Right-wing author Ann Coulter invited to speak at UC Berkeley in April

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Update 03/29/2017: This article has been updated to reflect additional information from the campus administration and Cal Berkeley Democrats.

The Berkeley College Republicans and BridgeCal have invited conservative author Ann Coulter to speak on campus April 27 to cover the topic of illegal immigration.

Coulter, a self-identified “right-wing polemicist” and 12-time New York Times best-selling author, is known for her controversial books, including “If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans” and “In Trump We Trust.” BCR spokesperson Naweed Tahmas and BridgeCal founder and Co-president Pranav Jandhyala said BCR approached BridgeCal with the idea of inviting Coulter to campus.

When BCR heard that BridgeCal — a campus club that facilitates discussions among students with contrasting ideologies — planned to host a speaker series on illegal immigration in the coming months, BCR proposed that BridgeCal also invite a conservative speaker to offer an alternative perspective on the issue, according to Jandhyala.

“We do believe that Ms. Coulter is the perfect individual to engage in this debate about illegal immigration,” Tahmas said. “I think there’s definitely a void in conservative thought at UC Berkeley.”

But Caiden Nason, vice president of membership for Cal Berkeley Democrats, said in an email that he thought BCR and BridgeCal “could bring someone better than Ann Coulter.”

“Her claims have been disproven over and over again, and she’s just another conservative sensationalist,” Nason said in his email. “I think this just contributes to the idea that BCR is more interested in headlines than anything else.”

On behalf of BCR, Tahmas drafted a letter to the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative organization that helps college Republicans bring speakers to their campuses, which Jandhyala passed on to Coulter. The invitation was sent a few days ago, and Coulter just recently responded, according to Tahmas. He added that she seemed “very excited” to speak at UC Berkeley.

Coulter will be allotted time to speak on the issue of illegal immigration, followed by a long question-and-answer period that will take up approximately half the event, as per Coulter’s request. Tahmas and Jandhyala explained that the questioning period will give students the opportunity to pose difficult questions to Coulter and engage in meaningful conversation.

“We are very optimistic in that we believe that the facilitation of discourse between Coulter and the students is going to happen,” Jandhyala said. “Students will be able to challenge Coulter and what she believes.”

Jandhyala emphasized that BridgeCal, as a nonpartisan organization, recognized the importance of providing alternative perspectives on important issues, such as illegal immigration. He stated that the liberal speaker who will be Coulter’s counterpart in the speaker series is Maria Echaveste, former presidential adviser to Bill Clinton and a current lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Law. Although the details of the event are not yet confirmed, Echaveste is scheduled to speak April 17.

Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said in an email that he was aware that BCR submitted a room reservation request for the Coulter event Tuesday, although the timing and location of the event have not been finalized. According to Tahmas, BCR and BridgeCal plan to work with the campus administration after spring break to confirm the details of the event.

Coulter is set to visit about three months after BCR attempted to host former Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos on campus Feb. 1. UCPD was forced to cancel Yiannopoulos’ talk that night because of a violent demonstration that erupted on Sproul Plaza in protest of the event.

“These topics are especially relevant in light of the fact that Milo Yiannopoulos … was unable to (speak) because of violent riots,” Tahmas said. “Ms. Coulter’s visit is a crucial second test of whether or not Berkeley really is the home of the Free Speech Movement.”

Although Yiannopoulos announced his intent to revisit the Berkeley campus a couple of days after his scheduled talk was canceled, Tahmas said BCR has not heard back from Yiannopoulos’ team about a return.

The morning after the Yiannopoulos protest, President Donald Trump responded to the protest via Twitter, threatening to cut UC Berkeley’s federal funding. Coulter also took to Twitter on Feb. 2, condemning the campus for halting Yiannopoulos’ talk.

“Berkeley officially declared a Sanctuary City for Violent Criminals,” Coulter said in her tweet.

Tahmas and Jandhyala said they were optimistic about Coulter’s appearance, however, adding that they hoped it would not result in aggressive backlash like the Yiannopoulos event did.

According to Mogulof, BCR is a Registered Student Organization and is “a separate legal entity” from the campus. He said in an email that BCR has the right, like all other student groups, to invite speakers of its choosing, although the campus administration may not endorse that speaker’s opinions.

“The administration wishes to make clear that an invitation of this sort in no way suggests our endorsement of a particular point of view, and we will continue to affirm our commitment to the values of diversity, equality, and tolerance that underlie the greatness of Berkeley and, indeed, of our nation,” Mogulof said in his email. “The University is committed to freedom of expression: we cannot and will not engage in prior restraint of speech based on generalized concern that a speaker’s message may trigger disruptions.”

In his email, Nason said he thought it would be a “good idea” for people who disagreed with Coulter to attend the event. He added that, unlike Yiannopoulos, she discusses policy issues, so students who attend will be able to challenge and question her ideas.

According to Tahmas, BCR and BridgeCal are not yet sure about the cost of security for Coulter’s event, as they have yet to discuss the fees with UCPD and the campus administration. He said, however, that Coulter’s speaking fees are roughly $20,000. He said that the Young America’s Foundation will cover approximately $17,000 and that BCR and BridgeCal will be responsible for the remaining $3,000.

The event is tentatively scheduled for 7:30 to 9 p.m. April 27. Jandhyala said tickets for Coulter’s event — as well as all the other events in the speaker series — will be free.

Chantelle Lee is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ChantelleHLee.

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  • Objective Fodder

    You gotta be crazy, you gotta have a real need.
    You gotta sleep on your toes, and when you’re on the street,
    You gotta be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed.
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  • SMH

    .

    *OHH-SSO-‘TOUGH’* ** ‘BRAVE’ ** ULTRA-RIGHT-WING WHITE-SUPREMACIST-NATIONALIST **GOON** _**SUCKER-PUNCHES**_ A ***WOMAN*** IN THE FACE DURING INVADING PRO-TRUMP RALLY IN BERKELEY:

    https://www.youtube.com/wat

    No woman would want to see *HIM* lurking around a “Take Back The Night” event…

    .

  • zoid

    as an observer from across the pond, could i just say that i hope that antifa get their sorry butts handed to them.

    they’re just violent, pathetic scum who are closer to isis than they are anti-fascists.

    #QueenAnn

  • Nunya Beeswax

    Does the right not have anyone comparable to Buckley or Will any more? BCR keeps bringing in lightweights who specialize in soundbites; I would think that’s hardly the best representation of their convictions.

    I mean, I would be interested in going to hear Ross Douthat or Rod Dreher speak. But Yiannopoulos and Coulter? Please.

  • roccolore

    The fascist left will once again be exposed for their hatred of free speech.

  • MR AWESOME

    Hopefully she can cure even one berkeley student’s mental illness. Now kids, make sure you riot, break things that aren’t yours, violently assault people, and then say the other side “are hateful”. You all would have made fantastic National Socialist Worker’s party members. :)

  • Anax of Rhodes

    She proved us all wrong during the election: her prediction Trump would win proved correct. And the subject of illegal immigration played a role in that. I’m no fan of Coulter (she’s very demeaning), but perhaps she’s more correct than we give her credit for.

  • Wabbit

    The Berkeley College Republicans: “It didn’t work with the pedophile, so we’re inviting the Islamophobe.” Intelligent.

    • roccolore

      Berkeley College Democrats invite Islamists, Judeophobes, and jihad supporters. And no riots occur.

  • s randall

    Free tickets! What’s next free pizza?

  • garyfouse

    Coulter spoke at UC Irvine a few years ago without incident. However, Berkeley is a horse of a different color. Hopefully, the new chancellor will not have the campus police play the role of potted plants.

    • Douglas Bonham

      The same people who showed up to fight the Antifas at the March 4 Trump rally in Berkeley will be there at the time of Ms. Coulter’s address. This time joined by a lot more biker types. Should be a good show.

      • Anax of Rhodes

        Expect more Alt-Knights. Violence is a travesty for free speech and open inquiry, but a boon for media and YouTube. It won’t end well.

        • Jorge Carolinos

          The left are worried that Coulter types will “normalize hate” or something like that so they go to these events with the purpose of creating so much havoc that they will be shut down, in reality what these rioters do is normalize political violence.

          The Black Bloc types for some bizarre reason think that upping the level of political violence is a one way street, for some strange reason they think that only they will be the ones attacking people in the streets.

          I’ve read Black Bloc apologists cite NAZI Germany as why they are needed, they learned the inverse lesson it seems.

        • Douglas Bonham

          Looking at the vids of the Mar. 4 scrum I’d wager that an organized group from the Cal Rugby team or selected members of the Cal football team were there. And there will indeed be more Based Stickmen. It reminds me of the Sixties, when frat boys would come out to bust up demonstrators trying to block Sather Gate. Should be a good test for the lady UC Campus Police Chief. Should be plenty of press coverage. The new Chancellor like the so-called Police Chief won’t know what to do -prediction.

  • Joe Vinnie

    How do I get tickets?

  • Bombhead

    Why would she even waste her time?

    • CSears

      Cuz the BCR is paying her.

  • Pete DeMaio

    You forgot to mention miss coulter’s very popular book “I am a mindless twit”

    • lspanker

      Tell us about your published works so we can all have a good laugh…

    • roccolore

      Democrats are the twits who riot and loot.

      • Nunya Beeswax

        Leftist != Democrat.

  • Jay Cortes

    This Should Be EASY as this Conservative Yahoo is Bringing her Weakness to a State (California) and a City (Berkeley) who is quite aware the Indigenous Peoples who were here LONG BEFORE the Columbuses (1%, Americans, the Anne Coulter and Milo) of the World came to this land. “The Who you Calling IMMIGRANT ?, Pilgrim (or KKKracker)” or “We did NOT Cross the Borders the Borders Crossed us” will be Fitting and do the Anne Coultiers and Milos know that Indigenous Peoples Pick and Grow 70 % of the World Food. And recent Immigration (Migration) resulted in Food not Being Picked (Georgia – Peanut Butter spiked by 40 %) and Alabama the Crops set to be Lost resulted in Quick Overturn of Draconian laws. I guess all that Money (FAKE FIAT CURRENCY) DOES MAKE YOU BLIND. The Cree Prophecy is Fitting here “Not until the Last Stream Poisoned and the Last Fish Caught. And the Last Tree Cut Down will We (College Republicans) Realize WE CANNOT Eat MONEY. Atleast it will be about her Ignorance not a Violent (Supported it) which almost got the College Republicans Beat up. No Nazi in Berkeley or Free Speech for them ANYWHERE

    • Jorge Carolinos

      Do you do this at open mic night at the local coffee shoppee.

      • lspanker

        That’s why they have the volume dial behind the bar, so it can be turned down quickly.

    • lspanker

      Weren’t you the guy pushing a shopping cart across Milvia and screaming at the top of your lungs around 2 AM a couple of weeks ago?

    • roccolore

      You Democrats are the Nazis who hate free speech.

  • baybutter123

    Until Trump was elected the regressive left seemed to me to be the biggest threat to reason. It has become increasingly clear that, however odious the left has become, American conservatism is likely even worse. The movement seems to be completely intellectually bankrupt. This would explain why they were so easily hijacked by Trump, why they continue to be so willing to pull their pants down and bend over for a man who’s entire life amounts to a mockery of “fiscal responsibility, family values, and rule of law”, the supposed cornerstones of conservatism.

    The Berkeley College Republicans, by inviting Milo and now Coulter, demonstrate that they are just as ideologically and morally confused as the rest of the Republican party, as well as the SJWs that they despise. Berkeley College Republicans seem to be only capable of contrarian trolling, which suggests that they may be motivated more by social and sexual rejection than by the stated ideals which they only superficially understand.

    • John Smith

      So IF your view of the Left is “regressive” THEN that would make the Right … progressive?? Yep, like everyone always says, thank God for those champions of civil rights, environmental protections and the social safety net known as Red States. They’re leading the way in progress towards a better society, don’t you know.

      That even you can see Trump for what he is, though, doesn’t speak well for his longevity in office. There’s that.

      • baybutter123

        “So IF your view of the Left is “regressive” THEN that would make the Right … progressive??”

        No. The world isn’t black and white. The failure of one side does not vindicate the other.

      • Jorge Carolinos

        This post reminds me of Christian’s who insisted that atheists need to find something to replace religion or it isn’t valid to be an atheist.

  • Pietro Gambadilegno

    Once again, they choose a speaker who deals in provocation and sensationalism rather than dealing seriously with ideas. She even calls herself a “right-wing polemicist,” as the article says.

    There are serious conservative thinkers speaking at college campuses. Charles Murray is an obvious example.

    But the Berkeley College Republicans seem intent on proving that the Republican party is NOT the party of ideas.

    • baybutter123

      Agreed. BCR has an opportunity to take the high road and they are completely blowing it by inviting sophist bomb throwers.

      Jason Riley (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zorEMP8GxBA) is another serious conservative thinker that they could have invited. Moreover he is black, so any protest or outrage would have appeared that much more absurd.

      • Jorge Carolinos

        Angela Davis is a staple of the left on campuses and for some reason the rioting idiots are ok with her it seems, so seriousness and rationality are not an issue with the rioting protester types even though people like Davis are actual advocates and apologists for totalitarian regimes. Rationnaism isn’t requisite on campus.

        Why anyone would listen to Davis or Coulter is a mystery.

        • CSears

          I’ve never seen Davis at Berkeley. But I have seen Paul Krugman (Nobel Prize in Economics), Robert Reich (Clinton cabinet secretary), George Lakoff (well, he does teach at Berkeley), …The BCR is only inviting Milo or Coulter to Berkeley to piss people off. Wow. That’s not going change anyone’s minds. They have an awesome opportunity and they invite a pedophile and an Islamophobe. Impressive.

          • Jorge Carolinos

            I assume you missed this too.

            http://www.dailycal.org/2012/03/10/louis-farrakhan-gives-speech-at-uc-berkeley/

            Islamophobe is the most wearing of leftist buzzwords.

            Coulter is a clown, so are many of the racialists and communists the left bring to campus. Rational people don’t run wild destroying things when Farrakhan comes to campus, its the irrational left that can’t deal with non agreement at this level.

            The republicans may bring Coulter to piss people off as you say, the left bring their brand of idiots because they think they are deep thinkers. Maybe the republicans think Coulter is a deep thinker, just as the left think their nut bags are.

          • CSears

            Yawn. I just listed a Nobel Prize winner, a Cabinet Secretary and respected academic, all of who I’ve seen at Berkeley. I’ve also seen Maureen Dowd and Tom Friedman. Why can’t the BCR bring that kind of fire power?

            BTW, the people who were rioting were the black ban crowd. They are anarchists. They aren’t liberals no matter how much you try to say they are.

          • Jorge Carolinos

            I saw Christopher Hitchens at Kearny and Broadway once, I once saw Martin Sheen at the Uptown at 17th and Capp.

          • CSears

            That’s nice but we (at least I am) talking about Berkeley, the University of California at and its Berkeley College Republicans choice of speakers.

          • Jorge Carolinos

            Oh, I see, I also was in line at Walgreens behind John Leslie once.

          • roccolore

            Democrats like you make excuses for the rioters and looters.

          • Anax of Rhodes

            The best thing liberals, leftists, Block Bloc anarchists, and antifa can do are let people like Milo and Ann disinfect themselves in the daylight. If no one shows up, if no riots start, if no police are needed to pacify violence and vandalism, BCR won’t have wind in its sails to bring controversial provocateurs.

            Ben Shapiro’s university talks have improved markedly since no one violently protests him anymore. Really good dialogues recently. Sadly, he makes fewer headlines now.

          • Jorge Carolinos

            Because of the rioters at UCB MIlo got on Bill Mahar and looked like an idiot. If Milo had calmed down and made some points it would have done wonders for his brand.

          • roccolore

            Democrats invite Jew-haters, terror apologists, Communists, and black supremacists to campus and no riots occur.

          • CSears
      • roccolore

        Democrats are the ones who throw bombs.

    • Wabbit

      I say they should resurrect Adolf Hitler and bring him in: this will really expose how the liberals and SJW cannot respect real free speech and convey our intellectual message fully.

      • MR AWESOME

        hitler would have fit right in on berkeley. 60% of college students in Germany supported the National Socialist Worker’s party. He also was about street riots instead of respecting democracy, etcetera. He also did almost nothing but preach ‘identity politics’ and hate.

        • Wabbit

          Point taken. Go ahead, BCR, show these SJW and bring in Adolf!

    • Anax of Rhodes

      Charles Murray got shouted down from Middlebury College because he was too “controversial.” He would do no better at Berkeley. (source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/03/04/middlebury/hAfpA1Hquh7DIS1doiKbhJ/story.html ) I’d choose Ben Shapiro, but something tells me he’s too “controversial,” too, as he’s been barred from DePaul University and a large protest proceeded his talk last year at UCLA.

      Who are CRs supposed to go with? Bill Whittle? Andrew Klavan? Alfonzo Rachel? Victor Davis Hanson? Kat Timpf? Someone too obscure won’t bring an audience; someone who can hook people into attending will prove inflammatory. It’s a catch-22.

    • roccolore

      The College Democrats invite Jew-haters, terror apologists, and Communists to campus like Angela Davis.

