Pro-Israel student activist and TruthRevolt contributor Daniel Mael has come under fire from campus progressives and fellow students for writing about a Brandeis student representative’s tweet declaring that she had “no sympathy” for the two NYPD officers murdered in Brooklyn Saturday. Since the story went viral, Mael has become the target of personal threats and a campaign to see him suspended or expelled from the school.
In his piece Saturday, Mael quoted multiple Twitter posts by Khadijah Lynch, at the time the Undergraduate Department Representative for Brandeis’ African and Afro-American Studies program, which expressed her lack of “sympathy” for the two police officers murdered earlier that day. “i have no sympathy for the nypd officers who were murdered today,” she wrote Saturday, followed by “lmao, all i just really dont have sympathy for the cops who were shot. i hate this racist fucking country.”
Mael followed the quotes with other inflammatory statements posted by Lynch, including posts asking “what the fuck even IS ‘non-violence’,” decrying “Zionism,” declaring “the fact that black people have not burned this country down is beyond me” and “I am in riot mode.”
TruthRevolt contacted Lynch for clarification about her statement about the NYPD officers; she responded by saying that any publication of her Twitter posts was “slander.” Mael reported that Lynch then returned to Twitter to say that she needed to “get my gun license. Asap.” and that “amerikkka needs an infitada” (a violent uprising).
This is the second time in recent weeks that TruthRevolt has been accused by left-wing activists of defamation for simply quoting them. The abortion activist and actress Lena Dunham went so far as to serve this publication with a cease and desist for reporting statement made in her own book.
When Mael’s article went viral, Brandeis officials distanced the school from Lynch’s comments, calling them “hurtful and disrespectful,” and African and Afro-American Studies Department Chair Chad Williams issued a statement announcing Lynch’s resignation from her position as student representative for the program. Williams also denounced online criticism of Lynch, which he described as “horrifically racist, sexist, Islamophobic and threatening physical violence.”
Now Brandeis students supportive of Lynch are attempting to start a movement to have Mael either suspended or expelled.
The Daily Caller reports that a member of the 2014-15 student conduct board sent an email Monday to the Brandeis president, senior administrators, professors, and students calling on them to “stand up for the principle of social justice” and hold Mael “accountable.” Entitled “VERY IMPORTANT: Holding Daniel Mael accountable, and other threats to student safety!” the email charges Mael with “expos[ing] Khadijah to the largely white supremacist following of the website” and claims that he has “potentially” violated student conduct policies. (Full text of email below.)
Due to the threatening nature of much of the pushback, Brandeis law enforcement officials have met with Mael to discuss his safety on campus. WFB reported Tuesday that Brandeis officials told them that they were “in touch” with campus law enforcement who was working to address threats against those on campus but could provide no further details due to student privacy and security policies.
As of the time of publication, the administration at Brandeis has made no public statement in support of Mr. Mael’s first amendment rights or, as with the statement from Department Chair Chad Williams, denouncing the racist and sometimes violent statements being made by actual Brandeis students against him.
Text of email from Brandeis student conduct board member:
Subject: VERY IMPORTANT: Holding Daniel Mael accountable, and other threats to student safety!
Hello to all,
This email is similar, but not identical, to one that had been sent out previously today. The first was to call attention to the issue, whereas this one is a request from many members of the Brandeis community that the student responsible for the incident be held accountable for his actions. We apologize for any redundancy.
As you may have been made aware, the safety of one member of the Brandeis community, Khadijah Lynch, has been compromised by the actions of another Brandeis student, Daniel Mael. Those of us within the Brandeis community who value the safety and integrity of all members of our community are requesting that action is taken to hold this student accountable for his actions, which have directly put Khadijah in danger and continue to do so.
Mael, a regular contributor on a website called “TruthRevolt”, a popular conservative-oriented political website designed, according to its mission statement, to “unmask leftists in the media for who they are, destroy their credibility with the American public, and devastate their funding bases,” wrote an article targeting Khadijah for a series of tweets she made on her own personal Twitter over the last month. In doing so, he posted a photo of her as well as information about her as a student as well as giving people access to her Twitter username. The article can be seen here:
Whether one agrees or not with the very blunt comments Khadijah made on her Twitter account, the audience of these postings was originally those who frequented her Twitter. We do not propose to offer any opinion on the posts themselves, but it is important to note the sequence of events and intended audiences. After having posted the aforementioned article, Mael has exposed Khadijah to the largely white supremacist following of the website on which he posts, which has led to harassment, death threats, rape threats, and excessive hate speech directed to her personal Twitter (now private), Facebook (now deactivated), and Linkedin. People who frequent TruthRevolt have also gained access to Khadijah’s personal email address and her Brandeis mailbox number, and have threatened to contact her persistently. We have taken screenshots of some of these threatening comments and have attached them to this email, although more will likely be posted after this has been sent.
As can be seen in the article itself, Khadijah specifically requested that her personal comments be removed from the website and the article in question taken down, but her wishes were ignored and Mael continued to post updates to the article until Khadijah made her Twitter private.
In doing so, he has potentially violated multiple parts of Section 2.10, particularly 2.10.f of Rights and Responsibilities, and we have screenshot and uploaded as an attachment the relevant portion. It is essential that this be taken into consideration. Other sections potentially violated are 3.2a (stalking), and attention may also be warranted about Section 17, 20, and 21.4.
A Facebook page has also been made on which hate speech, directed toward Khadijah herself as well as a plethora of racist comments, have been made, and there has been word that professional hackers may have now stated plans to target specific members of the Brandeis community. The safety of the Brandeis community has been placed in jeopardy also by another student named Ben Vizlakh, who posted an article to this Facebook page telling its members that this email was going to be sent out, mentioning one student by name (a screenshot of his post has been attached here). Vizakh has potentialy violated 2.13 (retaliation) with regard to spreading the word of this email to people who pose a threat to the safety of Brandeis students. Here is the relevant Facebook link:
Upon Khadijah’s resignation as a UDR, Mael also posted the following, which did little more than to spur more negative comments about her (including another rape threat) as well as Brandeis University and its faculty:
Additionally, if you go to Google and type “Khadijah Lynch Brandeis” this story has been reposted all over the Internet, with similar hateful comments and threats directed toward her. Not only does the posting of this article put Khadijah in danger, but also the Brandeis community at large, given the volume of hateful messages being posted about the school on social media by strangers.
The most pressing concern ought to be the safety of our students, and as such we request that action is taken to ensure Khadijah’s safety. A large part of this involves holding the student responsible who callously disregarded her safety. With the speed at which information is spread digitally these days and the fact that her personal information has been compromised and is in the hands of strangers, it is essential that action is taken. As students and community members who know Khadijah personally, we neither condone nor condemn the statements she had made, but we must understand the intent with which her posts and personal information were made accessible by a fellow Brandeis student to the general public, especially on a website frequented by white supremacists that seek to threaten and intimidate anyone with views that differ from their own. It is unfathomable to many within the Brandeis community that such an action could have been carried out with anything but malicious intent, as contributors to websites are perfectly aware of the following their websites receive. As a journalist, he must be aware of the impact that publishing such articles could have on other people’s safety, and it is important that he be held accountable for his actions.
Included in this email are students within the Brandeis community who stand in solidarity with Khadijah in this difficult time and who wish to see action taken to hold the student in question responsible and to protect her safety. As Chad Williams, Chair of the African and Afro-American Studies Department mentioned in his statement on this situation, “While it may be easy and convenient at this emotionally charged moment to condemn Ms. Lynch, we must also strive to understand why she would make these comments. This means openly and honestly recognizing the very real pain and frustration that many young people of color struggle with in trying to navigate their place in a society that all too often delegitimizes their existence.” While Khadijah has taken responsibility for her comments and has withdrawn from her position as a UDR, it is the responsibility of our community to condemn the threatening and hateful comments she has received and stand up for the principle of social justice on which Brandeis was founded.
Thank you so much for your time and we hope that you have a Happy Holiday!
The Brandeis Community