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The public expression of many sharply divergent points of view is fundamental both to our democracy and to our mission as a university. We offer this online space to anyone who wants to join the conversation about free speech in all its diverse forms.

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55 comments on free speech

  1. I note that many in this forum and other forums believe that “hate” speech is not protected by the first amendment. Quite the contrary, the Supreme Court has just recently resoundingly by a vote of 8-0 reaffirmed that “hate” speech is indeed protected by the first amendment. As for incitement to violence, there is often confusion or deliberate misdirection on the source of the incitement. For example, I heard nothing in Ben Shapiro’s speech that was an incitement to violence. All the incitement was from opponents to Shapiro’s appearance. Yet, many faculty and students want to put the onus on a particular speaker rather than on the reactionaries actually responsible for the “incitement to violence”.

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  2. I found this comment section instead marked “dialogue” for some odd reason, hard to locate. In any case, please answer this question: Why doesn’t Berkeley administration strictly enforce UC oath to uphold Constitution of US & California and dismiss faculty engaged in Anti-American activities designed to overthrow Constitutionally elected President and violently suppress civil rights of Trump supporters?

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    • There aren’t any “anti-American” references in UC’s loyalty oath. Trump supporters are always talking about “McCarthyism.” Well, purging people for “anti-American” activities is straight out of the McCarthy era.

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        • Your logic is severely flawed. Violating the Constitution may be anti-American, but “anti-American” can be construed to encompass many perfectly perfectly legal activities. For instance your example of “over-throwing” the President. Impeaching the President is 100% Constitutional and is designed to be highly political.

          The fact that I have to explain this basic concept to people who think they are more qualified on such matters than UC Berkeley’s faculty is absurd. It’s absurd and ridiculous no matter how many nutjobs troll up the internet and attempt to bully their way into controlling our public spaces.

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      • Armando,
        I echo your sentiment.
        I attended Berkeley 1967-69. I was neutral on Vietnam but pro civil rights and offered myself for the ‘front lines’ should it become necessary to fight. I was told that I could do that but it would not be assumed that I was in support of standing up for real integration and freedom. Something about that response made me stop and consider: if they did not consider my support as real support, then why sacrifice myself?

        I am embarrassed by Berkeley these days and they do not stand for freedom of speech or thought.
        Even then, many of the anti-Vietnam kids were just rebellious and came out of marches excited and hungry with little appreciation of what they were really doing.

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  3. The free speech FAQ conflates the First Amendment rights with harassment in a way that is confusing if not misleading. It is absolutely not illegal for anyone to make disparaging remarks related to race, religion, sexual origin, or any other protected class. The FAQ makes an ambiguous reference to the “categories above” which actually referred to harassment, not to free speech. This should be clarified.

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  4. This forum is intended to promote free speech, however, it’s moderators arbitrarily censor issues that are subjectively deemed not worthy. I posted a comment earlier that was objective and respectfully attempting to garner and reclaim a sense of decency that had been directly attacked by another post on this forum. This cannot be a true forum and platform for free speech when so called, “arbitrators” are denying comments on their own subjective bases, despite comments not violating the policies of this page in any way. Be wary of what you post on this page, because as per current Berkeley standards, if someone disagrees with you, they will not let you speak.

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  5. As Berkeley grads, lots of us are embarrassed by what has happened on the campus, and in the State (e.g., the movement to create a lawless “sanctuary state”).

    At the very least, UC President Janet Napolitano must be fired.

    She should not have been hired in the first place; and her incompetence has been evident throughout her tenure.

    See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/#comment-10698 (“UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESIDENT NAPOLITANO IS A DISGRACE, AND MUST BE FIRED”)

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  6. I am disgusted with the way groups voice their opinions against the other side. This is not the Cal I graduated from in 82. I was then, and now of a conservative opinion. But, we all listened to the Apartheid protests. We let them speak and they won out… I learned something and changed my view. These were not just liberals but people intelligent arguments. No one shut them down with violence or overpowering noise.. I don’t agree with the left today but, they need to be heard as does the right.

