In a June 1st email to the Stanford community regarding the recent unrest, Dean of Students Mona Hicks concluded by quoting a “loving refrain” from domestic terrorist Assata Shakur.
Assata Shakur, whose real name was Johanne Deborah Chesmard, earned her fame as the first woman to be on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list in the 1970s. She was convicted in 1977 of first degree murder for shooting two police officers execution style. In 1973, the FBI identified Shakur, leader of a Black Liberation Army cell, as responsible for the murders of New York Police Department officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones in 1971, and Gregory Foster and Rocco Laurie in 1972.
Hicks’ endorsement of an unrepentant murderer at a time when looters and Antifa insurrectionists terrorize Americans in their businesses, vehicles, and homes is unacceptable and unbecoming of anyone in a position of authority at Stanford University.
For that reason, SCR pushed the story to several national media outlets, including Fox News and the Daily Wire, demanding Hicks’ apology. Several concerned Stanford donors also contacted the administrators asking for the same.
In response, Stanford's VP of Alumni Affairs sent individual donors a private apology from Hicks. Part of the statement read, "I regret quoting Assata Shakur, without taking full consideration of her history."
While Hicks did apologize, a private apology to placate donors is grossly insufficient. Everyone who received her email deserves the same respect.
Mona Hicks’ initial quote and subsequent refusal to publicly acknowledge her comments demonstrates the broader trend of prominent left-wing academics attempting to legitimize violence.
By endorsing those who employ violent tactics for political purposes, ivory tower leftists like Mona Hicks enable the culture of violence that thousands of Americans are now paying the price for in the streets. This culture of violence has left hundreds of Americans to watch their homes and businesses burn. Several Americans, like the late retired Police Captain David Dorn, who was murdered while protecting a friend’s pawn shop will never get their lives back.
The endorsement of those who perpetrate political violence from the very individuals who are supposed to steward our campus community is intolerable. As long as people like Mona Hicks can get away with praising domestic terrorists, then terrorism and political violence will become more common. Hicks’ refusal to publicly apologize is a stain on the reputation of Stanford University. How can Stanford purport to be an institution welcoming to all students, when Stanford administrators unapologetically praise the words of those who murder law enforcement?
We call on Stanford Dean Mona Hicks to apologize publicly for endorsing the words of a terrorist during this time of national violence and mourning. If she is unable to do so, we call on Mona Hicks to resign immediately.
If you agree, you can demand a public apology with us from Hicks by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephen Sills ‘22
President of the Stanford College Republicans
This article was originally submitted to the Stanford Daily for publication. However, the Stanford Daily refused to publish this article on the grounds that the characterization of the riots undermined “the fundamental humanity and dignity of individuals or groups”, and that they were concerned about the characterization of Assata Shakur. They also claimed it contravened the Daily’s ‘values’ and statement regarding Black Lives Matter. The Stanford Review believes in allowing for a diverse array of viewpoints to be brought to the forefront.