Do not condone violence to suppress free speech

In a letter to the UC Berkeley community a week before Milo Yiannopoulos’ visit, I made clear that both our campus’s iconic commitment to free speech, as well as definitive First Amendment rulings by the Supreme Court, meant that we were obliged to support the invitation by a legitimate student organization of the speaker to campus. Those who suggest there was a legal path to cancellation of the event are mistaken. I also made clear that we recognized the equal right of members of the community to assemble lawfully and to protest the speaker and his views, consistent with another iconic identity of this campus around our history of protest.

As a campus community, it befits us to debate issues about which we feel strongly, and to do so with respect for evidence, truth and for the power of argument. Indeed, it behooves us to have disagreements about issues small and large, and it is appropriate for our debates to make clear the urgency around matters related to the First Amendment, the significance of freedom of speech and expression, the law and the need as a community to be concerned about those individuals and groups who feel targeted and victimized by speech, whether on or off campus.

Recent op-ed submissions to this newspaper have, however, shifted the debate from one about freedom of speech and the First Amendment to naked endorsements of violent suppression of free speech in the name of supposedly higher values. While I feel strongly about my commitment to debate and disagreement, I am horrified by the call to embrace the use of violence to contest views with which we may disagree.  Even if one believes that Yiannopoulos’ speech might potentially have constituted some form of rhetorical violence, meeting this threat with actual physical violence is antithetical to what we, as a community dedicated to open inquiry, must and do stand for.  Physical violence has absolutely no place on our campus.

As a student of Indian history, I have long admired the heroic struggle mounted by Mohandas Gandhi against British imperial rule in India. Gandhi was famously known for his nonviolent approach to resistance, and for his influence on Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. What may be less-remembered today is that his deployment of “satyagraha” — roughly translated as the “force of truth” — was nonviolent, noncooperative, but never passive. It was a form of protest that was active, requiring immense courage of its adherents at the same time it required the full acknowledgement of the rule of law. Gandhi mounted protests to laws he felt were unjust and immoral, but submitted to the rule of law because, in the end, he believed that the most cherished principles of law either did, or could be made to, align with justice. When laws were unjust, he believed that nonviolent civil disobedience could call attention to this discrepancy, shining a bright light on ideas of justice that would accord with widely shared ideals rather than narrow imperial interests. By exemplifying these ideals in his actions, he believed the truth would eventually win. By practicing nonviolence, he could call attention to the violence of the oppressor. And on both counts history proved him right.

In our present political moment, we need more than ever to cleave to the laws that protect our fundamental rights. The First Amendment is unequivocal in its almost unfettered protection of speech with which many might disagree, but which is the same protection that allows speech that others wish to hear.  We cannot support free speech selectively, even as we must understand that the commitment to justice, to free inquiry, to truth, is the very foundation of what we hold dear as the University of California. And we should heed the caution of leaders who have persevered in the face of calls for violence, remembering Gandhi’s famous phrase: “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.” The University of California was founded with the motto “Fiat Lux,” let there be light. Now more than ever, let us make this light shine bright.

Nicholas Dirks is the the Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley. Contact the opinion desk at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter @dailycalopinion.

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  • And all that, Dear Readers, is the best that fs can do, eh.

  • rational2012

    The University of California does not have an “iconic commitment to free speech”, so please stop saying that.The so-called free speech movement was nothing but violence coming from the Left to promote a radical left wing agenda contrary to the beliefs of the vast majority of students and Americans of that day. And that is what it is still, to this day. Only the roots are more obvious. Shut it down.

  • Pierre von Sanchez-Wong

    Watching ‘Folkstar’ self-immolate on a public forum…PRICELESS!!

  • so you’re conflating ANY attempt by any white person to kill someone else for ANY reason whatsoever with the deliberate attempt of leftists to specifically and deliberately using violence and terror to shut down a speaker at a university merely because they disagree with his message.

    Just remember, Dear Readers. One of us here is willing to shut you down and not allow you to speak at all if he doesn’t like your message… and it is not me.

