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Furman University violates faculty free expression, investigates professor for attending Unite the Right rally
(The Fire) After photos recently surfaced depicting a Furman University professor’s attendance at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the university opened an investigation and banned him from campus based on the event organizers’ “harmful” views. FIRE wrote the university urging it to honor the free expression promises it makes to faculty.
On Sept. 30, an anti-fascist Twitter account posted images of Christopher Healy, a Furman computer science professor, at the now-infamous Charlottesville rally. The protest was originally organized to object to the town’s plan to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, but it became violent and dozens were injured and one counter-protester died. The images show Healy standing in a crowd but not participating in any violence.
After the years-old images resurfaced last week, the university quickly placed Healy on leave, launched an investigation, and banned him from campus. Furman President Elizabeth Davis released a statement that condemned the rally’s “associat[ion] with other organizations that are connected with white supremacist groups that promote racism, exclusion and hatred” and pledged to investigate Healy…Read the rest