By Charles C. Johnson and Ryan Girdusky
(The Daily Caller) “I was among a large group of students who felt strongly about the way
we thought the world should be, and we weren’t afraid to make our
opinions heard,” he said
during Columbia’s 2009 commencement exercises. “I did not take a final
exam until my junior year at Columbia — we were on strike every time
finals seemed to roll around — but we ran out of issues by that third
Holder told Columbia University’s graduating law students during a 2010 commencement speech that
the 1970 incident happened “during my senior year,” but Holder was a
freshman at the time. “[S]everal of us took one of our concerns — that
black students needed a designated space to gather on campus — to the
Dean [of Freshmen]’office. This being Columbia, we proceeded to occupy
Holder also claimed in his 2009 speech that he and his fellow
students decided to “peacefully occupy one of the campus offices.” In
contrast, the BSO’s website recounted
its predecessor organization’s activities by noting that that “in 1970,
a group of armed black students [the SAAS] seized the abandoned ROTC
While that website is no longer online, a snapshot of its content from September 2010 is part of the archive.org database.
In a December 2010 GQ magazine profile of Holder, one of his Columbia friends confirmed that he and Holder were both part of the ROTC office takeover.
Holder particularly “connected with four other African-American
students” at Columbia, correspondent Wil S. Hylton wrote. “We took over
the ROTC lounge in Hartley Hall and created the Malcolm X Lounge,” said a
laughing Steve Sims, one of those students.
Hylton described Sims as “the attorney general’s closest friend” and “a man Holder describes as his ‘consigliere...’”