Forty-one years ago, in the city of Kent, Ohio, the Ohio National Guard took disproportionate measures to break up a protest at Kent State University where students were demonstrating against the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. The guardsmen fired 67 rounds of ammunition into a crowd of unarmed college students, killing 4 students and wounding 9 others. Many believe the Kent State shootings were a turning point in anti-war sentiment in America and led to increased pressure from the public to end the Viet Nam war.

Since 1970 Kent State has remained, by and large, out of the news, but that all changed this week. A Kent State University professor with alleged ties to a defunct jihadist website yelled “Death to Israel” at a lecture, open to the public, given on campus by a former Israeli diplomat.

Ismael Khaldi, former deputy counsel general at the Israeli consulate in San Francisco and the first Arab Bedouin Muslim Israeli diplomat, was holding a question and answer period, when University professor Julio Pino started firing a string of inflammatory questions at Khaldi. When Pino became frustrated with Khaldi’s answers, the professor shouted “Death to Israel” and then angrily stomped out of the building.

University president Lester Lefton, condemned Pino’s outburst, calling it “reprehensible and an embarrassment to our university.”

While Lefton is Jewish, he defended Pino’s free speech rights.

“It may have been professor Pino’s right to do so, but it is my obligation, as the president of this university, to say that I find his words deplorable and his behavior deeply troubling,” Lefton said in a statement.

Pino, who emigrated from Cuba and converted to Islam, has refused to comment.

Kent State verified that Professor Pino has been investigated by federal authorities and admitted they were aware of allegations that Pino wrote stories for a now-defunct jihadist website.

The Akron Beacon Journal reported that Pino had also written a eulogy for an 18-year-old Palestinian suicide bomber in the school’s student-run newspaper.

Given Pino’s checkered past, clear support for terrorist activities and outburst this week, one might wonder why the tenured history professor remains employed by the university?

University spokesman Tom Neumann said in an interview with Fox News that Pino remains employed by the school and continues to hold classes.

Newmann said the university has received a number of calls and emails, and the president had been in touch with many of the local Jewish organizations near the university.

“Whether you are a Jewish student or not, we find it very troubling,” he said. “That’s the point we want to get across. Dr. Pino doesn’t speak on behalf of the university, and that’s not the type of behavior we expect.”

Newmann’s position, or that of the university itself, appears rather simple-minded. As long as Pino remains employed by the university and espousing his radical views to students, he is conducting the business of Kent State.

Perhaps most troubling is that Pino is receiving support from his fellow faculty members.

Donald Hassler told Fox News that Pino is a “colleague whom I respect. We believe in freedom of expression and civil discourse. And those sometimes come in conflict – as they did in this case.”

Ken Bindas, the chair of the KSU history department, told the Cleveland Jewish News that Pino was not attending the program as a professor, but “as a human being. I don’t agree with his comments, but at the same time, I can’t not defend his right to free speech.”

These 2 faculty members demonstrate how far to the left the teaching staffs of present-day universities have swung. Hassler’s argument that a member of the university’s faculty was exercising his freedom of expression is moronic. Freedom of speech and hate speech are diametrically opposed. One would hope that someone influencing the leaders of the future would know the difference. Would Hassler have felt the same had Pino used the “N” word? Of course not.

When the head of the university’s history department argues that he must defend the right to promote hatred as a right to free speech it becomes all too clear that our university’s faculties have sunk to a new liberal low. Can anyone imagine the same type of defense of the indefensible taking place during World War II? Would a Hitler sympathizer been tolerated as an educator at that time? Would Kent State keep a member of the Klu Klux Klan on its staff?

Mr. Khaldi was a guest of the university and was invited to speak to the public; he was due respect. Surely Mr. Khaldi has a thick skin given his life as an Israeli diplomat, but should we tolerate hatred being voiced on our college campuses? Kent State is a public institution and, as such, receives public funding; should we be sending money to schools that employ people that advocate hatred and may influence the minds of our young adults with their personal radical views? If Kent State allows Mr. Pino to remain on their staff they are effectively sanctioning hatred no different than if a professor openly proclaimed that all Muslims are terrorists.

We should not hate Mr. Pino for his views, nor should we encourage the spread of those views by sanctioning his actions. Mr. Pino is no more a representation of Muslim Americans than John Wayne Gacy is of kid’s party clowns. There are good and evil people in all religions, nationalities and races. Undoubtedly Mr. Pino was himself influenced by someone with radical views, so let’s hope Kent State will come to their senses and not grant him the opportunity to imprint these views upon the pliable minds of college students.