"Look at those dudes, I thought. They're crazy. They got black leather coats and berets, carrying guns, scaring white people, reading communist books. I immediately wanted to join."
Welcome to Columbia University where the torch of learning and dynamite is always lit. Columbia is more than just Bir Zeit on the Hudson. It's also the place that hires and welcomes more left-wing terror profs than any other.
The ex-cons work for or with the Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI), co-founded in 2009 by former Weather Underground operative and Columbia adjunct professor Kathy Boudin, who pleaded guilty to felony murder for her role in an infamous 1981 armed robbery that left two police officers and a security guard dead.
Wilkins, co-director of the CJI, is listed in the Columbia School of Social Work adjunct faculty directory as a “research scientist” and “Associate Director for the Criminal Justice Initiative. She was convicted for her role in a 1996 gunpoint hijacking of a Federal Express truck in Harlem, in which she served as the getaway driver. Wilkins served a 12-year sentence for robbery and assault at Bayview Correctional Facility in Manhattan.
Denise Blackwell, a “research assistant” under the Social Intervention Group, the parent/umbrella group of the Criminal Justice Initiative, was paroled in 2003 after serving 10 years in prison on an attempted second-degree murder conviction for her role in a Brooklyn holdup in which three drug dealers were killed.
Mika’il DeVeaux was one of the keynote speakers for the CJI’s “Removing the Bars” Conference in 2012. But his bio in the conference program failed to mention the 24-year stint he served in Westchester County for second-degree murder and his subsequent parole in 2003, or that he’s co-director of a non-profit with Boudin called Citizens Against Recidivism.
We know those names already, but it doesn't end there.
Jamal Joseph was a member of the Panther 21, a group of Black Panthers who were arrested for conspiring to blow up railroad lines, department stores and the Botanical Gardens.
These days Jamal is a Columbia professor. Here's how he described his reason for joining the Panthers.
"Look at those dudes, I thought. They're crazy. They got black leather coats and berets, carrying guns, scaring white people, reading communist books. They're crazy. I immediately wanted to join. Now all I had to do was find out where the Black Panthers were in New York."
And that he did. But left-wing terrorists attract other terrorists.
The program’s ties to the Weather Underground are deep. In addition to Boudin's involvement and the visit from Ayers and Dohrn, other former high-level members of the Weather Underground were invited to speak at CJI events. They included Russell Neufeld, who went on to become an anti-death penalty attorney, and Laura Whitehorn, who spoke at an October 2011 called the “Troy Davis Teach-in.”