    • Folkstar

      Nope. You’re doing the conflating. You brought up the subject of terrorists and black masks four days ago. “can’t we just sense the hostility in folk’s response? I would check under his bed for one of these black masks that the leftist terrorist”

      You can’t even keep track of your own arguments…

      Are you sure this is the hill you want to die on? You are defending freedom of speech for a cat that harasses blacks, advocates sexual relationships between 13 year old kids and older men, and whose own co-workers can no longer stand.

      Don’t go away mad (and defeated), just go away (defeated).

      Nice knowing you Jack. Stop back by when you have a real argument or start making sense.

      • yeah, I really don’t have to work hard to defend freedom of speech for my grandma discussing her banana bread recipe. But I do remember quite well the ACLU “defending freedom of speech”for the NAZIs to march in Skokie, Illinois, where a vast number of Holocaust survivors lived along with their families.

        Just remember Dear Readers, if folk doesn’t like YOUR speech he is perfectly okay with you being forced to shut up and sit down. Always keep that in mind as you parse what he is posting.

        • Jerzei’s Idol

          He’s a typical Fascist.

        • Folkstar

          So you’re being intellectually lazy because your argument is eroding. You’re conflating the activities of the ACLU with the beliefs of all liberals and progressives. That’s lazy, bad reasoning.

          The first amendment protects you from being censored by the government. UC Berkeley is not the government. You can still spout hate all you want on message boards, FB, twitter, InstaSham, radio interviews, television stations, book deals, newspapers, etc. It’s a publicity stunt for such a conservative, alt-right hero to attempt to spout stupidity in the cradle of american progressivism.

          In addition, Berkeley has protests nearly every day. They’re small protests that never make the news but just about every day school is in session, you can find someone protesting about something on Sproul Plaza. The 99 percent of these protests have no violence whatsoever. You wanna know which ones get violent? The large-scale newsworthy ones. The reason they get violent? Because of some people you would probably feel right at home with….

          http://www.theroot.com/meet-the-new-military-division-of-white-nationalism-1794679994

          • “UC Berkeley is not the government.”

            Pure ignorance speaking here. Who instituted the school? Who places the trustees in the position? Who pays the bills? The government is the answer to all these questions. The school, and indeed, any public school, is considered a “state actor.” This is a legal phrase that FS is ignorant about.

            He can read up on the concept here:

            https://www.thefire.org/in-court/state-of-the-law-speech-codes/

            and who cares if it is a “publicity stunt” or not. The 1st Amendment rights still apply.

            And those “99%”. Of course they happen to agree mostly with those who would otherwise disrupt a speech of someone who disagrees with them.

            and FS is so droll to blame the problem on “white nationalists.” As if THEY were the ones rioting to shut down the supposed speech of other supposed white nationalists.

          • Folkstar

            Ignorance? Laziness? Or stupidity?

            You didn’t even bother to Google anything obviously, otherwise you’d know government funding accounts for less than 19% of UCB funding.

            You can read up on the concept here:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_California_finances

            PBS, the UN, and the Peace Corps were all chartered by the US government and received much more significant funding than 18% and that still doesn’t make them “the government”.

            1st Amendment rights do not apply here because Coultier was not refused her right to speak, she was rescheduled because of security concerns. And then the conservatives pussed out and she lost the support OF THE PEOPLE WHO INVITED HER IN THE FIRST PLACE.

            Why were those talks considered to be a security risk? Because of the violence perpetrated by primarily white, nationalist groups (one in particular organized by the co-founder of Vice) actively organized violence against progressives who protest all the time without violent result in the absence of aggressive intimidation.

            Educate. Your. Self.

          • We’ll let the SCOTUS disagree with you as noted in my cite. And on your side you have…. your opinion.

            And yes, Coulter’s political views were what made the determination in UC’s decision. And that is not allowed. Period.

            And keep it up with the “white nationalist causing the problems.” Every time you state that those with access to a television have further evidence you are a cretin. You want to be a human internet pinata, hanging out there for all to whack… be my guest.

