UC Berkeley faculty members clash on free speech, controversial speakers

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Yukun Zhang/Staff

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UC Berkeley faculty members shared conflicting viewpoints on the issues of hate speech and white supremacy at a panel on free speech hosted by Chancellor Carol Christ on Friday.

The panel comes after Christ’s announcement of a “free speech year” on campus and multiple planned visits by controversial speakers such as Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter and Ben Shapiro. Shapiro, who was invited to campus by the Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation, is set to speak at UC Berkeley on Sept. 14.

The law as defined by the Supreme Court does not allow public schools to restrain speech based on the viewpoint expressed, said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law and an expert on constitutional law, at the panel. He added that school policies targeting hate speech sometimes inadvertently target minorities and are inevitably struck down in the courts.

“All ideas and views can be expressed on campus, no matter how offensive,” Chemerinsky said at the panel.

john powell, director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, said at the panel that he believed the Supreme Court was wrong in its decision. According to powell, the Supreme Court has previously supported harmful decisions, such as allowing women to be excluded from the workplace and allowing slavery.

powell added that he believes some speech directly harms people. The dismissal of the psychological harm caused by hate speech, he said, uses the same rationale that upheld segregation.

“I don’t think (free speech) is a defining issue in the country. I think the defining issue in the country is white supremacy,” powell said during the panel. “We are fighting a civil war, and the South is winning.”

Other speakers agreed with powell’s assessment of white supremacy in the United States, but they disagreed on whether campuses should restrict speech.

During the panel, Chemerinsky distinguished between questions of what the law is and what the law should be. If the campus restricted speech, Chemerinsky said, it would inevitably lose a subsequent lawsuit. Such a loss would cost the school in attorneys fees and damage UC Berkeley’s credibility, he added.

Those opposed to hate speech should confront it, said Steven Hayward, senior resident scholar at the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies. According to Hayward, preventing controversial speakers such as Coulter or Yiannopoulos from speaking on campus would harm the people that such an act would aim to help. Silent protests and counterprogramming are some of the various ways people should oppose hate speech, according to Hayward.

“The only way to make sure we’re protecting our speech for tomorrow is to protect the speech we don’t like today,” Chemerinsky said during the panel.

Contact Henry Tolchard at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @htolchard.

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  • Karmann Ghia

    credibility? Cal credibility?… is already down the tubes. I wouldn’t hire anyone from Berkeley unless I was starting the next civil war. They’d be the ones in the front lines digging themselves deeper into their own feces

  • Cybille Larry

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  • FreedomFirst

    The left is blind to irony. The whole race-class-gender ideology of identity politics is divisive hate speech dressed in the sheep’s clothing of equality. I think that straight white male students should be protected from the psychological harm that comes from the constant bigotry, reverse-sexism, reverse-racism, heterophobia, and fascist female supremacism that the whole UC Indoctrination U system is pickled in. Fortunately, MILO and his crew are there to do just that.

  • FreedomFan

    “We are fighting a civil war, and the South is winning.”
    -john powell, who is not NOT a violent bigot

    • Ian Benton

      Seriously, it’s unbelievable that someone actually thinks like this and gets to teach young people.

  • Sept12

    The issue is that those who come and support violence, who hide their faces from prosecution, who support total anarchy and do not believe in law enforcement or the opinions of the courts (sorry lower case john powell if I am hurting your feelings), and who instead show massive “hate and intolerance” all under fake accusations that anyone who differs from them are “white supremacists and have ‘hate’.” john’s group should use the specific name(s) of those they claim to be white supremacists instead of generalizing that all free speakers who support the Vote of the People and this president are labeled as such, but then again his accusations follow that same pattern of hidden identity used by the black hoods.

    • Nunya Beeswax

      powell is most likely an advocate of Critical Race Theory, a discipline that teaches (among other things) that the entirety of the Anglo-American system of jurisprudence is nothing but a vast conspiracy to keep people of color down.

  • roccolore

    Shapiro is Jewish and we all know what liberals think of Jews.

    • FreedomFan

      White Supremacists and Antifa both hate Jews. Coincidence?

  • Jared Lee

    The whole “free speech” debate is a bit of a canard. Aside from the fact that folks like Milo or Ben Shapiro are nowhere to be found when Kathy Griffin decides to post her stupid bloody head “protest,” as a practical matter, canceling or otherwise not allowing speaker x,y, or z, to appear in a formal setting, is a far cry from censorship.

    No, really, let me explain. We all know who Milo is now, we all know what he stands for. There are clips of him all over youtube. His “writings” are all over the internet. If anything, the “free speech” debate amplifies the voices of those claiming to be oppressed.

    Moreover, yes, Academia should be something of a “gatekeeper.” We needn’t invite flat-earthers to give presentations on campus in the name of “free speech.” Obviously this logic DOES NOT and SHOULD NOT extend to a wholesale banning of conservative or contrary ideologies. But there is a distinction between someone who is breaking taboos just to break taboos, and someone earnestly expressing a contrarian point of view. Milo is the former, Shapiro is the latter. Academia should not grant legitimacy to Milo.

