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Brown Prof apologizes for inviting Ray Kelly

Brown Prof apologizes for inviting Ray Kelly

“especially to my black students and Latino brothers and sisters.” Also, asked for list of who not to invite in future, but says was “tongue in cheek” request.

We previously have reported on the shout down of NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly at Brown University on Tuesday, causing cancellation of his lecture:

A public forum was held at Brown last night to discuss the controversy generated by preventing Kelly from speaking.  The forum was reported live by multiple campus student publications.

One of the early speakers was Marion Orr, Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Urban Studies.  Orr also is Director of the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, which invited Kelly.

Orr apologized “especially to my black students and Latino brothers and sisters” for the “hurt” he caused by inviting Kelly, and indicated he did not expect such a reaction.

Orr also requested a list of people he should not invite in the future. I spoke with Orr, who said that he meant that request for a list as “tongue in cheek” and that everyone in the room understood that he did not really want such a list. Orr said that he was trying to make a point along the lines of “do you really want to have a list?” Orr did not dispute the substance of the quotes attributed to him regarding the list, but disputed what he meant by the request.

The Brown Daily Herald reported, Hundreds assemble to confront Kelly controversy (emphasis added):

Marion Orr, director of the Taubman Center, which sponsored Kelly’s lecture, expressed regret for the controversy.

“I sincerely apologize to my students,” Orr said. “Especially to my black students and Latino brothers and sisters — it wasn’t my intention to hurt you, and it hurts me to hear that my decision caused so much pain.”

Orr asked the students to submit a list of speakers whom they would not approve of coming to campus, adding that he never expected the intense reaction to Kelly’s event.

The Daily Herald also had a live blog, and reported the exchange as follows (author name, time and graphics removed for ease of reading, but available at the link):

Marion Orr, director of the Taubman Center, takes the mic.

He’s been here at Brown for 14-15 years… taught at Duke before he came here.

“i feel bad in a real, fundamental way. It hurt me that the invitation I sent to Kelly hurt so many people.”

“I’m a human being,” and it hurt him to see so many people distraught.

“Let me just say, I don’t support stop-and-frisk. Here’s what I thought … I really thought that you all, my Brown students, would challenge him in a fundamental kind of way.”

“I wanted to hear what Ray Kelly had to say about his policy, and let me just say I don’t support stop and frisk. But… I really thought that you all… would challenge him in a fundamental kind of way” by david_oyer 9:54 PM yesterday

“As long as I’m the Taubman director, I’m going to think twice about who I’m going to invite now. It would be very helpful for me if you give me the list of people who you don’t want me to invite to Brown. OK? I didn’t think Ray Kelly would be on that list, I’ll be very honest with you.”

Apologizes especially to his “black brothers and sisters and latino brothers and sisters” who were hurt by Ray Kelly’s arrival on campus.


(Brown student Jenny Li celebrating cancellation of Ray Kelly lecture)

(Brown student Jenny Li celebrating cancellation of Ray Kelly lecture)

There also was a Live Blog at Brown Political Review (emphasis added):

Marion Orr, Director of the Taubman Center, takes the mic.

Marion Orr: “I’m the director of the Taubman Center and I’ve been teaching here at Brown for 15 years now. I’ve never seen anything like yesterday before. I didn’t know what the hell to do!”

Orr is offering something of an apology for yesterday’s events.

Orr: “I feel bad in a real fundamental way. It hurts me to have the invitation that I sent to Mr. Kelly hurt so many people. In my heart, it hurts me to know that that invitation hurt so many people in this campus and I never forget it. That wasn’t my intention. It really hurts me. I’m a human being and it hurts me when I saw people distraught.”

Orr explains his intentions: “I want to associate my comments with Dr. Ross Cheit. I wanted to see what Ray Kelly had to say about his policy and let me just say, I don’t support stop-and-frisk. Here’s what I thought: I thought that you all, my Brown students, would challenge him in a fundamental kind of way. I don’t think he could’ve withstood it if you guys had challenged him in that kind of way. There’s no way he could have stood up to it. That’s what I wanted you all to do.”

Orr to students: “It’ll be very helpful for me if you give me the list. Give me the list of people who you don’t want me to invite to Brown. Give me the list. I didn’t think Ray Kelly was on the list.”

