Thursday, June 05, 2014

Not Left enough to be allowed to speak

Last week, former UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau joined a growing group of prominent public figures who have declined invitations to speak at college commencement ceremonies because of protests. Birgeneau — and the students who might have been edified by his remarks — are victims of a shortsighted censoriousness that is becoming a familiar feature of graduation season.

A university ought to be an environment in which students, far from being protected from opposing views, are challenged to engage with them.

Birgeneau withdrew as a commencement speaker at Haverford College in Pennsylvania after some students there sent him a letter threatening to oppose his appearance unless he apologized (again) for the use of force against Occupy movement protesters at UC Berkeley in November 2011, and unless he complied with a long list of other demands.

One was that he write an open letter to Haverford students "explaining your position on the events of Nov. 9, what you learned from them, how you have put what you learned into practice and how your actions have or have not been in line with the values of peace, nonviolence and political participation." As a grace note, the students conceded that Birgeneau had done admirable work on behalf of "LGBT rights, affordable education and the plight of undocumented students."

Not surprisingly, Birgeneau sent his regrets.



Bird of Pardise said...

U.C. Berkeley needs to fall into a hole in the ground

Anonymous said...

I think it a shame that he has effectively allowed these lunatics to win by withdrawing.
Who the heck do they think they are sending such a list of demands?

Anonymous said...

"how your actions have or have not been in line with the values of peace, nonviolence and political participation"

Funny how the left expect this from conservatives but never hold to those values themselves. I blame the 60's students that are now academics in these institutions for the current generations anti-social behaviour.

Anthony Billings said...

Seems they've been taught to demand the same conformity to their standards that the old guard fought against in the '60s. The standards might have changed, but the lock-step conformity they demand is no different. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Anonymous said...

Apparently,these students never read "Fahrenheit 451" where people just blindly follow the gov't line without thinking for themselves. This is the result of universities teaching the students that their opinions are important without first teaching them logic and reasoning skills so they can form a sound opinion.

Go Away Bird said...

I'm hoping one day a hole opens up and swallows up Berkley Campus and all and U.C. Santa Cruz as well