    If he wants to stand on the corner of the street and yell his schtick into oblivion? THAT is his first amendment right. That right is not being violated and it never was.

    • Killer Marmot

      The whole “free speech” debate is a bit of a canard. Aside from the fact that folks like Milo or Ben Shapiro are nowhere to be found when Kathy Griffin decides to post her stupid bloody head “protest,” as a practical matter, canceling or otherwise not allowing speaker x,y, or z, to appear in a formal setting, is a far cry from censorship.

      If anyone said Griffin did not have the right to publish her picture, I don’t recall it. Almost all of the criticism against her was that it was in really bad taste. That’s how it works in free societies. You can say what you will, others can critique as they will.

      Academia should be something of a “gatekeeper.” We needn’t invite flat-earthers to give presentations on campus in the name of “free speech.”

      That argument might find traction if left-wing speakers were sometimes prevented from appearing on campus. But that almost never happens, does it? It’s always those on the right who people try to bar. Is that because speakers on the left are always of high quality, and those on the right are of poor quality? That beggars belief. No, the reason so many try to prevent conservatives from appearing is because they don’t want political views aired that they disagree with.

      • CSears

        > Griffin was not deprived of her right of free speech. People simply criticized her stunt as being in really bad taste.

        In reality, she was fired by CNN and questioned by the Secret Service.

        • Killer Marmot

          First, being questioned by the Secret Service is not a violation of Griffin’s rights. There is nothing in the constitution that says the government organizations may not make inquiries of its citizens.

          Second, although many news outlets said she was fired by CNN, she wasn’t because she was never an employee. Rather she was contracted once a year for New Years Eve. This year, CNN declined to continue the agreement, as was their choice.

          • CSears

            I was just replying with facts. Such as this one. CNN fires Kathy Griffin. It’s actually from CNN itself.

            http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/31/media/cnn-kathy-griffin/index.html

            You don’t really like facts, do you? You must be a conservative.

          • lspanker

            You don’t seem to know the difference between a contract worker (1099) and a full-time employee (W-2). Have you ever held a real job?

          • CSears

            The only form I care about these days is IRS Section 83(b) Election. I got a stern warning about it from my lawyer. I mean, I’ve always filled them out and paid for the stock up front but he dragged me through the rules. And now I know.

            What are these 1099 and W-2s? They sound important.

          • Jim

            CSears You just don’t get it, do you. If you’re in college clearly it has been a waste of time.

          • CSears

            No Jim, I’m not in college. I’m a Cal alum which means that I was in college.
            And judging by my success on this mortal coil, no, Cal wasn’t a waste of time.
            However, y’all can keep that ‘it’ which I surely don’t get.

          • lspanker

            And judging by my success on this mortal coil

            If your goal is to offend others and make a bloody @rse of yourself in a public forum, you certainly have been quite successful at it. However, if your intent is to win others over to your point of view, you’re failing quite miserably. But then again, you’re a classic progressive liberal. You expect everyone to kow-tow to your (mistakenly assumed) moral and intellectual superiority, and when they won’t do it, you throw a hissy-fit and call people names, just as a certain Hillary Rodham Clinton did when she called half of the country “deplorables” because she wasn’t able to use logic or reason to win them over to her point of view. And you call REPUBLICANS “divisive”???

          • CSears

            I’m really not trying to win *you* over to my point of view as you haven’t shown any interest nor have you said anything interesting. Also if poetic license on a college newspaper’s website upsets you then perhaps you are in the wrong place.

          • lspanker

            I haven’t said anything interesting but yet you’re compelled to reply – why is that again?

          • CSears

            Yes, you haven’t said anything interesting nor is there a prayer’s chance in explaining anything to you. If I do respond to the likes of you, it’s for my fellow Bears’ edification.

            Now I will offer this one piece of advice. Stay on point. Because when you say something like “And fools like you wonder why you lost an election last November…” to someone like me, it isn’t gonna get anywhere.

          • lspanker

            What are these 1099 and W-2s?

            And fools like you wonder why you lost an election last November…

          • Killer Marmot

            You don’t really like facts, do you? You must be a conservative.

            Know how I know you’re losing the argument? You resort to personal attacks.

            But you’ll notice that “Fired” was only used in the headline, not the body of the article. Presumably the headline writers felt it was a reasonable shorthand for having the contract terminated.

          • CSears

            Yes cupcake, Fired was used in the headline by the folks who fired her.

          • Killer Marmot

            Yes cupcake, Fired was used in the headline by the folks who fired her.

            And here, sugarbottoms, is what CNN officially said about Kathy Griffin:

            “CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year’s Eve program”

            The offiicial statement didn’t say “fire”. It didn’t say she is no longer an employee. It said they terminated their agreement.

          • CSears

            Except that they did say fire. In the headline. From CNN.

          • Killer Marmot

            Except that they did say fire. In the headline. From CNN.

            Do focus…

            1. The official statement from CNN did not say “Fire”. Only CNN’s headline writers used that term, not the management.

            2. It is reasonable to assume that the headline writers used the term “fire” to mean “no longer doing business with.” In other words, they used the term loosely because it was short.

            3. It is preposterous to think that Griffin was an employee of CNN. She works around the country as a freelance comedian. Her business dealings without doubt go through a private corporation.

          • CSears

            They did say fire. In the headline. From CNN. That’s just a fact. You seem to want to hang your bad argument on a distinction between employee and contractor. You may continue to do that. It’s kind’ve sophomoric. Whatever. But they did say fire. In the headline. From CNN.

            Getting back to what you said:

            > People simply criticized her stunt as being in really bad taste.

            But in reality, she was fired by CNN (their words) and she was questioned by the Secret Service. These are also facts.

        • Nunya Beeswax

          But that’s CNN’s call. If you do something that reflects poorly on your employer, that’s a possible outcome–all the more so if you’re a public figure.

          And anything that can be perceived as a threat to the President or his family is going to be investigated by the Secret Service. I agree that questioning Kathy Griffin was unnecessary–it’s highly unlikely that she planned to do anything violent to the President–but again, it’s the Secret Service’s call.

          • CSears

            No one is questioning CNN’s rights here. Moreover, in California as an at will state, I can fire you if you come in with a bad haircut. However, the Marmot was spreading malarkey when he said “People simply criticized her stunt as being in really bad taste” cuz getting fired by CNN and getting a stern talking to from the Secret Service ain’t simply being criticized.

          • Ian Benton

            Did you bring it up to split hairs, or to make a point about the topic at hand?

          • CSears

            I brought it up to refute a point.

            You can read the thread but Marmot said something that wasn’t true and I gave a couple of cites to show it.

          • Ian Benton

            Right, but even if Marmot is incorrect on the details it doesn’t invalidate his point, does it?

            Jared implies that Ben Shapiro is being ideologically inconsistent by not defending Kathy Griffin’s right to free speech as adamantly as he would a conservative. Marmot points out that nobody is trying to curtail her right to speech, they’re simply disagreeing with the content, Ben included.

            Then you jumped in to say that actually Kathy Griffin experienced some pretty serious consequences from exercising her right to free speech. I’m trying to figure out if there was a broader point to that assertion. As you say, no one is questioning CNN’s rights here. So my question is why did you bring it up, except to be a correcty-pants?

          • CSears

            Generally when someone corrects a factual assertion you’d expect something along the lines of ‘thanks, I guess I forgot about that.’ But instead Marmot+Co went on this long rant about contracters are not employees. And now you’re trying to pick up his sword.

            Yeah, Griffin paid a stiff price beyond mere criticism. Shapiro has paid no price a priori. In fact, he’s getting paid. Again, since he was here a year or so back.

            Second, in what free society do you get a visit from the Secret Service for exercising what is unquestionably within your free speech rights?

            Does y’all see the difference here?

          • Ian Benton

            I’m not picking up any sword. I really don’t care if Kathy Griffin got a W-2 or a 1099.

            But it sounds like you’re trying to make a point beyond that. What is Ben Shapiro supposed to pay a price for? In what way are his actions or speech equivalent to Griffin’s?

            And should posting a severed head of the President not land you in some hot water with the Secret Service?

          • CSears

            Shapiro should and has and will pay no price. I haven’t, am not and won’t say that he should.

            If you have a difficulty with the Kathy Griffin comparison then you should take that up with Marmot as I have said, am saying and will say that they are different.

            And no. Unless you’re a liberal and you don’t sound like one. If you’re a conservative then you should be able to post pictures of Obama in a noose because Edmund Burke.

      • Jared Lee

        Shapiro can walk on campus any time he wants and yell into the wind. The right to free speech is not the same as the right to have a microphone put in your hand.

        As far as left wing speakers, well, you’re just factually wrong. Bill Ayers, for example, has certainly been blocked from speaking on campuses.

        • Killer Marmot

          As far as left wing speakers, well, you’re just factually wrong. Bill Ayers, for example, has certainly been blocked from speaking on campuses.

          I stand corrected. A left-wing speaker might get disinvited if he founds a terrorist group responsible for numerous bombings.

          • Jared Lee

            And where were you to defend his right to free speech?

          • Killer Marmot

            I didn’t even know he was barred from speaking. Looks like it was seven years ago,

            But yes, I disagree with the move. Do you disagree with those who would prevent Shapiro from speaking?

            But my point stands. Progressives — even quite awful ones — are almost never banned from speaking on campus, demonstrating that conservative banning is not based on quality concerns, but on ideology.

          • Jared Lee

            Did you read my first post where I said Shapiro was earnestly expressing a contrary point of view, and that conservatives in general should not be blocked from speaking?

