As UC Berkeley braces itself for “Free Speech Week,” community members explore the implications of hateful rhetoric and its place on a college campus.
Editorial: Right-wing student groups invite bigoted trolls to invade campus under guise of free speech
The system doesn’t just allow them to plan these events. It’s bending backwards, bleeding resources to ensure they happen.
— Senior Editorial Board
The only way that my speech will be protected tomorrow is to safeguard the speech of others today, even if I detest what they are saying.
— Erwin Chemerinsky,
Dean of UC Berkeley School of Law
The inflammatory rhetoric emanating from both ends of the political spectrum leaves little room for optimism. But our great campus and all of us deserve better.
— Panos Papadopoulos and Robert Powell,
Former chairs of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate.
Black students have every right to safe spaces on campus and the education that we pay for, and we will not continue to be chased away from our campus.
— Shelby Mayes,
Membership Development Director of Black Student Union
It seems as though the very purpose of Free Speech Week might be to set up a high-profile showdown with the university and counter-protestors so that Milo Yiannopoulos can once again claim that certain voices have been silenced.
— Christine Sun,
Legal and Policy Director of the ACLU of Northern California
If Chancellor Christ is to live up to her commitment to UC Berkeley and “provide safety and security for its community,” she must plan events that reaffirm and fight for justice for our Muslim, LGBTQ+, undocumented students and students of color. If Chancellor Christ truly wants to protect students, the centers that support vulnerable student communities cannot be closed during inflammatory events.
— Samantha Klein,
UC Berkeley alumnus
This is a moment for us all to think deeply and creatively about how structures of inequality in our society affect the ways that an absolutist construction of the right to free speech has disparate effects and is, moreover, not equally accessible to all.
— Department of Gender and Women’s Studies
Milo Yiannopoulos said he is willing to personally spend as much as a quarter million dollars on fees related to his visit. The Berkeley Patriot, the nominal campus organizer, has an $800 budget from ASUC. That’s a lot of cash Yiannopoulos has on hand — despite losing his job and his book contract.
— Jeremy Breningstall,
UC Berkeley graduate student