Daily Caller: As Student at Columbia, Eric Holder Participated in Occupation of ROTC Office with Students Described as “Armed”
As a freshman at Columbia University in 1970, future Attorney General Eric Holder participated in a five-day occupation of an abandoned Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) headquarters with a group of black students later described by the university’s Black Students’ Organization as “armed,” The Daily Caller has learned.
Department of Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler has not responded to questions from The Daily Caller about whether Holder himself was armed — and if so, with what sort of weapon.
Holder was then among the leaders of the Student Afro-American Society (SAAS), which demanded that the former ROTC office be renamed the “Malcolm X Lounge.” The change, the group insisted, was to be made “in honor of a man who recognized the importance of territory as a basis for nationhood.”
Before Holder came to campus, the group had apparently armed themselves with guns and held a dean of the school hostage. Holder thought to himself: this is the group I need to join.
The SAAS was part of a radicalized portion of the Columbia student body whose protest roots were hardened in the late 1960s. Its members collaborated with the SDS to stage a series of protests on the New York City campus in 1968, the year before Eric Holder arrived on campus.
Those earlier protests culminated in a separate armed takeover of Dean Henry Coleman’s office in which students held him hostage and stopped the construction of a gymnasium in the Morningside Heights neighborhood, near the campus.
The BSO reported on its website as recently as 2010 that those students were “armed with guns.”
Emboldened by their successes, SAAS leaders continued to press their demands, eventually working with local black radicals who were not college students. A young Eric Holder joined the fray in 1969 as a college freshman.
Read it all. The article explains how Holder’s group supported Black Panthers charged with plotting violent terrorism:
In March 1970 the SAAS released a statement supporting twenty-one Black Panthers charged with plotting to blow up department stores, railroad tracks, a police station and the New York Botanical Gardens.
The SAAS, along with the SDS and other radical campus groups, staged a campus rally on March 12, 1970 featuring Afeni Shakur — one of the Panthers out on bail and the future mother of rapper Tupac Shakur.
The rally’s purpose, The Columbia Daily Spectator reported, was to raise bail money for the twenty other Panthers and to call on District Attorney Frank Hogan to drop the charges.
Luckily Holder’s attitudes could never have an attitude on how he treated cases involving (New) Black Panthers as the Attorney General.
It will be interesting to see what reaction there is to this story, if any. When I was at Cornell University, the school “celebrated” the 20th anniversary of an armed takeover of the Willard Straight Hall student union by black student activists. I was appalled that the leader of the takeover was invited to the school as a featured speaker, as if he were a returning hero. But such is the nature of campus activism.
I’m not sure the typical American voter reacts the same way. Stories about Holder’s radical past may not change too many minds, but the possible involvement of weapons is unlikely to be received with humor by the average voter — to the extent he hears about it.
It’s your job to see that he does. Please spread the story far and wide. This is one that I knew was coming for a few weeks, and I’m happy to see it finally hitting public view. I hope it gets the attention it deserves.