Last month, a gang of outraged Microsoft employees penned a letter to CEO Satya Nadella demanding the tech giant to end its deal to provide cloud services to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – or to any clients with ties to ICE. The professional radical class – academia – circulated their own letter backing Microsoft’s rogue employees and now are calling for boycotts of their own.
Left-wing faculty, alumni and students now are calling for the Johns Hopkins University President Ronald Daniels to end a partnership with ICE that the school has had since 2009. The formal agreement with the School of Education’s Division of Public Safety Leadership, according to the website, has a stated purpose of improving ICE’s training and educational programs and working to “support the ICE mission, strategic goals” and “contribute to measurable outcomes and results.”
Hardly controversial. But the value is not relevant to the activists, who have an ultimate goal of ending ICE and immigration enforcement.
The petition slanderously asserts that ICE is “responsible” for managing detention centers that “have been described by scholars of the Holocaust as meeting the conditions considered definitive of concentration camps.” Therefore, “we do not see how in good conscience Johns Hopkins University can collaborate with this organization.”
Boycott fever is not confined to Johns Hopkins as was evident during protests at Boston’s Northeastern University. Tired chants and anti-ICE signs were plentiful as students and faculty marched across campus demanding the university cancel any research contracts with the agency.
According to federal spending data, the university has received $2.7 million from ICE over the past two years and the potential of over $7.7 million over an almost five-year period.
The funds from ICE were awarded to Glenn Pierce, director of Northeastern’s Institute of Security and Public Policy, to support his work analyzing “exports of technologies that have civilian uses” and how to prevent acquisition by terrorists.
The leftists may not mind shutting down academic research, but Northeastern spokeswoman Renata Nyul does.
“Efforts to restrict which federal agencies a faculty member can approach for research funding are antithetical to academic freedom,” she stated, according to WBUR radio.
Not only do these knee-jerk boycotts stifle academic freedom, they are initiated with no consideration for the consequences – such as ending research into combating terrorism.