Shame on U.C. Berkeley

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One of the hallmark characteristics of liberty is the protected right to share and express ideas—even unpopular ones. “Freedom of Speech,” as it is often referred to, is part of the First Amendment to our Constitution; listed among the first “God given” freedoms identified in the Bill of Rights.

To place a value upon this right one must consider the American lives lost in the cause to preserve and protect it. Truly, it is among the sacred rights, bought and paid for by the blood of patriots. We each have a duty to respect, defend, and uphold it, for when we do not, we dishonor the men and women who paid dearly–many with their very lives–to secure it for us.

The full text of the First Amendment is:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free          exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Now if you have been paying attention, you know that the right of free speech has been under attack lately. And while it is true that there are certain limits to this freedom (yelling “fire” in a crowded theater is often cited as an example of using speech in a manner that is illegal), there are apparently a good number of citizens–many who likely claim to be well educated–who don’t understand what freedom of speech is or what it means.

In fact, when you read our feature article, Risk, Reward, and Republicanism, by Bradley Devlin, Secretary of the Berkeley College Republicans (page 20), you’ll discover that among the worst, chronic offenders in the assault on free speech is the very administration at what was once a standard-bearer in causes for freedom and liberty–the University of California at Berkeley.

When the controversial, firebrand speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos, was scheduled to speak at the U.C. Berkeley campus last February, he was prevented from doing so by a large group of individuals (students and non-students) who became violent, destroying school property and threatening anyone who dared support this free speech event.  The event became an all-out riot, as the campus police simply stepped back and allowed the anarchists to have their way.

Later in the year, conservative speaker, Ann Coulter was scheduled to speak, but the U.C. administration would not allow it because they “couldn’t ensure her safety.”

The real tragedy in all of this is that, while the young students who opposed these event might be excused because they are simply too immature or ignorant to realize their error, the so-called adults in the U.C.  administration surely know better.

Shame on them for not standing up for free speech. Shame on them for dishonoring those men and women– the ones mentioned previously, with courage that they, apparently, do not possess.     

 

 

 

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