Chancellor Claims UC Berkeley is Under Attack from Both Sides
No it isn’t.
Nicholas Dirks, Chancellor at UC Berkeley, has written a completely dishonest op-ed for the New York Times. Berkeley is not under attack from both sides. One side is trying to exercise free speech and the other side is attacking.
This is ridiculous:
Berkeley Is Under Attack From Both Sides
The University of California, Berkeley, and the community around it have been symbols of free speech for more than 50 years. We still celebrate the legacy of Mario Savio and others who fought in the 1960s to ensure that the First Amendment be honored on campus.
But today Berkeley is facing extraordinary challenges to living up to this legacy. The campus has become a magnet for groups who seek to use the site of the birth of the Free Speech Movement as a staging ground for violence and disruption.
The now-canceled campus speech by the conservative author Ann Coulter is a dramatic case in point. The Berkeley College Republicans invited Ms. Coulter without consulting with the university about the date of the event. This meant we at the school were unable to identify a place and time that could satisfy the extensive but necessary security requirements.
As a compromise, the college identified other dates and times for the event — during a forthcoming reading week or early in the fall semester — during which secure venues would be available. Meanwhile, we were receiving mounting threats of violence around the event. People describing themselves as anarchists and anti-fascists openly threatened to prevent Ms. Coulter’s talk “by any means necessary.” Right-wing groups threatened to appear on campus armed to ensure the opposite — they declared the event would be held “by any means necessary.”
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Berkeley is so full of crap.
The Berkeley College Republicans invited Ms. Coulter without consulting with the university about the date of the event.
So, the Berkeleyesque version of “free speech” is that which is spoken on certain approved days.
Good of them to clear that up. I thought for a moment that they might have thought they were serious.
Now this university, a former icon of free speech, is claiming to be a victi. After all, isn’t that all the rage these days?
And they are indeed a victim. They are the victim of failed ideologies and a pusillanimous leadership that lacks both a spine and any sort of character or integrity. To think that it is losers like this who are educating our children and creating the leaders of tomorrow.
This isn’t an op-ed, it’s just a re-issue of their official statement. They should retract it and get ahead of the issue by addressing all of the points that have been made by all sides. Even Obama just came out in support of Coulter’s right to speak. No one who wants to maintain their credibility on this issue will defend the argument that the threat of violence cancels anyone’s right to speak. These are the same people who told the police to stand down to allow BLM “their space” to riot across the US.
Either provide (and guarantee) free speech for all (that is why we have police and if necessary, the National Guard) or tell EVERYONE to just shut up and go away. Speech is not allowed for ANYONE at Berkeley anymore. Everyone go to your bedrooms until you learn how to talk like grown ups.
Maybe public universities don’t serve any useful societal purpose anymore. A failed experiment in ivory towers whose very purpose is to allow the free exchange of ideas. A classic example of what happens when corrupt elites elect themselves to decide what’s best for the rest of us (exempting themselves, of course).