The Political Review live blog further reports that Political Science Professor John Tomasi, who runs the Janus Forum which invites controversial speakers to debates on campus, took the mic shortly thereafter and stated that he wanted the list of banned speakers so that Janus could invite them:

Prof. John Tomasi takes the mic, the head of the Political Theory Project.

Tomasi: “Marion Orr said that if there’s a list, then he wants the list. I also want the list. But I want the list because I want to share with my students, especially in the Janus Forum, so we can think together: how can we create environments in which even these people can be brought to campus in a way that’s instructive for all of us?”

Tomasi: “Not to celebrate them, not to even say whether I think this protest was right or wrong, but to bring the community forward, to a new kind of place, where we can sincerely celebrate bringing in the most controversail speakers. There’s been a lot of talk about bravery.”

A call and email to Prof. Tomasi have not been returned yet.

But I was able to speak to a student who was present, when Orr spoke.

The student indicated that when Orr first made the comment about requesting a list of who not to invite, the student became “a little worried” about whether Orr was serious or not.  The crowd, the student stated, applauded:  “Everyone in the audience clapped and cheered and was really happy” when Orr mentioned the list.  The student stated that while he first assumed it was sarcastic, when the crowed reacted Orr “didn’t give any indication he was joking.”  The student said he “wanted affirmation that it was a joke, but I didn’t get it.”

(Featured image source: Twitter)


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and according to the federal courts the liberal judge that ruled against stop and frisk has lost her freaken mind

    seems to me they handled it right, regardless of the legality of stop/frisk it always bugged me how she steered cases and did the interviews.

      Rick in reply to dmacleo. | October 31, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      I must be even more muddled tonight than usual: I see nothing in the nytimes article that support’s Aggie95’s characterization.

        in strikingly personal terms, criticized the trial judge’s conduct in the litigation and removed her from the case.
        The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, “ran afoul” of the judiciary’s code of conduct by compromising the “appearance of impartiality surrounding this litigation.” The panel criticized how she had steered the lawsuit to her courtroom when it was filed in early 2008.
        The Second Circuit ruling instructs the new judge to put off “all proceedings and otherwise await further action” from the circuit.
        nt often I see NYT printing rebukes like that, so while not a ” lost her freaken mind ” statement its pretty telling.

    myiq2xu in reply to Aggie95. | October 31, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Appellate courts rarely rebuke judges on the record. This is very unusual. I’ll be surprised if they don’t send the case back for a new trial with a different judge. If they don’t it will be because they reverse it on the merits.

ThoughtCrime exposed and punished.

Re-education complete.


So is there any way to protest or request that my RI tax dollars do not go to a University that allows free speech not only to be shouted down but that this abuse is celebrated and the extremists who did it are not only not punished but are apologized to. Everyone deserves a right to speak. People can debate, argue, disagree, but no one should be able to stop others from even participating in the discussion.

To have people who think that others do not have the right to free speech are steps away from demanding re-education, gulags, and death camps. Especially, if those who show so little caring for others celebrate this as a victory and demand that those who were abused not only shut up and take it but apologize for wanting to speak (or think, or dare I say breath) in the first place.

Jenny Li = Nazi in training.

    Brown is a private university.

      Sunlight78 in reply to bw222. | October 31, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      I should have been more expansive and just said tax dollars – no federal student aid to schools that denigrate free speech (or at least no federal student aid to those caught shouting down free speech).

        This is a terrible idea. What the kids did in this case was idiotic and they deserve the consequences of their intentional ignorance, but the government shouldn’t be in the business of telling Americans whom they may not shut up.

          Ragspierre in reply to m87. | October 31, 2013 at 10:21 pm

          Wrong. The government SHOULD be in the business of telling students…and everyone else…they cannot silence people with impunity.

          NO. Body.

          All speech has consequences.

          Sunlight78 in reply to m87. | November 1, 2013 at 12:46 am

          “America was founded on Freedom of Speech.
          If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
          George Washington

          “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” Evelyn Beatrice Hall

          Some historical notables in recent times who were against free speech include Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and many religious extremists of all sorts.

