Shielding college students from bad politics

Political provocateur, Ann Coulter, was dis-invited to speak at a college campus recently. Ironically this was at the Berkely campus which in my teen years was famous for its student driven “free speech” movement. Back then it was leftish opinions which the establishment wanted tuned out. Now its right wing enthusiasms.

Back in the 1960’s it would have been harder to get much further rightward than the American Nazi Party. I once blogged about my Dad’s irritation with a clueless student who was impressed with a speech given at Mankato State College by American Nazi Party leader:

I’m not surprised. Midwesterners are unfailingly open. The American Nazi Party’s head, George Lincoln Rockwell, made a speech at my Dad’s college, Mankato State, in 1967, a few months before a disgruntled fellow Nazi assassinated him. My Dad came home with a sour attitude afterward because a student told him he was impressed. You see, Rockwell had told the students to go to their kitchen cabinets and look for items labeled “Kosher.” He assured them they were a sure sign of the imminent take over of the world by the Jews. The student told my Dad that he had done just as instructed and, by golly, Rockwell was right!

Someone like Coulter, arguably less loathsome than Rockwell, ought to be allowed to address today’s college students. I suspect they would generally greet her with more skepticism than the young man my Dad complained about in the 1960’s. On the other hand, the First Amendment doesn’t guarantee anyone a pedestal to preach from, let alone a tax supported pedestal.

“My Buddy” found some allied thought on the Internet and shared it with a circle of friends which included me:

From Elizabeth Warren, at http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/04/24/warren-let-coulter-speak-at-berkeley-and-if-you-dont-like-it-dont-show-up/.

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And from http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/bill-maher-uc-berkeley-is-the-cradle-for-fking-babies/article/2620964:
Liberal political comedian host Bill Maher said the University of California, Berkeley is the “the cradle for f—king babies” after the university caved to pressure and disinvited — and later re-invited — conservative commentator Ann Coulter as a speaker.

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And from Bloomberg View: – Berkeley Once Stood for Free Speech. Now It Rolls Over:

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-04-21/berkeley-once-stood-for-free-speech-now-it-rolls-over