- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 27, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

After a contentious and very public back-and-forth about speaking at Berkeley, conservative firebrand Ann Coulter announced her planned Thursday speech at Berkeley was canceled, after all.

Another ding to freedom of speech; another win for the loud-mouthed leftists on college campuses. Another sad commentary on the state of our country’s so-called places of higher learning.

The American college campus has become little more than a breeding ground for socialist-minded activists.

“I’m very sad about Berkeley’s cancellation, but my sadness is greater than that,” Coulter said in a tweet, shortly after it was made clear that the university would not allow her to appear and speak. “It is a dark day for free speech in America.”

Campus officials had originally expressed caution about the planned Coulter speech, saying they had learned of the potential for violent protests from members of the student body. As such, they sought to cancel her appearance. Coulter, along with her speech sponsoring group, Young America’s Foundation, initially fought back, decrying the censorship and saying the speech would go forth, regardless of threats of violence.

But YAF ultimately said it could not support Coulter’s appearance “due to the lack of assurances for protections from foreseeable violence from unrestrained leftist agitators,” the group said in a statement, NBC News reported.

And with that, no Coulter.

But YAF’s statement raises an interesting point: Why couldn’t the school guarantee safe passage for Coulter?

After all, Berkeley has a security force — not to mention telephones to call on local community police. But rather than make the hard decision to clamp down on calamity, and stifle the agitators, Berkeley — the home of the 1960s free speech movement — chose to target and punish the law-abiding.

And that right there is why college campuses seem to be controlled by the radical element these days — because administrators tolerate it. They’re all too willing to cave to the demands of the petulant and law-breaking, so the snowflakes of the college world don’t have to suffer rhetoric that might offend their snowflakey sensibilities.

Rather than telling the students who don’t want to hear conservative thought to stay home — and making it clear violent protesters will be arrested and charged with acts of criminal behavior — left-leaning college administrators cower and cave to their demands. And yes indeed, that does leave free speech in the cold.

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