          If the students can’t see that depriving others of their right to free speech (even at a conference being held for debate), claiming this abuse as a victory, and then wanting an apology for the other people even wanting to talk is wrong then they should not be in higher education paid for by the American people.

          Personally, I think even if they are privately paying to go to the University they need some type of community service completed to even stay. I would suggest a course in manners but that in my mind is too much like re-education. Maybe helping out veterans who have give their all to make this country free (though this might be a burden to the veterans).

          These are the same type of people trying to get members of congress arrested for sedition for speaking out in what they think is the best interest of the American people (wrongly or rightly: requesting a one year delay in Obamacare and that Obama and special interest groups should not be exempted).

          Free Speech and Free Thought are for everyone not just for the people you agree with.

          “It is easy to believe in freedom of speech for those with whom we agree.” Leo McKern

    1. Jenny Li = Nazi in training.

    Maoist in training, I would say, noting the Che/Fidel military jacket. It should surprise no one that Li is a double “Studies” major (Environmental and Africana).

    2. The Asian-American vote should be an ideal Republican constituency, but Obama carried it by 3-to-1 last November. I mostly ascribe that to the Stupid Party acting stupid and Real Conservatives™ acting crazy, but the influence of people like Li may play a role.

      thubar2000 in reply to gs. | November 2, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      Unfortunately, many of the newer generation of Americans of Asian descent associate Republicans with racism. Nevermind that Asians are actually getting beat up in inner cities full of Democrats & Asian gangs.

      Remember that East Asia has North Korea & Beijing. The instances of picking good governments are far & few in-between.

      Disclosure: American of Chinese & Vietnamese background.

These places have no business calling themselves institutions of learning.

Jenny Li will be the Director of Homeland Security for President Elizabeth Warren during her first term and Secretary of Defense in her second term.

Imagine if the College Republicans tried to shout down a left-wing speaker.

    “Just another example of the epistemic closure of the right!”

    “Just another example of racism, since this person who is a member of a racial minority wanted to hear the speaker.”

    “…” (while drooling uncontrollably and staring emptily into the room)

Just thinking about the state of colleges today makes me ill. The entire premise of the university has been turned inside out. The moribund administrators and deluded self-righteous little brats take pride in their brave “Progressivism”; in fact, they’re radically retrograde, imposing and enforcing a secular intolerance and oppression, Orwell’s “smelly orthodoxies”, of the 1930s quite beyond the comprehension or contemplation of the severest Catholic seminary or military school. How sad for them but more so for America. And yet we suck it up. America is more hapless than I would ever have guessed. The Left is running roughshod over us. Insurance execs fold before cheap fascist threats, tough police commissioners shrink from angry college students, the mighty leader of “the Surge” David Petraeus scuttles away from buzzing neo-hippy gnats on the street. Everywhere the vanguards of American enterprise and so-called defenders of our liberty prove themselves completely unwilling or unable to stand up to the Leftist mob. Pathetic.

Was “my black students and Latino brothers and sisters” also offered “tongue-in-cheek” or was it intended to be divisive?

“…Orr asked the students to submit a list of speakers whom they would not approve of coming to campus…”

Prior Restraint : Good when ‘We’ do it, bad when ‘They’ do it.

I’d like to submit a list of 300 million names, with only Sarah Palin left off the list and see how that flies…

theduchessofkitty | October 31, 2013 at 11:09 pm

The Higher Education Bubble cannot explode soon enough!

Put all these overgrown infants on a train to BedStuy Brooklyn and leave them there for the night. Let’s see if they change their mind about ‘Police Brutality’ once they get a taste of ‘Thug Brutality’.

And the ACLU, who found it crucial to let Nazis march through Skokie, is where?

What amazing hypocrisy.

Brown university what’s left to teach? You’ve taught these kids all they need to know.

“Brown University” Intellectual excrement that you can’t just wipe off your shoes………

…tongue in cheek…

tongue in something moist.

Not a cheek (face/mouth).

I hope I die before these Leftist-in-Training start firing up the high speed bullet train to the re-education gulag.

It is a travesty that even a dime of tax money goes to support a fascist enterprise like Brown.

Get the government out of the education business, and we can drive out the leftist cockroaches in a generation or two. Where there are no crumbs, there will be no roaches.

[…] Seems somebody at Brown invited New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to give a lecture. Kelly is by all accounts a sharp guy, worthy of hearing. He’s seen a lot of history. […]

According to you, the Christian faith and ethos represents man’s only chance to live in peace and prosperity – I mean, that’s the upshot of your blather, correct? Funny, it sure looks a lot like another transitional cultural/social tradition that mankind will move through. Already, the trend is clear. Christianity is only advancing in uneducated populations, and throughout the West it’s on the wane.. From an anthropological perspective, there is absolutely no reason to think that man’s progress will stop if Christianity disappears. History shows us the exact opposite.

Put another way, do you see how much you cherrypick data and conflate things? It wasn’t 150 years ago when many Christians justified slavery on their faith. It’s only recently reformed Christianity which has been somewhat peaceful and something you could call remotely moral. But of course, if you weren’t a Christian you would see that immediately…

What is most laughable about this kind of Christian supremacy – and don’t kid yourself, that’s exactly what your worldview is – is that you try to claim all of modernity’s benefits for yourself. The fact is our liberty and the age of reason arose in opposition to the God dominated world of most of human civilization. The fact is that early Christians tried to destroy much of the science and reason given to us by the classical Greco/Roman thinkers setting back human progress for a thousand years or more.

That’s your Christian legacy. You can have it. But don’t dare tell me our modern world or our liberty rests upon it. Yes, to have a good society you need a moral people. But sadly, you are so bigoted or ignorant – take your pick – that you can’t see how many other social systems/moral codes produce good people, and have done so over the course of history.

Unfortunately, people like you are as common as peas these days, programmed by fundo hucksters like David Barton and Glenn Beck, and many others, who run around conflating a love of liberty with Christianity. It’s nothing unique, or really, even interesting. Worst of all is listening to you trying to lecture the rest of us. Re-read your screed above, it’s hyperbole and nonsense mostly.

Have a nice day.

    Larry A. Singleton in reply to ScribblerG. | November 2, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    “Put another way, do you see how much you cherrypick data and conflate things? It wasn’t 150 years ago when many Christians justified slavery on their faith.”

    Question: The abolishinists who were instrumental in bringing about the end of slavery were who? And compared to Islam who seem to be stuck in the Dark Ages how is it Christianity has NOT progressed; specifically.

    And as far as the last couple of hundred years Christians have been doing pretty good for themsleves and the world as long as they’re not slaughtered and massacred by Muslims. And like the “Loons” who respond to my “blathering” you fail to challenge one single thing in my letter. Specifically.

    “The fact is our liberty and the age of reason arose in opposition to the God dominated world of most of human civilization.”

    I hope you’re not talking about America’s “Liberty” because our foundation was not based on “opposition to God”. It was out of protest of England dictating the church as the law of the land. And do you see America arresting people or interfering with peoples faith? Only those who want to turn America into a caliphate. And personally, I have no problem with that at all. I mean which religion in America is more likely to store weapons of war in the basement of their house of worship? And are so scared of the competition they threaten their own adherents with death for even thinking about leaving.

    Speaking of which, you don’t identify exactly what group in society has a better answer today. I submitted “The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia” by Tim Tzouliadis to show what happens when people like you and those trying to eliminate public prayer get their way and get a “Christian God” out of the equation. As far as the shortcomings of Christians in history they failed because they lost sight of one important thing; that Religion is man made and spirituality is God made. And when you lose sight of that, things naturally go wrong. I’m sure in villifying Christians your favorite scapegoat is the Crusaders so let me recomment a good book to you; A Concise History of the Crusades by Thomas F. Madden

    But you don’t understand that because you haven’t actually read history. One of my favorite characters in history is Julian the Apostate. (Read Gods and Legions and Ammianus Marcellinus) He was everything you’d hope for in a ruler. But what was his primary shortcoming?

    And through all the civilizations and all the societies ALL have passed into history and memory…except for one: the God of Abraham. And as far as who I’d like to stay on top I alway look at comparisons; like that of Jesus compared to Mohammad and Christianity compared to Islam. And I like to listen to those who are persuasive in their arguments. And frankly buddy, you just dont’ cut it.