Alan Dershowitz, one of the nation’s premier defense lawyers and a Harvard law professor, believes universities display a double standard in excusing violence from the political left, and failing to punish activities like a fraternity house attack can have dangerous consequences.
“Look at people like [Bill] Ayers and [Bernardine] Dohrn who were violent radicals in the 1970s who now hold distinguished positions of respect [at universities]. It’s clearly a left-right issue. No one would reward the Ku Klux Klan decades after their acts of violence, but if violence is committed by the hard left, then it becomes acceptable in the academic context,” Mr. Dershowitz told The Washington Times.
Mr. Dershowitz made the comments when contacted about vandalism at the University of Virginia in the wake of Rolling Stone’s now-retracted gang rape story.
He said the mentality expressed by the U.Va. student who told The Washington Times he participated in an attack on Phi Kappa Psi fraternity — the house at the center of the controversy — should raise alarm.
“It’s the notion of collective punishment. You punish an entire fraternity for the allegations of several people, and you take the law into your own hands, and it’s a total violation to the notion that punishment should be based on proof of individual guilt,” he said. “It’s become a mantra of the radical left, whether it’s about punishing all policemen for Ferguson or all fraternity persons for alleged rapes. It’s a road to lawlessness.
“That’s the argument the terrorists make,” he said. “That’s the argument that Hamas makes, that al Qaeda makes, and it’s the argument that some radical Weathermen made in the U.S. when they blew up universities in the 1970s. It’s the first baby step on the road to justifying terrorism.”
The vandals threw bricks through windows and spray-painted hate messages on Phi Kappa Psi.
More than a month after the attack, no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed.