by Jake Dima
A Chinese student at Fordham University is reportedly preparing to sue the New York School after the college demanded an apology for an Instagram post showing the student holding an AR-15 to show solidarity with the Tiananmen Square massacre anniversary.
Austin Tong, a Chinese immigrant, has been barred from the university campus and is required to do mandatory “implicit bias” training, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Administrators also demanded the student write a letter of apology as a consequence of his June 4 Instagram post, according to a disciplinary letter.
Tong held an AR-15 with the caption “Don’t tread on me #198964” — a reference to the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, in which communist Chinese authorities killed and arrested thousands who advocated for freedom from the state.
A refusal to apologize could mean expulsion from the New York college, according to the letter. Tong is instead preparing to sue the university, according to the Beacon.
“For a mere $50,000 a year in tuition, Fordham has smeared our client’s reputation and permanently damaged his career prospects,” Tong’s lawyer, Brett Josphe told the Free Beacon. “This behavior by the school and its officials shocks the conscience and there should be a heavy price to pay.”
Tong told the Free Beacon: “I will not apologize. I did nothing wrong and they did everything wrong. [Fordham is] a total disgrace.”
“I will not apologize, whatever consequence there may be,” he continued. “I don’t think I’ll even be able to finish college. This is a total bet on my part, but we’ll see what happens.”
University officials showed up to the student’s doorstep around 10 p.m. on the day of the post to inform him of his apparent conduct violation, according to the Beacon. The university accused him of a hate crime and “threats/intimidation,” according to the letter.
The National Rifle Association has voiced support for Tong.
This is @realAustinTong. He was charged with a hate crime by his school, @FordhamNYC, for posting a photo of his new AR-15.@FordhamNYC accused him of owning an “automatic weapon” and they’re trying to silence him, but this @NRA member is not backing down.
This is his message. pic.twitter.com/s673Ld1HP6
— NRA (@NRA) July 21, 2020
Read the full sanction letter here:
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Jake Dima is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.