UC-Berkeley comes out for free speech


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Progress in Berkeley: The University of California-Berkeley has created a website that unapologetically defends the traditional view of the first amendment and freedom of speech.

A statement by the university’s new Chancellor Carol Christ also says this:

We all desire safe space, where we can be ourselves and find support for our identities. You have the right at Berkeley to expect the university to keep you physically safe. But we would be providing students with a less valuable education, preparing them less well for the world after graduation, if we tried to shelter them from ideas that many find wrong, even dangerous. We must show that we can choose what to listen to, that we can cultivate our own arguments and that we can develop inner resilience, which is the surest form of safe space. These are not easy tasks, and we will offer support services for those who desire them.

This September, Ben Shapiro and Milo Yiannopoulos have both been invited by student groups to speak at Berkeley. The university has the responsibility to provide safety and security for its community and guests, and we will invest the necessary resources to achieve that goal. If you choose to protest, do so peacefully. That is your right, and we will defend it with vigor. We will not tolerate violence, and we will hold anyone accountable who engages in it.

This sounds good. Let us hope she stands by her words. If you want to explore the full site, go here.

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5 comments

  • wodun

    At the Shapiro event, Berkeley helped build inner resilience with cuddling service dogs and coloring book sessions. These things are ridiculous but aside from that, they are just examples of the many services provided to Democrats that are not provided to non-Democrats on college campuses.

    The other day we had the link about segregated meals. A commenter pointed out this was just a way to help teach various identarian groups Democrat party propaganda.

    Religion is just an ideology. We have the separation of religion and state but far too often, Democrats use government institutions to force their ideology on the populace. For many Democrats, politics is religion.

    It’s great that Berkeley wants to now stop violence from stopping speech but the violence is just a symptom of the larger problem of forced indoctrination.

  • Edward

    From the Hot Air article:
    One more excerpt [from the FAQ page] and this is an important one: [Q] ‘Can people who oppose a speaker’s message use their own freedom of speech to drown out the offending words?’

    [A] ‘No, freedom of speech does not give someone the right to drown out the words and speech of others; freedom of speech would mean little if the audience was able to silence anyone with whom they disagreed. Once a society starts down the path of condoning such de facto censorship, it creates the culture and conditions in which anyone’s rights of speech can be compromised.’

    Well done, Berkeley!

    If only they had had this policy back when Berkeley students shouted down Jeane Kirkpatrick. That was the first time that Berkeley students showed so much intolerance that they would not allow a contrary viewpoint be expressed. As the above answer indicates, the successful use of the shout-down tactic led to a campus culture in which it eventually became acceptable to use violence to shut down free speech on the Berkeley campus, home of the Free Speech Movement. Over the past 1/3 century, the students went from shouting down opposition to whacking opponents over the head with chains.

    wodun wrote: “At the Shapiro event, Berkeley helped build inner resilience with cuddling service dogs and coloring book sessions. These things are ridiculous but aside from that, they are just examples of the many services provided to Democrats that are not provided to non-Democrats on college campuses.

    I will have to pop by campus, sometime, and try to use these counselling services as a conservative who was triggered by a progressive speaker on campus. It is only fair for them to help out a right-wing snowflake, too.

  • Edward wrote, “I will have to pop by campus, sometime, and try to use these counselling services as a conservative who was triggered by a progressive speaker on campus. It is only fair for them to help out a right-wing snowflake, too.”

    Oo, please do it. And if you do it and write it up I will gladly allow you to post here, as a guest post. It will attract a lot of attention, and would certainly make waves. And pictures would be great to!

  • Edward

    Robert,
    On researching the Berkeley campus site, as linked in the Hot air article, it looks like the counseling services are the standard services that are offered at the Tang Center, not special counselling specifically for trigger events and not coloring books and furry animals.
    http://deanofstudents.berkeley.edu/safety-support-resources
    We recognize these events can engender harm for some. If you need support, the campus has several resources, including counseling services. For help navigating these resources, please contact my office (link sends e-mail), or visit our Well-being Page and our Support Page.

    (The e-mail link did not work on my browser, so my attempt seems to be futile in asking what specific counseling services are available, who is eligible for them, where on campus to find them, and what constitutes a relevant trigger event.)

    http://deanofstudents.berkeley.edu/well-being

    The link on that page to “Campus Climate” has no reference to counseling services but only to the preferred climate on campus.

    https://diversity.berkeley.edu/initiatives

    Apparently, rather than be directed to a coloring book or a fuzzy cat, I would be directed to a psychiatrist or psychologist. I can see a danger here, since the campus administration considers conservative speakers as the bad guys whose bad ideas are required to be allowed only due to freedom of speech rules; I could end up institutionalized to a reeducation camp.

    http://events.berkeley.edu/index.php/calendar/sn/fsm.html

    The White Supremacy discussion panel looks to be my best bet for being triggered (whatever that means), since leftists tend to mistake white supremacy as a right wing concept, even though all previous practitioners (NAZIs, KKK, etc.) have been leftists; the very concept of supremacy violates the fundamental right wing concepts of reduced government intervention in our lives and increased liberty for all.
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Triggered
    “Getting filled with hate after seeing, hearing or experiencing something you can’t stand.”

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=trigger
    1. A term used to describe sensations, images, or experiences that trigger a traumatic memory. Related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    2. A strong emotional reaction set off by a set of words or image that reminds a person of a traumatic event. Used often in the Self Injury community to describe something that may cause a person to relapse into a cutting, bullimic, or other self injuring state.

    3. A topic, phrase or word that emotionally sets someone off. Could refer to anger, or reliving a traumatic experience. Sometimes this is logical, other times it seems like an attention grab. It is fairly common for certain communities on, for example, Livejournal to be overly sensitive to people’s ‘triggers’ (often but not always relating to sexual assault)–any mention of violence may be censored.

    4. A word used often by idiots on Tumblr to justify their bitchy attitudes, most of whom don’t know what a real traumatic experience is.

    5. A trigger is an experience that causes a person to recall a traumatic moment in their life. Often misused by [ahem]holes trying to belittle people’s horrible experiences.

  • Edward: Your sense of danger here is well-placed.

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