UC Berkeley Has to Pay for Abridging Free Speech
UC Berkeley has learned the hard way there can be a price to pay for abridging free speech on campus. Now they are paying out $70,000 to Young America Foundation.
It is more subtle than a university refusing a student group to bring in a particular speaker. There are other ways a university can limit or eliminate free speech by certain speakers they don’t like. They can charge outrageous security fees, for example, that they would not charge to other groups.
Several years ago, I attended an event at UC Irvine where David Horowitz appeared. Not only did the university switch his meeting room at the last minute to a more obscure part of the campus, none of the whiteboard markers had enough ink. Horowitz repeatedly laughed it off at the UCI administrators in the audience who were documenting his words on their laptops.
When Milo Yiannopoulos appeared at UCI not long ago, the event was placed in a room much too small to accomodate the hundreds of people (including myself) who were trying to get in-and whose names were on the registration list.
I salute the YAF for holding UCB’s feet to the fire. These institutions all have a ready made statement they release to the media when these things happen to the effect that they are “100 committed to the principles of free speech, inclusions, etc etc etc”. It is a joke. When students and assorted riff-raff rioted at UC Berkeley a few years ago forcing a last minute cancellation to Yiannopoulos’s appearance, the university all but put their seal of approval on the assaults and destruction of property as campus police stood around like potted plants. Other universities, like UCI, seem to be allowing disruptions to continue for a set period of time before gently ushering the protesters out with no consequences.
Left to their own devices and with the public not paying attention, universities will continue to limit conservative speech and indoctrinate our youth. They need to be countered, and, when appropriate, sued.