            Do I agree with those who would prevent Shapiro from speaking? Depends. Protesters also have free speech rights. Do I support literally entering the room and shouting out? No. I think that’s bad PR for a cause. I agree in so far as I find Shapiro to be a blowhard. But he’s a garden variety talking head.

            Perhaps you didn’t hear about Ayers because the “free speech” debate is less about free speech and more about conservative agitprop.

            Did you hear about Ayaan Hirsi Ali getting disinvited from Brandeis? Or Richard Dawkins getting booted from conferences and radio interviews? Advocates for Palestine are constantly being confronted by Zionist activists, including campaigns by folks like David Horowitz to silence any views not deemed sufficiently pro-Israel.

            Where is your outrage for them?

          • Ian Benton

            No outrage needed. Those examples have nothing to do with government protection of free speech. Brandeis is a private institution, they can invite and dis-invite whomever they want. Those putting on “conferences and radio interviews” are also private parties. As are people “confronting” advocates for Palestine–what they’re doing might be illegal and immoral for other reasons, but it has little to do with the government not restricting the right to free speech.

            Your ridiculous obfuscation aside, you did bring up a compelling point earlier. “Shapiro can walk on campus any time he wants and yell into the wind.” This is the real crux of it. What gives someone legitimacy to speak at a campus sanctioned event? Does an invite from a student group automatically require the university to provide a venue, security, ticketing, and everything that comes with it? What if I wanted to go rant for an hour about Teletubbies and found a UC Berkeley Teletubbies fan club on campus to invite me? What if a student group at East Middle Central State University decides to test the limits and invite David Duke to scream the n-word for an hour?

            These aren’t rhetorical questions, I really don’t know the answer. Can someone enlighten me?

          • Ian Benton

            By the way, I see you’re asking the same questions in other comments.

          • Jared Lee

            Meh. Obvs, I don’t agree that it’s obfuscation.

            True, you can make the private institution distinction, so technically, yes, you are correct. But it certainly goes against the spirit of the free speech absolutism some of these folks purport to support. They’re not making a nuanced point about publicly funded institutions, they’re telling about a “free speech crisis.” I don’t think they’re using your framing of “free speech” to begin with, in other words.

            As far as Griffin….I am loathe to discuss her, because I haven’t liked her since she guested in Seinfeld. Her case is relevant compared to a nobody like dude that got fired/resigned from Top Dog, or any of the Charlottesville folks who got doxxed. Then we get think pieces in the Atlantic like “Is Being a White Supremacist Grounds for Firing?”

            The narrative around Griffin was nothing but condemnation, without the typical “she has a right to say it, but..”

    • ShadrachSmith

      Scotus in Hill v Colorado 530 U.S. 703 (2000), rejected the ‘heckler’s veto’, if law matters at all.

      • Jared Lee

        I understand you think this is related to my comment, but I find it to be more of a red herring.

        • ShadrachSmith

          You like heckling more than free speech. That’s OK, but SCOTUS gets an opinion too.

          • Jared Lee

            No, I got the reference. I’m not Napolitano, and I’m not accountable for her words.

            Nowhere in my first post do I express support for “hecklers.” That’s simply a figment of your imagination.

            what I am doing, is making a distinction between arguing about “free speech” in the abstract, while living in an age of information overload. Whether or not campuses allow speaker x, y, or z, to have a forum, speakers x, y, and z have an infinite number of ways to be heard, both literally and figuratively. Again, nobody is stopping any of these people from walking onto campus and yelling into the wind. That’s the same right to free speech everybody has.

            What conservatives feel entitled to however, is a situation where conservative speakers are allowed to talk down to anybody that doesn’t fit in their worldview. Because so much of modern conservatism isn’t actually conservative so much as it is anti-liberal.

            Yes, Academia should be a place where students are challenged in their beliefs. That does not include granting legitimacy to fringe internet trolls.

            And again, where were you when Bill Ayers was disinvited? Standing up for free speech? Or whining about Obama “pal’in around with terrorists?”

          • Gentlemanandscholar

            “That does not include granting legitimacy to fringe internet trolls.”
            Are you going to sit around and arbitrate who’s legitimate and who’s not?? If not you, who are you going to appoint?

          • Jared Lee

            Dumb comment. I’m just some dude on the internet, of course it’s not me.

            Generally speaking, I’d quote ” I know it when I see it, ” that wonderful piece of jurisprudence.

          • Gentlemanandscholar

            That’s the point behind Free Speech isn’t it? That the “I” don’t get to decide… That’s why we have the rule of law… the “WE” decide.

          • Jared Lee

            Let me know when you want to stop speaking in vapid aphorisms.

            Both Shapiro and I agree about Milo though (those two have quite the fued), so “WE” have decided he’s not worth the attention.

          • Gentlemanandscholar

            …and yet here you are… speaking the name of “he who shall not be named”….

            … because he’s not worth the attention….

          • Jared Lee

            I understand you think you are being pithy and highlighting “liberal hypocrisy,” but you’ve missed the point. Not so much of a scholar, eh?

