CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) — Complaints against Kirkwood professor Jeff Klinzman, who professes support for a militant leftist group called “Antifa”, is opening a debate over free speech on college campuses. Antifa is a group that has been behind several violent protests nationwide.
Their name is short for Anti-Fascist and is a movement focused on physically fighting far-right and white supremacist groups. The FBI has monitored the group and President Donald Trump is threatening to designate it as a domestic terrorist organization.
Klinzman, who has worked as an adjunct English professor at Kirkwood since January 2010, tells the I9 investigative team, “I affirm that I am ‘antifa'”. Klinzman declined to take part in an interview with I9 citing safety concerns but said in an email he makes no apology for what he has posted online.
Klinzman says what he has posted on social media drew complaints at Kirkwood Community College.
On the Facebook page for “Iowa Antifa”, one can find a litany of far-left statements and conversations.
One of them features a tweet from President Donald Trump where he calls the group, “Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting… people over the heads with baseball bats”. Professor Klinzman wrote in response, “Yeah, I know who I’d clock with a bat…”
The Secret Service tells I9 they are aware of Klinzman's post but would not confirm if they are investigating it as a threat to the President.
Cedar Rapids attorney Sara Riley says while what Klinzman posted may suggest an act of violence against the president, she does not expect him to be charged.
"It's so ambiguous that there is just no way that he'd ever be considered a true threat," said Riley.GO READ THE WHOLE THING.