          • Folkstar

            It is not my opinion that Coultier was RESCHEDULED. That is fact.
            It is not my opinion that the people who invited Coultier (Republicans) rescinded their support for the event. That is fact.

            “And yes, Coulter’s political views were what made the determination in UC’s decision. And that is not allowed. Period.”
            Based on what facts? This your opinion until demonstrated otherwise. And the decision was to _reschedule_ not prevent.
            Therefore she was not censored by anyone.

            For the record, I don’t have a TV smartass and the word is piñata dumbass. And no, I’m not getting beaten, you’re overestimating your position “comrade”.

          • Yeah, rescheduled to a time when no one was on campus. Do you really, really believe in your heart that no one noticed that? And yes, in the face of overwhelming threats of VIOLENCE and destruction the young students felt in was putting people’s lives in danger if they continued. The leftist mob won an ugly victory that they will eventually regret.

            and yes, you’re argument is with SCOTUS on whether or not you are “beaten.” But you can spell piñata correctly from having years of experience being one on the ‘net for everyone to whack at.

          • saltysailor

            LOL!
            Spot on!

          • saltysailor

            He’s too busy cucksplaining to see the hypocrisy in his logic.

    • saltysailor

      He’s just being true to the beliefs of his handlers.

  • Larbear

    The real CAL students acted cowardly! The real CAL students would have supported free speech with nonviolent intervention by numbers!

    • Mark Sarchet

      The REAL Cal students were home or in the libraries studying their behinds off. They don’t have time for this nonsense. They don’t want any part of the violence and destruction of their beautiful campus that was perpetrated by outside agitators funded by George Soros . . .

  • Bob Gardener

    The chancellor’s fine words are only a hollow gloss over the corruption at the core of the university’s belief system. A couple years ago I attended the UC graduation ceremony.
    Instead of a meaningful celebration of all students’ academic achievements, it was celebration of the fight against global warming and for homosexual rights and the disgust with those who might feel differently. The theme of the chancellor’s remarks were his “impatience with piety and norms,” thus actively attacking all whose belief systems might be based on reasoned religious faith and historic human norms of interaction. Chancellor, when you celebrate falsehood and attack truth, you can expect only chaos.

  • Stan Cebull

    First, two caveats: There are few justifications for violence, and this is not one of them. And the concept of “free speech” is, or should be, a near absolute.

    That said, I suggest that the latter does not mean any speech is appropriate anywhere (e.g. in church). For example, many years ago when Adlai Stephenson came to Berkeley on a campaign tour (against Ike) he was obliged to speak off campus. Then there was an attempt to distinguish between speech that was basically “academic” and that which was political. Whereas such distinction may not always be clear cut, I suggest the general concept might profitably be revisited. In this specific instance I would ask what “academic” purpose is addressed by Milo’s, or a Milo-like, appearance, and does it’s delivery live up to reasonable “academic” standards. If not, his “free speech” goes off campus.

    • Nancy Henning Weres

      Adlai Stevenson? He was a Globalist commie, but should have been able to speak, as long as students were educated about his true beliefs. Why is Stan’s head stuck in the mid-twentieth century?

  • Gonzalo Munevar

    I suggest a name for the fascists who riot against freedom of speech: The Screaming Dead.

  • ProudlyUnaffiliated

    This has nothing to do with free speech and everything to do with intolerance. When the indignant become violent next time, will you be prepared to use — and use — lawful yet violent measures to stop their violence? Yes or No.

    • Nancy Henning Weres

      Reagan called in the National Guard to allow students to return to their studies. Moonbeam is part of the cabal that destroyed the University of California system.

  • John Faust

    The birthplace of the Free Speech Movement allowed the unthinkable to happen – free speech was suppressed by force and violence. The perpetrators of this suppression displayed the exact mentality and behavior (bigotry and fascism) that they were violently protesting against. These people are the biggest hypocrites I have ever seen.
    This was a very sad day for the UC Berkeley campus! The campus has lost all credibility as an icon for free speech and the administration and police force should be so ashamed of not controlling the situation! The First Amendment rights are not alive and well at this campus.