            The irony here is that I’ve mostly paraphrased Shapiro’s own words on Milo. “Being a provocateur just for the sake of being a provocateur is worthless.” “Provoke in the name of something good and decent, and I’ll stand with you. Provoke in the name of just being a provocateur because you’re violating taboos? You’re a waste of my time.”

            You wish to speak about speech in the abstract. “the “I” don’t get to decide..” Decide what? What is the process by which “we” decide? What are we deciding?

            Everybody has the right to free speech, but all speech is not qualitatively equal. Academia has traditionally acted as a “gatekeeper” in this regard. That’s my point. And you are of course feel free to disagree, but don’t fool yourself into believing that you actually made a cogent rebuttal to the nuanced point I was talking about.

          • Gentlemanandscholar

            Your personal attacks against me are indicative

          • Jared Lee

            Your little flurry of posts is indicative

          • Gentlemanandscholar

            The “I” don’t get to decide what is and is not hate speech.
            “We” through the courts decide.
            Apparently, you have decided that all speech is not ” qualitatively equal”. You don’t get to decide that for me either.
            Academia has not been the “GateKeeper”. I love how you state things as if they’re facts.

          • Jared Lee

            All speech is not qualitatively equal. That’s the entire basis behind peer review. That’s the entire basis behind education and our system of laws. If all speech is qualitatively equal, why bother hiring a lawyer? If all speech is qualitatively equal, are you going to trust your liver to an amateur mushroom forager? If all speech is qualitatively equal, let’s make Trump our national Poet Laureate!

          • Gentlemanandscholar

            …or… WE … could make him president……

            Let Freedom Ring

          • Jared Lee

            Here’s why your comments are useless, you keep changing what “WE” is.

            Now “WE” is the electorate (which, in this specific case, is actually a minority of American citizens). Whereas before “WE” was SCOTUS. Whereas before “WE” was merely not “I,” in which some cases might be read to mean literally just me.

            You also didn’t actually address what I said. How scholarly.

          • Gentlemanandscholar

            SCOTUS is obviously an arm of “the electorate” aka WE.

            I’m beginning to see that you just don’t like America. I don’t know if even I can help you with that.

            I’m not sure what you’re referring to… If it’s your comment about hate speech… what other type of speech are you going to prohibit? Maybe… street names

          • Jared Lee

            Really? That’s the best you could come up with? I don’t like America?

            At least I have a functional understanding of how the U.S. Government works. To call SCOTUS “an arm of the electorate” is to misunderstand both the literal meaning of the word “electorate,” as well as the way in which government is supposed to work. The idea of the supreme court is not to bend to the will of the electorate.

            As far as “my comment about hate speech,” I made no such comment about hate speech. Have you been tilting at windmills this entire time?

            What I did say was:
            1) the practical reality is that voices claiming to be silenced, are not really. The literal public square is less relevant in comparison to the any number of ways speech can be expressed.
            2) following the first point, any conservative can walk onto campus and speak their piece to anybody or nobody, everybody has this same right. the right to free speech is not the right to have a microphone put in one’s hand.
            3) Academia has traditionally acted as a gatekeeper to weed out qualitatively weak or unsubstantiated speech without being accused of “censorship.” Again: we need not grant equal time to flat earthers
            4) All speech is not qualitatively equal. That’s why Doctors and Lawyers have intensive schooling. That’s why peer review exists in science.

            What specific wording of mine are you using to assert that I want to prohibit speech?

          • Jared Lee

            Um, no. Go back to high school government class. Or maybe look up “electorate” in the dictionary. The Supreme court is neither elected by the people, nor are they given any mandate, implicit or explicit, to bend to the will of the people.

            What I did argue was that, for all intents and purposes, nobody is being censored. Not only can those folks walk onto campus and just start speaking, their first amendment rights do not extend to having a microphone put in their hand.

            How you think this amounts to me making a proscription on “hate speech” is beyond me.

            But go ride off to your wind mill, Don Quijote.

          • Gentlemanandscholar

            So… you’re saying that the appointment of Judge Gorsuch had nothing to do with my vote for Donald Trump? I heartily disagree.

            What kind of speech is it that’s being censored by crowds of violent thugs? Love speech?

            What other speech are we talking about… If we’re not talking about what “someone” classifies as “hate”speech?

          • Jared Lee

            I literally have no idea how or why you think anything in the previous post comments on your vote for Trump.

            Protesters have the right the free speech. The right to free speech is not the right to be heard.

            Regardless, I’ve made no such argument about any “regulation” of “hate speech.” I literally did not use those terms outside any context of replying to you.

            You seem to projecting what you believe a stereotypical liberal thinks, and arguing against that, instead of actually addressing what I wrote.

          • Gentlemanandscholar

            well it’s good to see that you finally came around on the Free Speech issue

          • Jared Lee

            Your reading comprehension is awful.

            If you want to make a hobby out of trolling liberals online, at least be good at it.

