A recent incident at the University of Southern California (USC) has brought to light the actions of Rachel Birney, a Physics Teaching Assistant (TA) at the university and the daughter of a Democratic Mayor in Washington state.
Birney, originally from Redmond, Wash., was caught on video laughing as she tore down flyers on the USC campus. These flyers were part of a global campaign advocating for the return of over 200 hostages taken by Hamas during a terrorist attack on Israelis on October 7.
Birney is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the School of Natural Science & Mathematics at USC. Her academic journey includes a past as a soccer player at Wesleyan College in Middletown, Conn. The video of her removing the flyers quickly spread online, prompting a response from USC.
“We are aware of a social media post of a person removing posters from what appears to be a building on our campus. We know this is upsetting to many of you and encourage everyone in the USC community to respect others’ views/act with civility towards each other,” the university said in a statement. “We are looking into this but are prohibited from providing additional information due to student privacy laws. You can learn more about our resources, reassurances, and answers to help you navigate USC.”
Angela Birney, Rachel’s mother and the Democratic Mayor of Redmond, Wash., has faced her share of controversy. She endorsed far-left radical state Sen. Marko Liias in his unsuccessful campaign for lieutenant governor in 2020. Liias is known for pushing Senate Bill 5599 earlier this year, which critics argue encourages minors to seek “gender-affirming” care and “maternity services” without parental consent and at taxpayer expense, including sex changes and abortions. Angela Birney was also criticized for supporting a plan to convert a motel into a homeless shelter without community consultation, a move often associated with increased crime, open-air drug use and vagrancy.
Furthermore, Angela Birney was endorsed by far-left Democratic State Sen. Manka Dhingra, chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee and deputy majority leader of the Washington state Senate. Dhingra refused to advance a bill that would have amended Washington’s flawed police pursuit reforms, which have led to a significant rise in crime, particularly auto theft. Dhingra’s defense of her position, citing a discredited study claiming the original legislation saved lives, was met with expert criticism and the study was subsequently withdrawn from websites.
Despite these controversies, Angela Birney is on track for reelection, having secured 71% of the vote. The revelation of her daughter’s actions in tearing down the flyers advocating for the release of hostages taken by Hamas came just a day after the election.
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