James O’Keefe’s latest undercover video shows professors at two prestigious private universities openly disparaging, and in one case shredding, the U.S. Constitution.
Project Veritas, O’Keefe’s undercover journalism unit, sent a female journalist disguised as a student to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and to Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.
She got commitments from leadership at each to shred the Constitution, and in the case of Vassar, Project Veritas’ undercover cameras captured the official shredding.
Kelly Grab, assistant director of equal opportunity at Vassar College, was captured on video saying: “Yes, I think we have a shredder in the front office there. Did you want to do it with me?”
The incident unfurls when an undercover PV journalist relates her personal story of being confronted on campus with someone handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution.
“It really upset me and I ended up having a panic attack,” she says.
“Oh, Cato Institute,” Grab says.
The undercover student then says she started to “hyperventilate” and “lost control.”
“I didn’t realize this happened but I just realized the Constitution is kind of a trigger for me,” she said.
Grab then goes into counseling mode and indulges the student in her bizarre phobia.
“We don’t want to limit people in exchanging ideas or having opposing viewpoints, but when it’s disruptive or causing harm …”
“Yeah, which I think the Constitution does,” the student says. “I mean, it’s not just me. It’s, I mean, I thought Vassar wanted to create like a safe place here, you know a place where students could walk around and not be scared of seeing discriminating things on campus.”
‘A teachable moment’
The counselor shakes her head approvingly and asks if there is some kind of “teachable moment” that can be gleaned from this student’s traumatic encounters with the Constitution.
The student suggests that since Vassar has a reputation for “inclusiveness” and “making everybody feel empowered,” that perhaps “the Constitution should be removed from campus entirely.”
“Oh, I see,” Grab responds. But then shows concern for the copies in the library “for research purposes.”
At Oberlin College the same scenario was presented.
Carol Lasser, professor of history and director of gender, sexuality and feminist studies at Oberlin, said the U.S. Constitution “is an oppressive document.”
Watch the entire 12-minute undercover video below:
“The Constitution makes change slow; it intends to make change slow,” Lasser said on camera.
Then she whispers, “Right now, given who is in charge of the U.S. House of Representatives, I think it’s a good thing.”
“Birthright citizenship, which is assured by the Constitution, is almost unique in the modern world, OK?” Lasser says. “I think birthright citizenship is right. And you know that if that was up for a vote today we would lose it under the craziness of Trump and his seven dwarfs, right?”
Next comes Wendy Kozol, professor and chair of Oberlin’s Comparative American Studies Department.
Kozol tells the undercover student she would be open to holding a round-table campus discussion about the Constitution, “not from the way law and society people teach it, but I mean a real critical look at the way in which the Constitution and everyday life causes people pain.”
Second Amendment ‘never intended as cart blanche right’
Lasser says the Constitution is “not a sacred document in that sense,” and then she points to the Second Amendment rights of citizens to bear arms.
“Look at the fight over the Second Amendment. What could be clearer than, I mean, at least from my point of view, that the founders never envisioned giving people carte blanche to own assault rifles. That was not what they were talking about.”
Oberlin’s Kozol says she thinks the student’s fears about the Constitution would engender widespread support on campus.
“I think there is a lot of people who will immediately agree with you and join the conversation and think about ways to limit, confine or talk back, maybe you just want to talk back to the Constitution,” Kozol said.
Meanwhile back at Vassar, the undercover student appears to have no problem convincing her counselors to take action on her behalf.
“It’s horrible that this is something that has caused you pain. And unless the people are from off campus, we can’t keep them from disseminating it,” says Colleen Cohen, faculty director of affirmative action and professor of anthropology.
Cohen then asks, “Can I destroy this? Or do you want to hold onto it.”
“Well could you destroy it? Maybe it will feel, you know, therapeutic for me.”
“I’ll put it in the shredder,” Cohen said.