          • Jared Lee

            By the by, have you figured out an actual argument for all speech being qualitatively equal?

            Or did it finally dawn on you that it’s actually pretty common sense? That actually, some people are experts. That actually, accreditation, both professional and academic, exists for this very reason?

          • Gentlemanandscholar

            So you’re saying that some people should have more of a right to speech if there’re an “expert”? Who gets to decide who’s an expert/who’s not?
            Are lawyers disbarred? Are doctors sued?

          • Jared Lee

            What I’m saying is that you can’t rebut my argument that all speech is qualitatively equal.

            I’m not addressing your red herring questions, other than to say nothing that I wrote could reasonably be read to that anyone has “more of a right,” to speech.

          • Gentlemanandscholar

            “‘Are you going to sit around and arbitrate who’s legitimate and who’s not?? If not you, who are you going to appoint?'”
            … you said that it’s not you… But you neglect to say who should decide… Why is that?
            … is there something wrong with our court system?

          • Jared Lee

            You neglect to say what “we” are deciding; how those decisions actually happen in a practical, real world sense; and how that has any relation to my point.

            The courts are not “we.” Nor was ” we” originally an expansive view of all citizens. It really meant white, property owning men. Not black men, or women, or lower class whites.

            So again, let me know when you wish to stop speaking in the abstract.

            Who am I going to appoint? Again, I’m just some dude on the internet, that’s not how this works.

          • ShadrachSmith

            I was citing Napolitano because she said what you said but better. You talk like a PC air-head, she was putting your thoughts into adult language.

          • Jared Lee

            Can’t make an arargument or have a discussion without insults? Sad.

          • ShadrachSmith

            You can’t make it at Berkeley without antifa doing their Red Guard act.

  • wizardg

    Consider the mental illnesses of humans before you start recognizing hate speech as something the law should accept. When bodies start to fall know that your college condoned it by allowing insane people to speak their minds.

    • D.Plorable

      The Soviet Union defined mental illness in a way that permitted the imprisonment and even involuntary drugging of those who expressed opinions contrary to state authority. I’m guessing many in the current generation of college students probably don’t know about this, have no idea who Solzhenitsyn was, may not even know what the USSR and the Iron Curtain was. They’re sitting ducks for fascism–as they howl about fascism!

      • lspanker

        I’m guessing many in the current generation of college students probably don’t know about this, have no idea who Solzhenitsyn was, may not even know what the USSR and the Iron Curtain was.

        Certainly they never had the experience I did as a teenager standing in a field outside of Lübeck, West Germany in the summer of 1981, looking east toward the town of Herrenburg, East Germany, separated by several layers of fence, some with booby traps, some electrified, a graded earth strip and a minefield, all watched over by DDR Grenzpolizei sitting in guard towers placed every few hundred meters. That’s when totalitarianism ceased being some abstract political theory and became reality in my young mind. The fact that Antifa has the same tolerance for dissenting ideas as any typical hard-line Soviet-era apparatchik is lost on these fools…

        • Killer Marmot

          That, perhaps, is the greatest argument in favor of free speech — as a protection against authoritarian governments. That so many in Berkeley argue against free speech when the federal government is dominated by a party they claim to fear is bizarre.

          I guess they think they can have their cake and eat it too; that is, they figure they can restrict only that speech they personally dislike, but avoid having the government restrict speech it doesn’t like.

          Good luck with that.

    • lspanker

      Consider the First Amendment, and stop making excuses for silencing points of view you don’t like.

    • FreedomFan

      I am offended by your comment; such “hate speech” should not be allowed.

  • FreedomFan

    Democrats have always enjoyed dressing up alike, wearing masks and forming bigoted, violent mobs to hurt and silence people who are different from them. Not much has changed in 150 years.

  • Killer Marmot

    “Hate speech” is an infinitely malleable and idiosyncratic concept that can be stretched to describe almost any controversial viewpoint, and often is just a reflection of the political fads of the day. In other words, it is often just an opinion that people don’t want to hear. Laws against law speech have no place in a free society.

    As an example, should one have the right to criticize a religion? Of course! Blasphemy laws belong in the 16th century, not the 21st. And yet in many countries, including some western ones, criticizing the Islamic religion could well have you in front of a human-rights panel. Criticizing Christianity, however, is still allowed. It’s all politics.

    • Nunya Beeswax

      Hate speech means whatever the speaker thinks it means. And “hate speech” is not a legal category, any more than “food speech” or “speech about dolphins” is.

    • Jared Lee

      What real-world deleterious effect happens in Germany because of their anti-Nazi laws?

  • BunnyRabbit

    These people aren’t having trouble getting their message out. They just want to irritate and pick a place to speak to get in peoples faces.

    • lspanker

      Just as left-wing Berkeley types have done for decades now, so what exactly is your complaint about again?

      • BunnyRabbit

        Maybe they do that when they aren’t making a bunch of money. We’ll be making at least $350,000 in non-investment money via ourUC Berkeley degrees this year. Some one‘s gotta pick up the tab for Red states.

