Arizona State University discriminated against a student journalist for sharing some facts about Jacob Blake. Now her parents are fighting back.
A video that later went viral showed Blake, the man shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 23, being shot in the back seven times after he resisted arrest and attempted to get into his car against police orders, where a knife was later found on the floorboard near where Blake had reached into the car.
On Aug. 31, the board of directors of Blaze Radio at Arizona State University announced it had voted to remove their station manager, Rae’Lee Klein, from her post for sharing a New York Post story revealing that Blake was wanted on sexual assault charges at the time of his shooting.
Weeks after the board voted to out Klein, she was finally removed from her position.
— Blaze Radio (@BlazeRadioASU) August 29, 2020
— Blaze Radio (@BlazeRadioASU) August 31, 2020
A statement from Blaze Radio alumni: pic.twitter.com/g727e2Wrcs
— Blaze Radio (@BlazeRadioASU) September 6, 2020
UPDATE: The Cronkite school has officially removed me from my position as Station Manger, despite refusal to inform me of what university/Cronkite rules I violated. Check out the article for the full details. As they know, this is far from over…https://t.co/sp9AvUrV72
— Rae’Lee Klein (@RaeLeeKlein) September 17, 2020
Klein’s parents, Ronda and Gene Klein, have since set up a fundraiser for their daughter in light of the university forcibly removing her from her post.
The fundraiser is set up to help the family pay for Rae’Lee’s legal fees as she fights back against ASU’s alleged violation of her First Amendment right.
The Kleins set up the fundraiser on GiveSendGo, which describes itself as the number one “free Christian crowdfunding site.”
“This is a blatant disregard for Rae’Lee’s 1st Amendment Rights by the school, and complete [hypocrisy] at the highest level. The school has failed to protect her rights as a student and an individual. Journalists are tasked with the job of reporting the truth, and in doing so, she is being removed from her position,” Klein’s parents wrote in the description of the fundraiser.
“We, as the parents of Rae’Lee Klein, are helping our daughter take a stand, and we are asking you to take a stand with her. Donations will be going to her legal defense, and the fight for the protection of 1st Amendment Rights. There is a cycle of students being silenced across America’s universities, and it’s time that cycle is broken.
“Your support is greatly appreciated.”
So far, the parents have raised $1,400 of their $50,000 goal.
Rae’Lee Klein had previously spoken with The Western Journal about her removal.
“There’s always going to be a group upset,” Klein told The Western Journal, “and it’s not an easy pill to swallow, but it doesn’t take away from my belief that the truth needs to be told.”
“They call me out on hurting the industry, but they’re inherently the ones doing it because they’re trying to censor which truth gets out, and just because it may be hard to hear doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be told,” Klein said.
The student went on to point out that ASU’s actions when it comes to the Jacob Blake case, go against any reasonable standard of journalistic integrity.
“I think a lot of different news outlets, unfortunately, they pick and choose which stories that they want to tell that fits their audience and they run it like a business, and that’s not what journalism is supposed to be,” Klein told The Western Journal.
“I’m a patriot first and a journalist second,” she said. “I will never turn my back on the people that I work for.”
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