  • lspanker

    Good – now let’s see if the so-called “tolerant, enlightened, open-minded” children known as college students these days can deal with this without throwing tantrums, breaking things, or hurting other people.

    • baybutter123

      Let’s be real: a tantrum is what BCR wants, proving that they are just as foolish and committed to unreason as the SJW left.

      Coulter is not a serious thinker. That doesn’t justify the inevitable response, but inviting her is clearly an act of bad faith. It seems that no one on either side is capable of taking the high road.

      • lspanker

        And what was Bill Maher again?

        • John Smith

          Um … I’ll take Islamophobe for $1,000, Alex.

          • Jorge Carolinos

            …or a realist.

          • Irish

            To be clear Maher & I disagree on far more than we agree. That said he’s one of the few Leftist who understands that Islam and liberal democracy are incompatible..

          • roccolore

            “Islamophobe” was invented by Islamists in order to stifle dissent.

        • baybutter123

          I’m not sure your point. I don’t believe inviting Bill Maher was an intentional provocation or particularly partisan move.

          • lspanker

            Here’s my point. I regard Bill Maher about the way you regard Coulter but I still support the right of students to bring him to Cal to speak, and would choose to judge him on his stated comments and positions rather than some politics-of-respectability criteria touted by the virtue signaling crowd.

          • MR AWESOME

            Right, but the only reason you think that’s because of your bias. Bill Maher is WAAAAAY out there. You just believe in the same things as him, so you don’t get it.

            Which group literally blocked entrance to students based on their race recently? HINT, HINT, it wasn’t Republicans.

            America hasn’t seen this many democrats into ‘identity politics’ and this irrationally upset since President Lincoln freed their slaves.

            Now kids, make sure you riot, break things that aren’t yours, violently assault people, and then say the other side “are hateful”. You all would have made fantastic National Socialist Worker’s party members. :)

      • James Clemons

        How is she not a critical thinker? Have you read any of her books? You may disagree with her principles but don’t spew nonsense.

      • Wabbit

        I think instead of inviting mainstream idiots like Coulter, the Berkeley College Republicans should bring the real deal and resurrect Adolf Hitler. That’ll really show that hose disingenuous liberals don’t really support free speech.

        • lspanker

          Troll Fail.

          • Wabbit

            You are exposing you SJW liberalism, refusing to see and hear Mr. Hitler just because you can’t debate (or understand) his ideas. How Berkeley.

          • Jorge Carolinos

            https://journalism.berkeley.edu/events/details/412/

            or this

            http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/angela-davis-and-grace-lee-boggs-ponder-activism-in-the-age-of-occupy/Content?oid=3139333

            Why does a supporter of East Germany, the Soviet Union and the Peoples Temple get a pass from progressives? Coulter is a clown, your co-believers are equally idiotic.

            Your example is a fail.

          • Shirkhan

            Well, perhaps because: (1) she’s not a supporter of East Germany today. (2) She’s not advocating hate against any group in campus.

            Your example is a fail, or just a clumsy attempt to troll “Jorge”. LOL.

          • Jorge Carolinos

            Har, she’s not a supporter of east German today because it fell apart, not because she came to any conclusions that communism is a human rights disaster.

          • MR AWESOME

            Excuse me, but which group literally blocked entrance to students based on their race recently? HINT, HINT, it wasn’t Republicans.

            America hasn’t seen this many democrats into ‘identity politics’ and this irrationally upset since President Lincoln freed their slaves.

            Now kids, make sure you riot, break things that aren’t yours, violently assault people, and then say the other side “are hateful”. You all would have made fantastic National Socialist Worker’s party members. :)

          • Anax of Rhodes

            I’d pay to hear a resurrected Adolf Hitler speak at Berkeley. I’d have a couple hundred burning questions to ask him during Q&A, as well, but I’m confident daylight would prove a strong, strong disinfectant.

          • MR AWESOME

            Troll fail.

          • Wabbit

            No, I think you’re succeeding.

        • roccolore

          The College Democrats are fans of Hitler./

      • roccolore

        Fascist Democrats like you are the ones who throw tantrums.

      • C Bierbauer78

        No thinker, but she promised the entire BCR blow jobs! So they will invite her everywhere!

    • Wabbit

      I can’t see how a serious conservative movement can bring in a woman to speak. This will only encourage the feminists.

      • roccolore

        Feminazis hate any woman who isn’t pro-abortion.