        • lspanker

          What exactly are you babbling about again?

      • Jared Lee

        Right….you know, all of us Berkeley folks go out to hold rallies in ALL the small towns of America.

    • FreedomFan

      Just don’t go, comrade Bunny. No one is forcing you to listen to the truth.

    • ShadrachSmith

      Barack Obama, 2008, “I want you to argue with your neighbors and get in their face!”

    • lspanker

      The way Berkeley lefties have annoyed the rest of the country for decades now with their virtue-signaling proclamations acting as if they were some sovereign country with the right to enact their own foreign policy. Well, you perennial attention wh*res got the publicity you wanted with your silly Antifa buddies throwing tantrums, breaking things, beating people up, and marching around with banners declaring THIS IS WAR. You got what you asked for, so stop being such a f**king crybaby about it.

    • roccolore

      The fascist left wants to shut down anyone who doesn’t agree with Jew-haters and terror apologists.

  • roccolore

    You Democrats are the fascists. You are anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, pro-abortion, pro-Islam, anti-military, anti-police, and anti-freedom.

    • BunnyRabbit

      You’re anti-correct.

      • lspanker

        No, you’re anti-anti-correct, he’s 100% correct. Note how the OP frames this discussion:

        Fascists are targeting Berkeley. This includes unvarnished hate-mongers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter as well as intellectual hitmen like David Horowitz and Ben Shapiro

        Once again, everyone you lefties don’t agree with is a “hate-monger” or “fascist”, which is your rationale for trying to ban the speech of those who you disagree with but can not refute in an open discussion based on facts and logic. The hard left FEARS free speech and open discussion of ideas because it exposes them for their moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

        • CSears

          Is David Horowitz still alive? He must be like 90. His son Ben is pretty cool. He’s a billionaire VC at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Major Dem donor.

          BTW, Ben grew up in Berkeley. Played for BHS.

      • roccolore

        Prove me wrong.

    • Killer Marmot

      In response to sunsarataylor’s comment, which is in moderation purgatory…

      sunsarataylor’s ludicrous list of “fascists” is a fine example of why hate speech laws are a bad idea. Most of those people he names are libertarian, the polar opposite of fascist.

      If hate speech laws could be contained to preventing those who encourage genocide, for example, then I might grudgingly support them. But they never are. They inevitably get a applied to ever-wider categories of speech until they become a tool to shut down one’s political opponents. The attempts to prevent any conservative talk at Berkeley by labeling it “violence” and “hate speech” demonstrates the process nicely.

      • lspanker

        If hate speech laws could be contained to preventing those who encourage genocide, for example, then I might grudgingly support them.

        My argument would be to ask if the anti-Nazi legislation that has been in place in both the former West and East Germany, as well as the current united Bundesrepublik, has been effective whatsoever at stopping skinhead/white nationalists movements there, as the former East is a hotbed of such activity. I stand with the principle that free speech is the best disinfectant of truly bad ideas…

      • Rollie

        Also in response to sunsarataylor’s comments which are under moderation:

        Ms. Taylor, as has been pointed out exhaustively on this website, you and those who think like you simply don’t understand what fascism is. You are using the term in a shallow, near-meaningless sense which only amounts to a slur against opposing viewpoints, rather than in any sense relevant to true, doctrinal fascism. In other words, a crude buzzword. You will help your own argument if you study up on what fascism really is, and then select a different term to criticize those who don’t fit its definition.

        Here’s a place to start, from Orwell himself: http://orwell.ru/library/articles/As_I_Please/english/efasc

        • Killer Marmot

          Having studied the rise of both Mussolini and Hitler, I understand better than most what fascism was.

          It is, above all, totalitarian and authoritarian; everything within the state, nothing outside of the state, nothing against the state. Individual rights have no currency — the individual may do only what the state allows them to do.

          This is why libertarians and classic liberals are the polar opposite of fascists. They seek, above all, to limit the power of the state in order to maximum the liberty of the individual.

          But thanks for explaining how I think.

          • Rollie

            Well said.

            If he were around today, I think Mussolini would have a good laugh at what Taylor and people like her consider fascism to be.
            Either that or he’d be royally pissed off at how his legacy is being misrepresented!

        • Nunya Beeswax

          Mom : “You have to clean your room before going out with your friends tonight.”
          Sunsara : “You’re a FASCIST, Mom! Thanks for literally being HITLER!”

    • wizardg

      Human lunacy just keeps on rolling along! The human race is so insane that it will eventually implode and after billions are murdered none of this insane jargon will matter.

      • lspanker

        It’s your side that’s hell-bent on provoking the violence, so what exactly are you whining about again?

      • FreedomFan

        Yes you must be very outraged about your violent, fascist antifa pals.

        You don’t get to hurt people just because you disagree with them. It’s a humanity thing…you wouldn’t understand, comrade.