    • rational2012

      The Free Speech Movement never was about free speech for all. It was about free speech for the leftist mush-brains of the day.

  • Nancy Henning Weres

    As an alumna who stopped volunteering when the Alumni Association started promoting “Global Citizenship” and Big Sis was condemning “micro-aggressive” speech, this position statement by Chancellor Dirks is very welcome. Of course, I am reading it just today because our Soviet-style main stream media is not giving the sober side of Cal any publicity. I did read many attacks on Chancellor Dirks by the Left and was wondering what good thing he did. I will share this editorial on social media.
    Unfortunately, it will be a long time before Milo is able to speak freely on the Berkeley Campus. His heroism in bringing the issue of Liberal Fascism in American Universities into the forefront certainly deserves an honorary PhD. Meanwhile, the Berkeley College Republicans have my support and prayers.

    • Mark Sarchet

      Bravo!!

    • rational2012

      They ought to grant an honorary PhD. to Ann Coulter.

      • Nancy Henning Weres

        And to Milo. Instead they are having a Muslim clown speak at commencement.

  • Folkstar

    First off: you should shut this down before it even came to pass. There is a difference between allowing freedom of speech for differing, reasonable opinions and allowing the promulgation of hate speech to normalize hatred and bigotry. Yiannopoulos should never have been considered to speak on campus in the first place. That’s on you for being out of touch with reality and the temperament of your students.

    Second: can all the violent acts that were committed actually attributed to Leftists and progressives? All day long I read comments from Conservatives calling progressives “weak simpering cowardly cry babies and snowflakes” and similarly condemning the same group for any violent acts they commit. No matter how progressives protest, they are always demonized. In a day and age when 1) police forces are becoming increasingly militarized, 2) police and other enforcement agencies AND conservative political organizations routinely plant undercover “agitators” in otherwise peaceful crowds one can always safely assume “false flag” to be part of the story, and 3) there are always opportunists who will join peace rallies to instigate chaos in or to allow looting for selfish gains.

    Third: “The First Amendment is unequivocal in its almost unfettered protection of speech with which many might disagree, but which is the same protection that allows speech that others wish to hear.” No. No. No. The 1st Amendment protects private citizens from being blocked by the government for expressing their ideals. You are not the government. Cal is not the government. Even though you are a state sponsored school, this does not mean you are obligated to allow anyone to say anything to everyone. Twitter can shut down Trump’s account tonight and not suffer any legal repercussions. Would you allow a campus club of “Aryans for Adolf” to setup and recruit on campus? No. Because that would be stupid.

    Fourth: I do love what Gandhi achieved in his lifetime for his people and the things he said in service of peace. I love Indian food. I love Indian culture. And I love Indian people. Buuuuuuut, you might want to update your list of heroes. Gandhi was an inspiration to many and helped free his country but it was recently uncovered that he slept naked with the wives of many of his supporters in order to “test” his own chastity. Married men and women were not allowed to sleep with one another but he was allowed to be naked with every female (and male) member of his entourage. Before you dismiss this as “cultural” or “spiritual” take note that this included his own grand-nieces and girls that by today’s popular standards would be considered under-age and many of his closest followers abandoned him for these practices. But hey, decide for yourself. Knowing is half the battle, right?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/thrill-of-the-chaste-the-truth-about-gandhis-sex-life-1937411.html

    http://www.sundaytimes.lk/100425/International/int_01.html

    http://www.minoritiesofindia.org/gandhis-sexual-abuse-of-grandnieces/

    https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/gandhi-was-a-racist-who-forced-young-girls-to-sleep-in-bed-with-him

    http://www.riseforindia.com/gandhi-wrong-sexuality-extreme-non-violence/

    • scratch a leftist, find a totalitarian fascist. Rings pretty true with folkstar.

      • Folkstar

        Scratch a cuck, find a conservative hero looking to normalize institutionalized racism to get back to the “good ole dayz”. Rings pretty true with jack burton…

        • and ~that~ is the best that folk can do, eh. No wonder they have lost the vast majority of elected offices over the past decade.

