Ann Coulter has been a brave standard-bearer for conservatism for decades, so it is no surprise to find out she’s planning to speak at a liberal college.
But visiting UC Berkeley? Now that’s really brave.
During the tumultuous 60’s, UC Berkeley was considered a beacon for freedom of speech. Students there protested for their first-amendment rights on campus, and did so through nonviolent means.
Unfortunately, recent events on campus demonstrate that this university is a far cry from what it used to stand for.
Conservative provocateur Milo Yiannapoulous was set to speak at the university last February, but the event was canceled because so-called “Anti-fascist” activists were committing arson and pepper spraying students who had come to hear Milo’s speech.
Additionally, the “Battle of Berkeley” just finished its second round this week. Pro-Trump activists have tried several times there to march in support of the president, but each time they have been violently attacked by liberal college students.
Free speech and diversity of thought have been cast aside at Berkeley, in favor of safe spaces and stifling conservative viewpoints.
The latest conservative firebrand the school is attempting to keep out is none other than the fearless Ann Coulter.
“UC-Berkeley, a publicly-funded university, first imposed a series of ridiculous requirements on the speech allegedly in the name of ‘safety.’ Coulter, we were informed, would be required to deliver her speech in the afternoon; only students would be allowed to attend; and the speech location would not be announced until close to the event,” they continued.
“Against our advice, Coulter agreed to all these requirements. In return, she requested two measures, which actually had something to do with safety.”
1) That the University of California chancellor request that the Oakland chief of police refrain from telling his men to stand down and ignore law-breaking by rioters attempting to shut down conservative speakers, as he has done in the past; and
2) That UC-Berkeley announce in advance that any students engaging in violence, mayhem or heckling to prevent an invited speaker from speaking would be expelled.
As Coulter explained, “If Berkeley wants to have free speech, it can have it.”
The university’s response was to ban her speech.
The Young America’s Foundation at Berkeley condemned the school for stopping their attempts to host this event. They claim this is being done purely out of bias, and that the Berkeley staff have allowed far more controversial liberals to speak at the university.
Despite the plans to derail them, the school’s YAF chapter are going to ignore the mandate and hold the event anyway. Ann Coulter is going to snub her nose at Berkeley for trying to control her speech.
This act of defiance is one that Berkeley would have been proud of in the past. But now standing up to authority is only trendy and acceptable if the authority figure is a Republican.
It’s incredible that the administrators at Berkeley are failing to see the irony in shutting down events hosted by conservatives. Not only are they trampling on the first amendment, they are doing so in the name of “safety”.
Safety from what? Scary ideas? Conservative students wearing MAGA hats? The only safety Berkeley is concerned with is the safety of their stranglehold on the university’s public discourse.
President Trump should deny Berkeley all of its government funding until the school can learn to abide by the Constitution. Freedom of speech is for everyone, not just for liberals.
The Washington Post has confirmed that UC Berkeley has reversed its decision and will now host Coulter, but has sent her a revised venue and a later date.
Coulter has declined, suggesting they stick to the original plan.