According to the Daily Mail, a petition posted over at Change.org is demanding the firing of a New York university professor involved in the harassment of Ivanka Trump and her children aboard a JetBlue flight last week.
Matthew Lasner, an instructor in the Urban Policy and Planning department at Hunter College, was traveling with his husband Dan Goldstein when the pair discovered they were flying with the first daughter-elect. Goldstein reportedly confronted Trump and began shouting at her.
According to other passengers who witnessed the incident, Ivanka remained calm, even telling Jet Blue staff that she didn’t “want to make this a thing.” However, the crew made the decision to remove Goldstein, Lasner, and their child to avoid the risk of further distress. Because the plane was still boarding when the events unfolded, removing the men and restoring order proved to be a relatively quick and painless process.
For some, however, this is not enough. The referenced petition, which has over 35,000 signatures, presently, demands the removal of Lasner for what its creators see as his complicity in the affair. While both Lasner and Goldstein downplayed the incident, the professor tweeted the following just before the trouble ensued: “Ivanka and Jared at JFK T5, flying commercial. My husband chasing them down to harass them. #banalityofevil”
It was surely that tweet that galvanized the folks behind the movement to take action. The petition reads, in part, “'Someone like Mr. Lasner, who would harass a mother and her child simply trying to go about their day, does not deserve the honor of teaching.”
Hunter College has yet to address the incident publicly, although it is not known if any administrator has met, or plans to meet, privately with Lasner.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large