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  7. Personally, I’m ashamed at Berkeley for allowing protestors to walk the streets destroying businesses. This has also occurred many times in Oakland. Violence is violence, end-of-story. There is no constitutional right to hurt people and property. The perpetrators need to be put in jail to set a clear example. Am I missing something?

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  8. Please stop confusing people/political ideas you disagree with, with Nazi Germany and Fascism. What you’re saying is not only blatantly incorrect and clearly intended for a rhetorical shock and awe value, but also deeply offensive to those victims, survivors, and others deeply affected by the atrocities and actions of ACTUAL Nazi Germany. Please stop comparing people you disagree with on the opposite side of the political spectrum to not only a misused political ideology, but also a hateful political regime that conducted one of the worst atrocities know to mankind. You obviously were not personally affected by the acts of Nazi Germany, so stop using the term, “we”. You said you were a, “transgender woman”, you are not a victim/survivor of Nazi Germany, and your position in modern time absolutely does not give you the right to claim/identify as if you were present in Nazi Germany. If you do in fact know any victims/survivors of the Holocaust/Nazi Germany, shame on you for intentionally misusing and devaluing the horrendous atrocities that they endured, as well as disrespecting the memory of those who paid the ultimate price. Yes, this is a forum intended to protect and perpetuate free speech, however, keep in mind that in the process of fighting to ensure no one is offended, you may be heavily offending others.

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    • What about all the Communists were killed in all the countries of Eastern Europe as for having a different idea

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  9. I received a PhD. at U.C. Berkeley in the 1960’s, back in a different time when students marched for free speech not to prohibit it. Today’s entitled and fearful youth, in car seats to middle school, appear to hold their beliefs so insecurely that they stomp their feet when they are questioned. Universities used to be places where even repugnant views were allowed to be heard. These were ignored and laughed off by the masses, not given strength by violently protesting them. Whatever happened to Voltaire’s view, perhaps wrongly attributed, that though I may strongly disagree with your opinion, I will support to the death your right to express it. Of course, as he is a dead white male, his ideas probably long ago departed the Berkeley campus.

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  10. I’m curious what any right wing “free speech” advocates might think about current attempts to criminalize support for boycotts including The Israel Anti-Boycott Act.

    Is that a “free expression” issue?

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    • As a conservative in the vein of Barry Goldwater and William Buckley, I’m about as right as they come. The government should definitely not be in the business of interfering with people’s right to vote with their feet and dollars against businesses they don’t like. Public institutions, like public universities, are not allowed to do this. But private citizens should be able to do whatever they please, so long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others.

      Now, “can” and “should” are very different things. I may legally do a great many things that would make my life and the lives of others worse. I could become an alcoholic, insult people in the streets, or buy up large amounts of somehting to drive up the price for others. But it is not the government’s job to tell me what I should do, only what I may not do, whis is to infringe upon another’s life, liberty, or property.

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  11. The NAZIs were the National Socialists or Fascists in Germany and Italy. You are aware that these Socialists are the ones along with the the Communists in Russia who had the Extermination Camps for undesirables and Jews. National Socialists or Fascists, and Communists are different variations of Socialism. The Communists are the left wing of Socialism and Fascism is the Right Wing of Socialism. So anyone who is afraid of persecution should be supporting Conservatives and Republicans who support freedom and human rights which is the opposite of Socialism, Fascism and Communism.

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    • Your comment is blatantly incorrect, please refer to these following facts:
      1. Communists in general, and even more so Russia at the time, had absolutely no involvement with the Nazi state sponsored, “Final Solution”, that was the ultimate extermination of Jews, homosexuals, and communists, among many others…
      2. Socialism can’t have a multiple wings, across multiple directly argumentative political theories, as it is inherently a political theory in and of itself.
      3. Please stop advocating for the support of Conservatives, you’re portraying Conservatives in an extremely poor light due to your general misunderstanding of political theories and history. Yes you have the right to free speech, as this forum proves, however, please use this right mindfully and don’t put forth blatantly incorrect information and then attempt to make Conservatives appear illogical and irrational.

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  12. I liked the advice Ryan Lenz provided in the Berkeleyside article yesterday where he says that the alt-right is setting this all up on purpose to lay a trap. They have made it chaotic on purpose. It’s all about drawing attention to the sensationalist rhetoric they seem to twist and manipulate to meet their narrative. It’s very clear from all public information presented that UC Berkeley has gone to extreme measures to protect free speech for this newly formed group called the “Berkeley Patriot” and at great cost. There are clear procedures to follow to set up and hold events and this group is a very unorganized and manipulative group so I hope that the university examines and makes constructive changes to the rules in the near future. I know at some level what it takes for a group to set up an event and it’s not difficult to follow the procedures. Other organizations seem to be able to follow the rules that exist and hold their events. This organization, I suspect on purpose, has created this chaotic scenario. Ryan Lenz has great advice. Ignore the event and stay focused on what you are in the middle of right now. Attending school at UC Berkeley is not a cake walk, it’s hard. It’s full of pressure and very difficult classes that require your full attention. The students at Berkeley didn’t get accepted into the university because they are slackers and it’s easy to go to school there. They got accepted because they were the top of their class and they are hard workers. They are some of nation’s brightest minds. These outsiders trying to grab attention by using the Cal Campus aren’t even in the same realm as the students that attend the university. Listen to Ray Lenz and ignore these clowns that are going to be on your campus. It is the most effective and the most intelligent form of protest you can provide. Don’t give them that 5 minute video they want to use to propagate their inaccurate and hateful rhetoric. Don’t stoop to their level. You’ve earned your right to be a Cal Student and they don’t belong on your campus. Let them blow out like a flickering flame in the wild bay winds. They are stealing money from the university that belongs to the students. Shame on the small band of students that are bringing this carnival show to the hallowed ground where real free speech took place.

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  13. I am a conservative Christian teacher who voted for Trump mainly because of the current tax burden, his support of charter schools, and because of his stand on abortion. My mom was in high school when she got pregnant and I was almost aborted. I am grateful for the gift of life and the life of every one of my students. Gay, straight or otherwise I consider it a high privilege and honor to impart knowledge to them ( even though with 5 years of college I make about 68.00 a day after taxes and I have to have a second job).

    Even though we may not agree, I am grateful for your life too. I believe the best thing I can do with my life is to LOVE God and LOVE my neighbor. Who is my neighbor? Everyone around me. That’s you. My job is to LOVE you. Even though you might hate me for being a Christian, a Trump supporter or white or.. or.. or… the Bible tells us to love our enemies. I actually don’t want to BE enemies. I’d really like to sit down over a glass of wine and have a rich and colorful discussion with you. I’d like to LISTEN to you and respect what you have to say. Why? Because as a human being, everyone deserves respect. Everyone deserves to be listened to. Everyone deserves to be heard. Everyone deserves to be loved.

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  14. Here’s the issue as I see it. Free speech entitles you to express your views without threat of jailing or persecution. It does not entitle you to have a platform and a $100,000 security detail at a public university.

    What does entitle you to that right is (according to UCB policy) an invitation from a student group, but student-group’s invitation rights and the constitutional guarantee of “free speech” are two totally separate issues. Right now, it’s in Berkeley’s interest to insist on their separation. Students can say what they want, but the university should not commit itself to devoting time and resources to racist or trans-phobic speakers. Chancellor Christ, please change the policy.

    The current “Free Speech movement” is not what it was in the ’60’s. It’s become a tool of the latest culture war, a weapon in the backlash against feminist and anti-racist thought and activism. I don’t believe such activism needs to go forth unquestioned, in part because I know that it’s strong enough to survive its critics, and I don’t think any logical person would fear the “rhetorical” “strength” of Milo or Shapiro. But these speakers have a clear objective. They want to mock and disempower the already disempowered groups that are fighting for their rights and safety. They encourage students to mock and disempower them, and we as a community need to see past our 60’s nostalgia and decide who we will stand with here and now. Because 30 years from now no one will be nostalgic about the time Ben Shapiro boldly cited the statistic that black couples make more money than single white moms, with the assumption being that racism is over. No one will open a cafe called “two black people make more money than one white person so everything’s fine, stop whining you snowflake.”

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  15. Stephanie says:
    September 22, 2017 at 3:52 pm
    curious what any right wing “free speech” advocates might think about current attempts to criminalize support for boycotts including The Israel Anti-Boycott Act.
    Is that a “free expression” issue?
    Ans: Speaking to promote boycotting Israel could be free speech just as speaking to promote Nazis. The fact remains ignorance pervades and is not immune to stupidity. That’s why we have Universities. In them we trust. But they must show us our trust is warranted.

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  16. So so silly..Free speech is everything…If someone is frightened by it I suggest you plug your ears…or go hide in your closet..You have my permission and i will even encourage you to call me anything …..any name you’d like run any ideology by me….see if I’m scared…UC has been disgraced by their behavior in letting masked hoodlums rule…i have paid full tuition for three of my children to attend UC and as soon as they get home I have to counter the crazy progressive ideas that are promulgated there..

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  17. I have a very personal and biased opinion . I have a daughter at Berkeley who is a member of a religious minority which inexplicably makes her a target of the alt-right. It is fine and good from a white, Christian perspective to be “open” to divergent views, but when you are the target of those viewpoints; when your family has been chased across Europe and eventually erased from European continent by people such as these; when you have seen people emboldened and inspired by their rhetoric commit violence and cause death at another great University, you have to excuse me when I am sickened when these are allowed to speak on campus. Please pardon my directness, but while I respect Christian values and charity, white Christians are not the target of these speakers and perhaps should not be the arbiters of correctness.

    To think that it is better to diffuse tensions by giving these ideological decendants of those who killed my family in Europe and enslaved and tortured Africans in this country, is not only naive it is dangerous. You’ll have to forgive me (one last time) for my self interest, but it is dangerous for my daughter who I love above all else. Not only is she imperiled by having to cross campus which is potentially under seige, but because the people invited to campus are inspiring those who would, if they could, end my daughter’s life. It is not the sacrifice I am willing to make to protect a concept.

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  18. I think the overinflation of normative a process of debate is only due to Berkeley’s self-image as overly Inflated narcissistic.

    If Berkeley wasn’t the site, symbolizing movements of social change then the paranoia surrounding free speech wouldn’t be so heightened.

    Berkeley’s image is at stake and the institution be I’ll stop at nothing to uphold this image.

    Fear of the unknown prevails and are counterproductive at the end of the day.

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  19. Truth can be a hard reality to face. At one moment it can lift the spirit in hope and enlightenment. The next, shake your very notion of being to the core. It is for both reasons that we must do all in our power to confront it, knowing the responsibility and risk that may come. Only through our courage can we possibly hope to better ourselves. Therefore seek the truth and thus seek to better yourself! Yet by what means do we search, given all of our imperfections? Our only tool for this endeavor is the spoken word, the ability to communicate our thoughts and ideas to one another. Of course like all tools humans use, it will be abused, twisted, and corrupted in one way or another, which is why we must be vigilant and skeptical at all times as to not succumb to the tyrannical nature of a lie. Nevertheless, we must never throw away this tool! As soon as we do, we will have nothing left with which to continue our search and our lives will be forfeited to enslavement. As our first president said, “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

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  20. I arrived at Berkeley at the beginning of the Free Speech Movement and saw it develop in response to specific issues. War in Vietnam and friends drafted into the military and several losing their lives. The Movement was, became and is broader. I never felt that anyone was involved for personal gain but for the idea of respectful consideration of the needs of our society.

    After receiving a MS Degree we , my wife and I, moved on to other Colleges where we were asked to explain what happened and was happening at Berkeley. It was never difficult. People at Berkeley were concerned about the humanity of others and conflict with a “set of Systems” that seemed to have only utilitarian focus. There seems to be have been no winners or losers but the birth of an idea. Ontological, there is a place for “virtue” and we should seek it.

    That ‘level of conversation’ is far from supporting or not supporting political speech of all types. UC Berkeley could be challenged when the conversation turns to ‘who should be hated’ and thus have right to the forum but the original idea based on humanity and political systems is still the original idea. Other ideas have more of less merit and a right to be heard but they have little to do with the core of the original Free Speech Movement.

    David R Brown ScD.
    Westport CT.

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  21. Long live Carol Christ!!! THANK YOU MS. CHRIST FOR ALLOWING FREE SPEECH AGAIN – for everyone!! Although I may not agree with someone’s viewpoint, a mainstay of my UC Berkeley education in the 90’s was to engage in and LISTEN to opposing viewpoints…and with respect and decency and try to open my mind and share perspectives. That has become a lost art and” he who barks loudest” had taken over and ruling supreme – things are not balanced. I refused to donate anymore to California Alumni Association because for the last two years I have actually been EMBARRASSED and ashamed of how things have been running over there. I have been ashamed to say I graduated from UCB!!! How horrible is that? Thank you Ms. Christ for having the gumption and ethics to do the right thing and try to bring some semblance of balance and decency back! Amen!

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  22. If any speakers with a record of inciting hate are invited to speak, should they not be asked to pay a larger sum for their own and others security than speakers who have no such dismal history?

    If I were a Muslim or LGBT or Hispanic or Jewish and I had good reason to expect hateful comments about myself and my group, I would not want any violence, but standing by quietly while the hater has the mike with no chance for an equal time debate countering the hate seems insufficient unless we want to see the rise of an American Hitler who only uses free speech law to steal power when our free speech will dissolve.

    More speech only works when both sides have the same access to the mike equally at the same event.

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    • That’s what Q and A is for. It usually happens after speeches. If the speaker is respected and is actually allowed to get through their speech without disruption. Sept. 24th, 2017 Milo Y. wasn’t being allowed to complete his speech because people who didn’t like him kept chanting non-stop over him. Being extremely disrespectful. I went and couldn’t get in to see him because security held up the line. I am FTM trans and a Milo Fan. It doesn’t matter who you identify with. Identity politics destroys individuality that we were taught to have as kids. I have listened to his videos and read his book and I’ve yet to hear Milo incite violence or associate himself with Nazis. I have people calling and insinuating that I am a Nazi often simply for presenting them with facts and evidence for something I believe in that’s not the same as theirs. It’s really sad.

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  23. Interesting. Yes, Berkeley had a great reputation as being a place that stood up for the God-given right of free speech. But it has lost it. Berkeley now has the reputation of a being a left-wing political actor with no interest whatsoever in a balanced, free speech debate between people with differing political and philosophical viewpoints.

    Robert Reich on the agenda for “Free Speech Week”? Come on. That’s ridiculous. He’s more like the antithesis of free speech than a free speech advocate. Reich believes only one political and philosophical viewpoint is legitimate – his own.

    Contrary to popular opinion, Berkeley has a few faculty and/or former faculty with conservative philosophical or political views. Why don’t you invite people like Phillip E. Johnson and John Yoo to be part of your free speech celebration? Why not celebrate diversity of thought in your free speech celebration?

    While the stated intent of this project is noble, the effective implementation of it appears to be a sham.

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  24. Berkeley needs to be cut off all funding. Parents need to remove their kids from this University can’t really call it that though.

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  25. If we are to heal as a nation, we need to learn how to listen. Listening allows understanding which is different from agreement. With understanding we can work toward common ground and seek solutions that benefit our nation as a whole. We’ve lost our heart, our compassion our wellbeing by taking sides at the expense of a United States. The tide as turned many to have an ” Us vs. Them” attitude and to be One Nation our priority should be “US”. I stand by the ideals of free speech, so let’s bring our best selves to the table and listen. Has anyone heard me?