    • Nunya Beeswax

      I doubt this woman is a Democrat.

      Your ideological meter could use some calibration.

  • 安德森保罗克文

    Free speech in hard times includes the right to speak directly to those in the midst of using power against you (the right to tell an armed agent of the state to cease and desist.)

    The conservative tea-party movement effectively tried to shut down two consecutive popular administrations and failed to do so. Even though they had major media control for decades, they failed to control the advent of internet media.

    Silencing criticism is practiced by left, right, and center, but with very different resources. The weaker the argument, the more brutish (violence, numerical advantage, bureaucracy, and money) is the opposition.

    On the side of “dialogue” debates give way to panels and townhalls, remarkably similar in that they tend to be shallow particularly because they are public, marches and vigils and street denizens unleashing profanity filled rants then being the epitome of low bandwidth communication intended to be inconvenient and unopposed.

    Freedom of research is the university’s strength, not free podium for primarily the loudest, the most organized, the tenured, or flush, the demonstrator who knows all the administrators and police or attourneys, or who can afford to get arrested, and not for the high adminstration to demonstrate their largesse and rationalism.

    There should be no well heeled guests invited to take time away from their television programs to deliver hohum factoids in person.

    The City of Berkeley voting against Urban Shield might have as better chance of sending the hooligans packing than a weak debate on Free Speech. j powell at least identified the problem as the reticence for progress. It could have as easily and as accurately been labeled “the patriarchy” which indicates that the symbols of progressive witch hunters are as crude as the flaming torches of UofV.

    The number one unwelcome group on campus are people who don’t matriculate. That includes most of the world. That is the biggest speech impediment the university has. It isn’t open to the majority of people who want to learn.

    Reflecting that essential inequality, the big Game is the Dons and the Donnish vs the Donald. Not exactly a barnburner, at least not without the ridiculous sideshow.

    • lspanker

      The conservative tea-party movement effectively tried to shut down two consecutive popular administrations and failed to do so.

      A rather distorted view of recent history…

      • D.Plorable

        Currently in Alabama the election for Session’s Senate seat provides the best insight. Luther Strange, a globalist corporate puppet at the end of strings pulled by Mitch McConnell, got $8 million just for the Republican primary. He was able to defeat the Freedom Caucus Republican candidate but the curmudgeonly old-school nationalist Judge Roy Moore barged in and got more votes than Strange. He looks to win the Senate seat in the end even though the RNC wheedled an endorsement for Strange out of Trump–going right into the teeth of the base he is constantly accused of irrationally favoring.

        I’m really hoping Moore wins. He will be a constant thorn in the side of McConnell and the prostitute Republicans who treat their own voters like an inconvenience as they grovel before the internationalist sell-out class (China) which btw you Democrats have been sold out to as well. Human rights anyone? You didn’t see this anywhere in Bay Area media:

        https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2017-09-08/california-resolution-shelved-after-chinese-opposition

        They already cleansed the story off the sacbee website. It was up yesterday with the details of Kevin DeLeon spiking it after the Chinese letter was issued. (and now if you seach the site for “China DeLeon” all you get are “Viewpoints” smearing Trump!) here take a look

        http://www.sacbee.com/search/?q=china+deleon

        Kiss that ring Kevie. Maybe they get you one of the new Iphones.

        The noose tightens.

      • Giorgios Anapoulos

        Why do you believe this view is distorted? Which points do you dispute? Do you dispute that the Tea Party tried to shut down the government? (I thought that Tea Party Congressmen were big advocates of the government shutdowns.) Do you dispute the popularity of the past two consecutive administrations? What is your definition of “popular”? I don’t understand what you are trying to imply/argue.

    • FreedomFan

      Yes comrade, the TEA PARTY was uber-powerful!! The leftist MEDIA was on their side!!! They had all the political power since both houses of Congress and the Presidency were controlled by DEMOCRATS. *SMH*

      On the contrary, the criminal Obama regime used his IRS thugs to oppress the Tea Party, resulting in his 2012 re-election. Get a clue.

      • Giorgios Anapoulos

        Please explain how the Obama presidency constituted a “regime”. Please define what you mean by “regime”. Please explain how the actions of the IRS affected the 2012 election. Please explain what you mean by “thug”. Please explain why you believe that “thugs” work at the IRS. Please explain how the Obama presidency was “criminal”, in particular what you mean/your definition of “criminal” in this context.

        Also, I don’t understand your point. The Tea Party in particular and the Republicans in general carried the House and Senate in the 2012 election, if I recall correctly. Controlling Congress is far more important than the Presidency — Congress actually passes laws.

        The only reason the Tea Party didn’t ALSO win the Presidency is because the Republican party didn’t nominate the Tea Party’s candidate in 2012. The Republican Party DID nominate the Tea Party’s candidate in 2016, and he won. So I don’t understand your point — if anyone hurt the Tea Party in 2012, it was the Republican party. Obama was completely ineffective politically (in my opinion) against the Tea Party.