One of the nation's most vocal and involved civil liberties attorneys agrees with an immigrant student of a New York City university who says he's undergoing "Soviet-style" punishment from school administrators for his Instagram posts.
Fordham University senior Austin Tong has been put on probation for posting a picture of David Dorn, a retired African-American St. Louis police officer who was not honored by Black Lives Matter after he was slain while defending a friend's business during a recent riot in the city. "Y'all a bunch of hypocrites," he posted with the picture.
The school has also taken issue with a picture Tong shared of himself holding a legally-owned rifle to mark the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square incident of June 4, 1989.
"I want to honor the memory of an important Chinese democracy movement and the appreciation of the right to bear arms in America," he tells Campus Reform. "As an immigrant, a big beauty of America to me is the right it gives its citizens to bear arms -- not only to protect themselves, but also to keep the government in check."
Tong provided Campus Reform with two letters he received from Fordham University Dean of Students Keith Eldredge. The first letter, dated June 8, informed Tong that the university had launched an investigation to determine whether his two Instagram posts violated university policy.
"When you have someone like this making good points about a black policeman getting killed and backing the Tiananmen Square protests, which were against tyranny, and a man like this is being punished for this, then we've moved into Orwell's Ministry of Truth," contends The Rutherford Institute's John Whitehead.
He believes colleges and universities have become centers of indoctrination rather than institutions of education.
"This is an immigrant who's come into our country, and he believes in freedom, and the Americans are punishing him because he believes in freedom," Whitehead summarizes about Tong's situation. "What kind of country are we becoming?"
Campus Reform reports the university has found Tong to be in violation of "regulations relating to bias and/or hate crimes" and for "threats/intimidation." He has been placed on probation for the rest of his senior year.