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  26. Freedom of speech and thought matters, especially when it is speech and thought with which we disagree. The moment the majority decides to destroy people for engaging in thought it dislikes, thought crime becomes a reality.
    – Ben shapiro

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  27. Berkeley AND the UCPD are a complete joke when it comes to trying to act as if they truly value free speech. It was the STUDENTS not the administration that even made that movement. The truth is that Berkeley does not care about anything but how to APPEAR progressive, when in reality they just want to protect those who donate the most funds, because universities are a business, not a place to prioritize and protect learning. If they truly cared about their students well being, they wouldn’t send emails on how to avoid the “increased police presence” or “which routes to take to avoid the barriers” or to “expect possible searching by cops upon trying to enter campus”, they would just not book people who make hateful, evil comments and avoid the whole mess. Berkeley only SPEAKS on how they want the best for they students while doing nothing to protect their students when they are actively spending more funds on protecting known white supremacist groups (the patriot prayers, milo no one gaf bout his last name, etc.) than helping students with financial aid, or making the campus more well lit at night. The truth is Berkeley has donors they must protect, and the donors are the 1%, the white supremacists, and the tr*mp adjacent people who gladly advocate for the presence and push of their racist ideals. Berkeley is just another form of the perpetuation of white supremacy. It is never a question on free speech when the people speaking are advocating for the murder, erasure, and abuse of marginalized communities. The way to combat hate is to shut it down before it even has a presence (i.e. DONT allow trolls known for hate speech to hold events on or around campus ever), but Berkeley would rather have an open door policy and reduce the issue at hand to something about “free speech” (as if the speakers at hand simply have a differing opinion on a film review), and put their student’s lives and wellbeings at risk so they can stay true to “free speech”. This shows you can be at one of the most prestigious institutions and still be undereducated on what it means to be a compassionate human. Absolutely disgusted at the events that have transpired the past year due to Berkeley’s lackadaisical attitude towards white supremacists and neo-nazi’s. I do not care for any replies because they will be wrong, ignorant, and not worthy of a response, debate ya racist mama.

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    • @Sydney, you have captured and personify the Left’s point of view.

      George Orwell wrote about it in his prescient “Animal Farm,” where all of the animals were equal until the Pigs reigned supreme and subjugated the other animals.

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  28. The ruckus about “free speech” rallies at UC Berkeley isn’t a 1st Amendment issue. It’s more related to the 5th Amendment and property rights. UC Berkeley controls a respected bandwidth for expression, and bandwidth is a property issue, not a free expression issue.

    At public forums 2 things happen:

    1. People speak (1st Amendment)
    2. Forum organizers have a right to make other people in the crowd shut up (5th Amendment)

    “Free speech week” organizers aren’t asking for a forum to present their ideas. Everybody already knows what their ideas are. They’re asking for a forum where they can perform and force other people to be quiet while they’re doing it. They’re asking for exclusive bandwidth which is kind of opposed to “free expression.”

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    • This was the most alanine thing I’ve read today and I was on 4chan earlier

      For your logic to apply, only unknown speakers with new messages are considered valid in expressing their free speech?

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    • By this logic, all public forums are against free speech. Should we ban them all?

      The advocates of any other viewpoint are free to invite their own speakers and have their own forum. The organizers of Free Speech Week aren’t going to stop them. In fact, it is easier for other ideas to be discussed because there is no right-wing analogue to the leftist redshirts calling themselves Antifa to show up and shut down speech.

      You’re right that this isn’t about First Amendment rights in terms of government censorship. Nobody is worried about “Congress shall make no law…” right now. It’s about an individual’s right to express himself or hear the opinions of others without being beaten in the street by political domestic terrorists. If nobody showed up to attack Milo and the police back in February, this wouldn’t be happening right now.

