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Opening remarks by Jonathan Lightfoot at Hofstra’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law for panel on “Reflections On Charlottesville: Revisiting Hate Speech And The First Amendment”

Good afternoon Hofstra Law and guests! My name is Dr. Jonathan Lightfoot and I proudly wear 2 hats here at the university. One is as faculty in the School of Education, which as of last year became part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the other as the founding director of the Center for “Race”, Culture and Social Justice. Let me begin by thanking Ellen for inviting me to participate on this esteemed panel of legal scholars, Professors Eric Freedman and Barbara Stark. I consider it an honor! I believe law professors and education professors have a lot in common. We both have chosen careers devoted to preparing young people to make great and important contributions to society. You train lawyers to fight injustice and I train educators to fight ignorance. I often remind my students that ignorance of the law is not a defense. We have all heard the famous line “Those who can, DO and those who can’t, TEACH”. Well, I think we should reject such an idiom because we both find t…

Statement from the Center for “Race”, Culture and Social Justice on DACA students, issued on September 10th, 2017

The Center for “Race”, Culture and Social Justice is proud to stand in support of our DACA students. We affirm President Rabinowitz’s statement after the White House’s decision last week to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) in March 2018. Our concern for the program initiated under President Obama’s administration intensified soon after the presidential election in November 2016. Soon after, we joined other Hofstra centers and academic departments such as the Center for Civic Engagement, the National Center for Suburban Studies and the Law School to help draft a formal resolution to condemn the threat of violence against immigrants already living in the United States and those seeking entrance to pursue employment and academic opportunities or to visit family. Number 45’s campaign rhetoric against immigrants, particularly targeting those from predominantly Muslim countries and those of Latin American descent, was troubling. Now as president, his vitrioli…