          • Folkstar

            I made an argument with points. You just went straight for attacking leftists in general. My response just mirrored your abuse and you criticized my response so does that mean you were really criticizing yourself? Try making an argument when you argue. It helps win debates. Unless of course you were an American Studies major or didn’t even go to Cal…say how many bells does the Campanile play? Go troll elsewhere. You’re most likely a paid antagonist like the paid audience for Trump’s laughable inauguration. Go buy a gun or turn on some good ole’ Fox news or something so you feel safe again. And for the record? Trump supporters were pepper spraying anti-Trump demonstrators a long time before this situation. Where was the respect for “free speech” and “peaceful protest” then. Trump’s supporters brought this upon themselves.

          • can’t we just sense the hostility in folk’s response? I would check under his bed for one of these black masks that the leftist terrorists were wearing. BTW, I forgot how many buildings and cars the “trump supporters” burned down. Perhaps you can refresh my memory.

          • Folkstar

            Paid troll needs to find another bridge. And why I wonder do you equate “black masks” with terrorists? Most of the terror attacks in this country in the past decade were carried out without masks. The terrorists? White. “Christian” American boys.Not immigrants.

            Also: flag on the play! ALT FACTS! Liberals haven’t burned down any buildings. A few cars maybe. Trump supporters have burned their share of crosses though. One didn’t pay any attention to the building, just walked into a church and killed black Christians just cuz his nice new shiny AR 15 probably looked lonely.

            Anti-Trump and black lives matters supporters might have burned a few cars or even a building that I’m not aware of. Trump supporters are burning down a country and endangering the world. Did you not notice how big of a joke the US has become? Other countries have parades with floats making fun of our 45. Republicans are slowly but surely abandoning Trump and controversy surrounds many of his appointees devoid of anything any liberal has done. I’m with you! I don’t think liberals or progressives have to do damned thing. 45 will implode nicely all by his own self.

            Also: since democrats lost most of the elections in the past ten years, then doesn’t that mean that most of our present problems are the fault of the party who won them? =)

            Find a new bridge. Hug the gun. Find a gated community. Preferably in South Africa. Work on those debating skills cuz ya’ ain’t great at it ole sport.

          • there ya go Dear Reader. Folk has such a poor understanding of the concepts of liberty and freedom that he assumes anyone defending then must be “paid” to do so. The very idea that some people love their country enough to defend it against the likes of him freely from their own time is incomprehensible to him.

            And he then hilariously pretends he doesn’t know that the terrorists involved in the very incidents this entire discussion is about were wearing black masks.

            And perhaps he can name some of these “christian” boys? With cites and specifics detailing their relationship to Christianity. And no, being white and American does not equate to “christian.”

          • Nancy Henning Weres

            “paid troll”? another Leftist using projection as a defense mechanism. We’ll never know who folkstar is or who pays his room and board.

          • Folkstar

            Ok, “unpaid troll” is less defensive I guess? The troll’s arguments are still crap and all mostly ad hominem. Indefensible and steeped in alt facts.

            If the right would stop using alternative facts and stop paying people to troll postings, the left would quickly stop accusing the right of lying and being paid trolls. Who pays my room and board is irrelevant. I don’t have to know the identity of a liar or a bigot to determine they’re a liar or a bigot.

          • rational2012

            ” . . . since democrats lost most of the elections in the past ten years, then doesn’t that mean that most of our present problems are the fault of the party who won them? ”

            No, it means that lame stupidity is so entrenched it will take a long time to rid ourselves of the effects of Democrat rule.

          • Folkstar

            Love it. Democrats win. “Everything that happens is now the Democrats fault!” Democrats lose. “Everything that happens is because they had one black Democrat who inspired everyone to stupidity even though we white, angry folks won most of the elections and had most of the power still because we are so butthurt over the impending probability that we will become a minority in the next forty years in ‘Murica and we fear what what that will be like because our collective track record of dealing with minorities has been piss poor.”

            I’m so wowed by your elegant logic and didactic skills. Do you have a chin?

