Firing Marc Lamont Hill Would Violate the First Amendment

Palestine Legal issued the following statement today, in response to an escalating campaign calling on Temple University to fire Professor of Media Studies and Urban Education Marc Lamont Hill, and following CNN’s termination of its contract with him on Thursday, November 29, only 24 hours after he called for equal rights for all in historic Palestine in a speech at a United Nations event marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  

 Professor Marc Lamont Hill

Professor Marc Lamont Hill

Firing Professor Hill for his United Nations speech would unequivocally violate the First Amendment. Temple must protect its faculty’s academic freedom and First Amendment rights to talk about matters of public import, and CNN must show its commitment to diverse viewpoints – including those calling for equality and dignity for Palestinians – by reversing its termination of Hill.

The campaign of false accusations and censorship against Hill represent yet another example of the “Palestine Exception” to free speech.  

The attacks on Hill seek to distract from the increasingly mainstream support for freedom and equality for all people between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Hill’s principled advocacy reflects a deep understanding both of Palestinian history and of similar struggles for justice in the U.S. and around the world. Hill’s humanity should be applauded, and efforts to vilify him must be exposed as part of a larger campaign to undermine the movement for Palestinian rights in the U.S.

To show your support for Hill: 

  • Call or write CNN and tell them you disapprove of their silencing of a critical voice for racial justice and human rights, including Palestinian rights.

  • Write Temple’s Board of Trustees (trustees@temple.edu) and tell them you support Hill, and that they have a legal obligation to protect Hill from the pressure campaign to undermine him for his principled support for full equality for Palestinians.

  • Show your support on social media by tweeting at @marclamonthill, @CNN and @TempleUniv, with the hashtag #IStandWithMLH

  • Sign petitions in support of Hill: