Assemblyman Alex Sauickie today condemned as “clear hate speech” the remarks given by a graduate at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law graduation ceremony last month. He also criticized attacks on the police and military, as well as vitriolic hate speech against any group.
The graduate claimed that “Israel continues to indiscriminately rain bullets and bombs on worshipers, murdering the old, the young, attacking even funerals and graveyards.”
“These and other anti-Jewish and anti-Israel tropes constitute clear hate speech, and must be called out and condemned,” Sauickie (R-Ocean) said. “Even the school’s board of trustees admitted this, after an 18-day delay.”
“What’s especially galling is that this is not an isolated incident,” Sauickie continued. SAFE CUNY, a group advocating for Jewish people in the CUNY system, also called out “last year’s hate spewed” by another person who was chosen by the student government to speak at the 2022 graduation. That person was named “Anti-Semite of the Year” by the nonprofit Stopantisemitism.org, which tracks antisemitic activity.
Sauickie noted that there have been growing calls for public funds to be stripped from the school.
“I fully support the opinion piece written by Alan Dershowitz and Andrew Stein on this matter,” Sauickie said, referring to the Harvard Law School professor emeritus and the former New York City Council president. “I agree that there’s a big difference between an individual expressing bigoted views that should be condemned, and endorsement of those views by a state-sponsored institution.”
“If any state-funded New Jersey school condoned this kind of disgusting hate speech, as a legislator I’d be the first to call for defunding it,” Sauickie said. “Make no mistake – I would do the same if vitriolic hate speech targeted any group. This kind of intolerance and demonization has no place in our public discourse.”
Sauickie also took umbrage at the graduate speaker’s characterization of the New York Police Department as “fascist” and denigration of the U.S. military.
“As violent crime is on the rise and threats from foreign adversaries increase, fewer people are willing to serve as police or in the military,” Sauickie said. “We should be grateful for those who serve to keep us safe, not bash them with unfounded and far-out name-calling. While I believe these contrary views are from a very small minority, those of us who value the people who protect us must stand up and speak up for those who serve,” Sauickie concluded.