  • I’d be a lot more impressed if Dirks actually made an effort to determine just where these students are learning this fascist behaviour and ideas. Bet he wouldn’t have to look too far outside the classrooms and learning environment that his university is using to indoctrinate these little lambsies.

  • rijman

    Mr. Dirks mentions a prior letter, but he doesn’t acknowledge condemning the speaker before the event. Is this how he personally promotes free speech? I believe the riot was the best possible outcome for Milo Y. at Cal, his book sales are reportedly doing very well and his name recognition has skyrocketed with coverage of the riots. Mr Dirks, Cal used to stand for free speech, what does it stand for now?

  • tsw

    Careful Chancellor, Yvette Felarca might put a hit out on you. By ANY means necessary.

  • Jay

    Erwin Chemerinsky, Jonathan Turley and others have said Berkeley has a requirement now to invite Yiannopoulos back on campus and let him give his talk.

    For instance,

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/c9db79caa2f940788b08de22d9a01b04
    > Campus officials should also do what they can to reschedule the speaker for another time.

    When Chancellor Dirks can we expect this?

  • Marc

    Chancellor, we have a brain. You are simply doing damage control because the winds of public opinion are blowing against you now. I have a feeling that a lot of donors finally got fed up with this bs. So you did a 180 and all of a sudden decried the violence that you tacitly supported before.

    I see it in this site’s op-ed columns as well. First, they all supported the violence and thought it was just great and really showed what a great place Berkeley was. Now the columns all of a sudden denounce the violence as anti-free speech.

    Just absurd.

  • AvowedCentrist

    Words are cheap, Chancellor Dirks.

    On the occasion of the next conservative speaker – when the “black bloc” starts throwing Molotov cocktails and destroying private property – are you prepared to use force to subdue the offenders? In the absence of limits there are always those that push the boundaries. Are you prepared to say “no” and then enforce it?

  • Joshua Clover

    Twitter: even as a matter of brand viability you can’t just let someone incite violence toward your community members right?

    Nick Dirks: hold my beer.

  • Jack Radey

    Unaccustomed as I am to agreeing with University administration, Chancellor Dirks is fundamentally correct on this. But you must understand, this talk had nothing to do with the unpleasant ideas Mr Yianopolous spouts. The sole purpose in asking the BCRs to invite him was to provoke an intemperate response, to prove the right wing’s myth that they are a persecuted on campus, like Christians claim to be persecuted. The purpose of Milo’s “talk” was to get a reaction, a ban would be great, a riot with flames at night? Pure gold.

    Its not that the preaching of hate isn’t a threat to people. It isn’t that our country’s government hasn’t fallen into the hands of very dangerous people indeed, and that we are in a dire emergency. But folks? Stuff as offensive as Milo’s goes out over Breitbart, Fox, Infowars and a variety of America’s bleeding sores. Don’t worry about whether or not it gets a platform. It has one. What is needed to fight its destructive ideas is better ideas. I’m afraid that the folks who voted to ban the talk, and who wanted to prevent the appearance, are taking this all too seriously, especially themselves. This is the UC campus, not the barricades in the capital. Had no one done anything, there would have been a small audience, who would have heard an offensive boor talk about excluding undocumented students from your community. No one not already a jerk would have been convinced, and he would be gone. Now a hundred self important bandanaed commandos have convinced half the country that they represent the Berkeley campus and community. Whether they were honest fools, or Breitbart extras is irrelevant. They performed their role for the cameras and should get their pay.

    • Sam Jefferson

      “The sole purpose in asking the BCRs to invite him was to provoke an intemperate response, to prove the right wing’s myth that they are a persecuted on campus, like Christians claim to be persecuted.”
      Conservative, and heterosexual white male, persecution is obviously not a myth. The myth is that slavery was a White on Black crime. Facts show that Africans enslaved other Africans, and also sold and traded them to foreigners. The first African slave owner in the US was a Black man. This dangerous, and false, narrative that slavery was a White on Black crime is hate spreading. Muslims used Africans as slaves long before Americans did. I am not condoning African slavery. Slavery of any peoples is horribly wrong. I am condemning the false narrative that Whites, alone, are to blame. President Obama is living proof that when races come together great things happen. Liberals may see him as the first Black President, but that is only half of the truth. He is our nations first half-Black and half-White President.
      In much the same way, when Liberals and Conservatives come together and share ideals great things happen. When one or the other is blindly blamed for hateful things, hate and ignorance spreads, and terrible things happen.

