Fight New School's Censorship and Racism

On October 22, Graduate Student Emelyn Tapaoan organized a panel discussion at New School focusing on issues raised by the disaster that followed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. This panel included Katrina survivors, journalists who had just returned from the impacted region, and organizers working with Katrina evacuees.

To anyone interested in the issues of the day, this would be an interesting event.

To Linda Adams and Linda Dunne of the New School Administration, this panel is "too controversial," and now they are waging a campaign to remove and deport the student who organized it.

The controversy started when Linda Adams, Director of Execective Administration at New School, saw the flyer for the October 22 event on the day before the panel. The flyer used words like "black liberation," and "racism;" Even worse, all of the panelists were BLACK!

She went to work immediately, calling and screaming and threatening. "This event is too controversial!" "With all of THOSE people, we will need extra security!"

She tried to cancel the event, but it was too late. The forum went ahead, and "controversial" ideas were discussed at New School--by BLACK people.

A group of students who helped Ms.Tapaoan organize the event wrote a letter to the Administration, demanding an apology for racial insesitivity and censorship. Immediately following the letter, Linda Adams and Linda Dunne, the Interim Dean, demanded a meeting with Ms. Tapaoan.

They informed her that the letter wrritten by these students, which had been printed in the School Newspaper, had stirred up a lot of controversy, and that she would have to pay for it.

They told her that because of the controversial nature of the program and because of the letter, they were going to bring her up on charges with the Office of Student Services for technical reasons relating to the application for the event's venue. They also said that they would be filing a report with Homeland Security/INS.

Now, her residency (she is here in the land of the free on a student visa) and her academic career are at stake because she organized a meeting with Black speakers on a topic that an Academic bureaucrat considers "too controversial."

We have to fight this kind of Academic McCarthyism.

Please stand up for our sister, Emelyn Tapaoan. Call, write, or email the numbers below. Tell them to drop the charges --

Eddie Simpson

Bob Kerrey, President of The New School phone 212-229-5656

Linda Dunne, Interim Dean, The New School for General Studies phone 212-229-5613

Linda Adams, Director of Executive Administration phone 212-229-5650