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  29. The last time we let Nazis and white nationalists gain ground, we ended up with extermination camps. The last time we let Nazis do how they please, they started to gain ground. I am a transgender woman, and these people want me dead. You can claim that Nazis have as much a right to free speech as anyone, but the fact of the matter is that this isn’t a game to anyone but the most privileged people in our society. They want LGBT people dead, they want people of color dead, and they want *you*, the people who claim to represent free speech dead. Fun fact: free speech in a fascist state means a bullet to the head. This isn’t an abstraction, this is the historical truth. And if they get what they want, they won’t care that you helped them get it.

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    • So you are saying that Nazism is such an amazing ideology that if it isn’t violently opposed it will convert everybody? If it is so horrible, why can’t you just shoot it down in logical debate in front of everybody?

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    • I don’t think you have a complete understanding on the rise of the Nazi regime. In order to gain political power, the Nazi party relied on violent response to enact policy that would give them complete control. I highly recommend you actually read about the historical rise of the Nazi party and the internal German resistance to it.

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    • I’m a trans guy who is biracial and I don’t see this the case at all. I don’t feel threatened for my safety at all. Milo is awesome in my opinion and I believe in the first Amendment. I only have experienced hostility and have been demonized by those associated with the left’s ideologies. Pretty much all my friends turned on me for being different. Please dont speak for me…

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    • Please stop confusing people/political ideas you disagree with, with Nazi Germany and Fascism. What you’re saying is not only blatantly incorrect and clearly intended for a rhetorical shock and awe value, but also deeply offensive to those victims, survivors, and others deeply affected by the atrocities and actions of ACTUAL Nazi Germany. Please stop comparing people you disagree with on the opposite side of the political spectrum to not only a misused political ideology, but also a hateful political regime that conducted one of the worst atrocities know to mankind. You obviously were not personally affected by the acts of Nazi Germany, so stop using the term, “we”. You said you were a, “transgender woman”, you are not a victim/survivor of Nazi Germany, and your position in modern time absolutely does not give you the right to claim/identify as if you were present in Nazi Germany. If you do in fact know any victims/survivors of the Holocaust/Nazi Germany, shame on you for intentionally misusing and devaluing the horrendous atrocities that they endured, as well as disrespecting the memory of those who paid the ultimate price. Yes, this is a forum intended to protect and perpetuate free speech, however, keep in mind that in the process of fighting to ensure no one is offended, you may be heavily offending others.

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    • You don’t seem to understand what facism is. About whom are you speaking? Literal Nazis are few and not well liked/supported. Conservatives are about as far from fascists as you can get.

      Most people give two shits about your transgender status, people being gay, people’s skin color, etc.. It’s in your head and rooted in the rhetoric in media and the fantasy world echo chamber that is modern university.

      Shutting down others’ speech and violently attacking those with whom your disagree is what you should fear and the majority of that behavior is prominently on display by the left, liberals and progressives.

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      • @Tim, well said.

        The true fascists are the so-called “Black Lives Matter” and Antifa groups, which use violent means to thwart opposing ideas and ideologies.

        Fighting these fascists is what the “Free Speech Movement” of the 1960s was all about. I was there, and a graduate student on the Berkeley campus.

        Today, the Berkeley that we love is a mere shadow of its former self, thanks to the disgraceful UC President Janet Napolitano and others of her ilk, who should be fired.

        George Orwell wrote about this in his prescient “Animal Farm,” where all the animals were equal until the Pigs reigned supreme and subjugated the other animals.

        The Pigs today are America’s Left, including but not limited to Napolitano, BLM and Antifa thugs.

        (-1)
  30. God doesn’t give rights and freedoms. Free speech is not some idea beyond the human realm. Let’s bring things down to reality, shall we? Forget the Constitution, forget your court cases, forget it all. Humans are real, we have a biological tendency to be social and seem to be positively responsive to autonomy. Let us also note that in social animal groups, the one who acts counter to the groups’ interest or to the interest of any individual of the group, they get set straight. Humans too, react when one seems to threaten autonomy. Let this be the basis of any “rights” and “freedoms.” We want to be free to our own choices in matters and we will defend this. If someone threatens others with violent ideologies and genocidal remarks, then, in accordance to the previously discussed, do we set them straight in order to maintain our autonomy, or do we reify and fetishize the idea of maintaining autonomy, perverting ourselves to believe defending the transgressor to be somehow defending ourselves? Do we go on to invite these very people into our homes, knowing very well that others have not fallen for this delusion, understanding what is real, and willing to take drastic action to defend their autonomy?

