- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 20, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The latest college cave to petulant student demands involves Ann Coulter and Berkeley, and the cancellation of the conservative firebrand’s speech over fears of violence.

Hey, Berkeley, how about sending out the cops to deal with the lawbreakers — rather than squelching the free speech of the innocent?

But here’s a thought for parents with kids on their way to college: Don’t do it. As recent episodes at various schools around the nation show, America’s college campuses are no longer elite, esteemed places of higher learning, but rather propaganda training grounds for the next generations of Brown Shirts.

The Coulter backlash is certainly not a single story.

In 2014, Rutgers University kids went nuts when they found out Condoleezza Rice was due to give the commencement address, protesting to the point that she cancelled her appearance. And it wasn’t just students; faculty stood strong against Rice, joining the protest movement and arguing Rice should’ve have been selected in the first place because of her involvement in the Iraq war under George W. Bush’s administration.



Conservative pundit and writer Milo Yiannopoulos has had a tough time of it in recent months, with students at New York University, the University of Miami College, Florida Atlantic University, Villanova University and DePaul University protesting his planned appearances so viciously administrators canceled his speeches — or, in fear of backlash, even denied he was an approved speaker. That was all in 2016. In 2017, of course, Yiannopoulos again made national headlines when Berkeley, the supposed breeding ground of free-thinking and free thought for the liberal crowd — and there’s the hint: for the liberal crowd only, it appears — canceled his speech on the heels of a violent student uprising that included fires, broken glass, destroyed properties, injuries and arrests.

Well, Berkely’s at it again, it seems, this time with author and pundit Coulter.

Administrators, worried about a repeat of property destruction — a Milo, Part Two — and announcing a need to keep students safe, canceled her speech.

This, from the university that claims to be the 1960s birthplace of the Free Speech Movement.

Coulter said she’s speaking anyway; Young America’s Foundation, the group that helped organize her visit, confirmed her appearance on April 27 would go forth.

“If Berkeley wants to have free speech, they are going to get it,” YAF spokesman Spencer Brown said.

Good. Don’t they have university police at Berkeley? Why yes, yes they do. Unfortunately, campus administrators have long ago abandoned the constitutional principle of freedom of speech in favor of catering to the hurt-feeling crowd — the whiney spoiled students who think it’s quite OK to smash glass in order to avoid feeling offended.

Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said as much, in a response to Coulter’s planned go-ahead to appear despite the cancellation — and to her insistence to hold the event in late afternoon, in order to draw a larger crowd.

“Everything we’re doing is so the speaker and students can actually exercise their rights without disruption,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that there are people who think the university’s efforts to keep students and the speaker herself safe are ‘silly.’”

Wrong, Dan. If Berkeley were doing everything in its power to protect students and speaker from violence, then administrators would give the thumbs-up to Coulter’s speech, hire extra law enforcement for the event, and tell students, in no uncertain terms, riots would be cause for arrest. And then they would follow through with the threat.

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