Student says Fordham University banned him from campus for picture commemorating Tiananmen Square anniversary
Austin Tong, who posed with a gun on Instagram, says he won’t apologize or back down on ‘The Ingraham Angle.’
Fordham University student Austin Tong told “The Ingraham Angle” on Wednesday that he is going to be suing the university “very soon," after he claims he has been banned from campus over an Instagram post commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
In 1989, student-led pro-democracy protests centered on Beijing's Tiananmen Square for more than seven weeks and became China's greatest political upheaval since the end of the Cultural Revolution more than a decade earlier. A bloody crackdown ended the protests.
Tong posted a photo of himself holding a rifle on June 4, the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre of pro-democracy activists, and posted the caption “Don’t tread on me. #198964.”
Fordham University found that the posts by Tong, who will be starting his senior year, violated its policies on “bias and/or hate crimes” and “threats/intimidation” and he was put on probation restricting his access to campus, which will force him to finish his degree online, the National Review reported, adding that he is also banned from participating in extracurricular activities.
The university also reportedly required that Tong, an immigrant from China, complete implicit bias training and write an apology letter.
Host Laura Ingraham, citing documents Tong provided to “The Ingraham Angle,” noted that Fordham claims the Instagram post violated university policy of not allowing threats and intimidation. She pointed out that the gun is legally owned and he was “merely appreciating the Chinese democratic movement.”
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“So why would a U.S. university have an issue with this?” she asked.
“I think they have an issue with anything they disagree with and they want to silence any voice they don’t like and that’s really what happened and they silenced me because they don’t like what I said,” Tong said in response, adding that he “will not back down to that.”
Ingraham then said, “You wouldn’t be able to say of course what you are saying now in China, but I bet you didn’t think after coming to the United States and living here… that the long arm of China would reach into the United States.”
“You know supposedly we have the First Amendment here, we have the Constitution, but that’s not what Fordham University thinks,” Tong said in response.
He added, “I’m not going to say sorry. I’m not going to back down. This is not just my case. They took my life away. They put my future into a very bad place and that’s why I’m going to bet all my future into this.”
“We are going to be fighting hard,” he said. “I’m going to be suing them very soon and we are going to be fighting for people across the country.”
Last week Tong started a GoFundMe page to pay for litigation and as of Thursday he has raised more than $51,000.
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Fordham University did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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