A politics professor whose op-ed in The New York Times in October helped spark protests among liberal students at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y., now claims the college and faculty have left him to fight the backlash alone.
Samuel J. Abrams, who has a PhD from Harvard University and an AB from Stanford University, told Fox News via email Monday evening: “Faculty have to hold the line on free speech and promote discourse. That didn’t happen at Sarah Lawrence, and I hope that my story is a warning that is heard around the country.”
Students claimed they were offended by the supposed “anti-Blackness, anti-LGBTQ+, and anti-woman bigotry” of Abrams, professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College, and visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and staged a large sit-in. They also presented demands, such as a “tenure review.”
He said Monday evening that his philosophy was not an attack on students: “Viewpoint diversity is asking that multiple viewpoints are considered on campus and in the classroom. So that means rather than simply attack capitalism and free markets without a deep understanding of history and teach socialism, we also teach the value of markets, choice and individualism.”
He said his ideology has been to teach students the realities of adult life: “Rather than teach that government needs to get bigger, and is the solution to poverty and improving the welfare of Americans, and this is often the only view taught, we need to also teach how capitalism has lifted millions up, and allowed markets to make the nation efficient.”
Abrams said 40 professors endorsed the demand list, and 12 percent of the faculty “endorsed the students’ demand to challenge my tenure and my right to free speech and the expression of ideas.”
The college didn’t return Fox News’ request for comment.
“…With the (students’) latest attempt to attack academic freedom, the Sarah Lawrence faculty could have redeemed themselves and been galvanized to support free expression. Instead, they opted for silence — and, what’s worse, many of them were supportive of the student protesters’ demands,” Abrams wrote in The Spectator over the weekend.
He also wrote about the repercussions he received for the original opinion piece last fall: “There was a national media storm in which I was slandered and defamed, my family’s safety was threatened, and my personal property was destroyed on campus.”
In the Times, Abrams wrote about original survey data of a “nationally representative sample of roughly 900 ‘student-facing’ administrators” which found “liberal staff members outnumber their conservative counterparts by the astonishing ratio of 12-1. Only 6 percent of campus administrators identified as conservative to some degree, while 71 percent classified themselves as liberal or very liberal.”
He added in the October opinion piece, “It’s no wonder so much of the nonacademic programming on college campuses is politically one-sided. … It appears that a fairly liberal student body is being taught by a very liberal professoriate — and socialized by an incredibly liberal group of administrators.”