    UC Berkeley, you disappoint your people. You bring destruction to the campus and city knowingly, just to virtue-signal. Shame on you.

    (-36)
    • You have a couple logical fallacies here. First, we can’t just “…forget it all.” None of this exists in a vacuum. This is an appeal to emotion, specifically negative emotion against speech that some dislike. We have long-established legal histories and ennumerated rights for this exact reason; so that the will of the majority does not roll over the rights of the minority. Right and wrong are not a democratic decision; the majority of Germans were okay wiht what happened there 1935-1945, and that doesn’t make it right. A room of 10 people cannot decide to kill (or enslave, or steal from) one of it’s members because 9 of them agree on it.

      Secondly, you “…want to be free in [your] choices,” and “…maintain [your] autonomy,” but the proposed solution is to stop someone else’s choices, and take their autonomy and freedom to listen to all sides away. You (nor I, nor anyone else) do not get to decide what threatens your autonomy, and should be stopped with force. If there is a minority opinion on anything, it should not be silenced, for if it is right, we lose the chance to realize truth, and if it is wrong, we lose the chance to understand the truth we know through explaining it.

      Remarks are not genocidal, acts are. Ideologies do not threaten anyone, only the people who carry them out. Speech is not violence. Direct threats and incitement are not permissible, but as adults, we can all deal with insults, face harsh truths, and call out lies as such.

      Fourth, you personally do not have to invite anybody into your home, nor does anyone in your audience. But the University of California is a government enterprise, and it cannot discriminate against the viewpoints of its citizens. You and I do not get to throw people whose opinions we do not like off of public property. You don’t have to listen but you don’t get to prevent others from doing so. If the speech is disingenious, calmly counter it with the truth. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

      Fifth, and last, neither UC Berkeley, the Regents of the U of C, the California Patriot, nor any of the speakers are responsible for any violence or “…destruction to the campus and city…” this upcoming week. That is what is commonly called “victim-blaming.” This is the same as blaming a mugging victim for carrying money or a murder victim for having enemies. We have the term “perpetrator” for a reason. The ones who commit violence are responsible for it, without exceptions. Antifa and left-wing thugs “…bring destruction to the campus and city knowingly, just to virtue-signal,” not anyone else.

      (0)

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The ideas expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the University; they are not official, not predictable, and not of one mind. In keeping with the spirit of the Free Speech Movement, the thoughts here are those of the individual authors.

We invite you to join the conversation. The ground rules for commenting, drawn from the UC Berkeley Principles of Community, are as follows:

All comments are moderated and will be published if they follow the ground rules mentioned above.

We will endeavor to get all comments posted within 48 hours, except during weekends or holidays. 

The ideas expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the University; they are not official, not predictable, and not of one mind. In keeping with the spirit of the Free Speech Movement, the thoughts here are those of the individual authors.

We invite you to join the conversation. The ground rules for commenting, drawn from the UC Berkeley Principles of Community, are as follows:

All comments are moderated and will be published if they follow the ground rules mentioned above.

We will endeavor to get all comments posted within 48 hours, except during weekends or holidays. 

The ideas expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the University; they are not official, not predictable, and not of one mind. In keeping with the spirit of the Free Speech Movement, the thoughts here are those of the individual authors.

We invite you to join the conversation. The ground rules for commenting, drawn from the UC Berkeley Principles of Community, are as follows:

All comments are moderated and will be published if they follow the ground rules mentioned above.

We will endeavor to get all comments posted within 48 hours, except during weekends or holidays.