Can you imagine going to the Supreme Court and saying, ‘Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the court, F the law?’ These are lawyers. They’re law students.”
“I wish I knew. You know, I’ve written about a lot of constitutional things like DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals], the travel ban, defended the president’s actions in context, and they simply assumed that I was a white supremacist, racist, homophobe, transphobe,” he said.
“And they held all these signs attacking me. And again, I’ve never had this before, never had any controversy on any campus. But this targeted me, and they wanted me to know I wasn’t welcome on their campus.”
The protesters were completely uninterested in exchanging ideas, said Blackman, who added that it was a bit depressing that the protesters — who are law students, after all — seemed unable to engage. He recalled making a legal point about the DACA program.
“One student couldn’t handle it,” he said. “And she shouted, ‘F the law’ … Can you imagine going to the Supreme Court and saying, ‘Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the court, F the law?’ These are lawyers. They’re law students. And I just pity them if this is what they’re learning, how you engage in arguments.”
Blackman (pictured above) said the protesters revealed themselves to be totally opposed to the American legal system if it does not produce the progressive outcomes they desire.
The intimidation the mob inspires was palpable, Blackman added.
“People came in late so they wouldn’t be seen as being associated with me,” he said.
The bullying evidently extends to the classroom, Blackman said.
“One of the students said that she’s actually afraid to raise her hand in class and articulate a conservative viewpoint because she doesn’t want to be mobbed by other students,” he said. “She was actually afraid of voicing her opinion in class. That really troubled me.”
But Blackman pointed to a kernel of hope. Some students were open to dialogue.
Blackman said one black student, in response to taunts about why he would attend the lecture, told the crowd that he wanted to hear what the professor had to say.
He said one protester who even held a sign calling him an “oppressor” later “emailed me afterward and said, ‘You know, you’re not an oppressor. I change my mind.’ So there is hope.”