      • Nancy Henning Weres

        Sam, I first observed the oppression of young White Men while doing interviews for the Alumni Leadership Scholarship. There were no White male qualified candidates! As for young Black Men and American-born Hispanic Men, high schools are more prison-prep than college prep, thanks to the White Femi-Nazis of the California Teachers’ Union! Keep speaking the Truth!

    • Nancy Henning Weres

      What unpleasant ideas of Milo is Jack talking about? I love Milo! Why do so many heterosexual women have a crush on him? Jack, like most brainwashed Progressive dogmatists, has probably never watched a Milo video. Jack denies the persecution of Christians for observing their First Amendment right not to participate in gay weddings. Jack has a much higher IQ than folkstar, but is illiterate in the U.S.Constitution. Probably the product of government screwls.

  • Angela Wilcox

    The new trend seems to be to call your opposition “white supremacists” in order to justify acts of violence against them. The left’s methods of censorship are becoming increasingly irrational, hostile, and dangerous. The concept of refuting statements with logical counterarguments appears to be a thing of the past. Colleges are harboring delicate, sensitive students who don’t have the stability to handle anything which challenges their emotionally-based set of beliefs. They curl up into a ball when their narrative is challenged.

    • rijman

      or call them nazi’s or fascists then it’s ok to attack them. That’s what BAM does, they label a person as a fascist then they believe they have a moral right to riot to stop them from speaking.

  • roccolore

    Democrats hate free speech.

  • jim hoch

    So Dirks is trying to clean it up. After his last piece which was an open invitation to violence he wants to pretend he was against the violence the entire time.

  • Wait what?? But this can’t be… I mean, didn’t you hear?! Violence helped ensure safety of students! /s

    • Nancy Henning Weres

      I understand your sarcasm, sad that Berkeley is living in 1984 with Big Sis at the controls. My Republican assemblyman heard from me. The Regents are supposed to be in charge of the asylum and Sacramento is supposed to be in charge of the Regents.

      • Mark Sarchet

        Good luck with that! The asylum has relocated to the California State Capital Building. The inmates are now in charge!!

  • FreedomFan

    Looks like Berkeley is censoring me. What a surprise.

  • KillerMarmot

    Well spoken.

    Those who used violence to suppress speech, and those who condoned their actions afterwords, jettisoned their morality in the interests of furthering their politics.They arrogantly assumed that their views could not possibly be wrong, and further that anything was justified in advancing those views, If they truly want to combat fascism, they can begin with themselves.

  • FreedomFan

    Nice words, chancellor. We’ll be watching carefully to see if you really mean them, the next time a Conservative is invited to speak on campus. At some point, victims of Leftist censorship and violence will fight back.

  • Jb Parrothead

    But nobody listened. Maybe teach a class on manners and listening @ Berkeley. Miss Manners should be on Berkeley staff. She is desperately needed there.

    • KillerMarmot

      Those that rioted likely wear their “rudeness” as a badge of honor. It means they don’t succumb to bourgeoisie niceties.

  • You say the rights things mr. dirks, but you did not act when it mattered. Grow a spine Mr. Chancellor!

  • woodrose

    I do not condone violence to suppress free speech, and join with the Chancellor in being appalled at the opinion pieces defending it.

    The Chancellor and the UC police department failed the country by allowing masked vandals to run amuck on the campus and in the city for hours. It sure looked like the University was condoning violence as authorities stood back and watched it happen.

  • Zack Smith

    Spot on

  • nobody

    “Nicholas Dirks is the the Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley.”
    Clearly not for long with these ideas.