Mentioned on GrumpyPolitics.
Ann Barnhardt takes Graham’s recent remarks on free speech into context and accordingly delivers him a dose of reality.
- Ann Barnhardt Bookmarks the Koran with Bacon then Burns it. (yourdaddy.net)
- No Asterisk in First Amendment (kylesmithonline.com)
- Senator Graham and Free Speech (roninsjourney.wordpress.com)
- Sen. Graham voices support for restrictions on free speech (valorfreedom.wordpress.com)
- Two Congressmen We Need – Out Of Congress (via Gadaboutblogalot’s Blog) (wdednh.wordpress.com)
This past evening, I received an e-mail from the director of The Vagina Monologues at UCSD.
The e-mail reads:
My name is Van Nguyen and I am the co-director of The Vagina Monologues at UCSD this year. It has been brought to my attention by several members of V-day that you have recently posted a conflicting image in regards to The Vagina Monologues. As a key member in this organization, I would like to extend an invitation to this year production on opening night.
We would love to take this opportunity to educate you about our organization. There will be a ticket waiting for you at will-call on Wednesday, February 16th at the PC East Ballroom. Doors open at 7pm and show begins at 8pm. If you are able to make it, I believe this will be a valuable experience for you.
Although the director was kind enough to offer me an invitation to the play, Nguyen largely ignores the fact that I have not produced any written material (i.e. articles, print articles, or blog posts) criticizing The Vagina Monologues thus far.
Before she, her respective organization, and the cast wage a full-fledged campaign against any critique of the play, I would kindly appreciate criticism after an article is published, not beforehand.
King Gupta is back…and with a vengeance too! He’s out to restrict free speech again. I thought that madness had its place last school year? Why, oh why, UC-San Diego? We do not need to be haunted again with Gupta’s call for abridgment to free speech.
Nevertheless, enjoy the following for your viewing pleasure!
Following the suspension of the University of California—Irvine’s Muslim Student Union this past June, members of the MSU are bitter about the university’s decision. I reported on NewsReal Blog back in June about the suspension as it was a milestone in suppressing their antics. Obviously, their reaction to the decision has only prompted their hate and schemes more. Do not buy into their lie of wanting free speech, as they wish to deny it to their opponents.
A writer for New University—UC-Irvine’s paper—lamented how sad it was that the Muslim Student Union’s presence was sorely missed during Welcome Week festivities. This girl—including other fanatics—failed to register in their brains that the Muslim Student Union breached university rules when interrupting Michael Oren’s speech in February. UC-Irvine’s administration stressed civility and respect at the event—standard protocol expected when speakers come to campus to engage in dialogue. Let this be known: the Muslim Student Union’s cries of having their free speech “deprived of them” is hypocritical, as they heckled Oren by showing their continual efforts to suppress the speech of pro-Israel views.
The suspension of the MSU for the duration of the school year, including a two-year period of probation, is obviously “unjust” for this group according to Madiha Shahabuddin. She points out:
Or is it that this apparent trend of the university shutting down student voices and actions is somehow here to stay?
Since when are other Muslim Student groups on universities being shut down on a routine basis? The UC-Irvine MSU’s suspension is the only action of its kind in existence! The only groups that could justify their voices being shut down are conservative and Republican organizations.
An event or protest in which a few individuals take part is not reason enough to suspend an entire group on which so many Muslims on campus rely for their social, spiritual and humanitarian needs.
When a group fails to respect the wishes laid out by administrative officials—regardless of the number of people involved— association will be noted and collective punishment will result. Universities ruthlessly punish right-leaning groups in high frequency compared to any radical Muslim group. You can thank the leftist agenda at universities for this endless persecution of conservatives on campus.
The MSU is not an honest group, as it disguises its anti-American efforts as free speech and derides those “impairing” them.
Alec Weisman, Editor-in-Chief
As you know, we’ve been closely watching the recent antics of the BSU and their allies, and we’re deeply disheartened by how thoroughly they’ve lost sight of Martin Luther King’s ideals. So many of their demands push not for color-blindness, but for explicit race-based favors.
In response, we’ve compiled a list that reflects our view of what UCSD would be like under Dr. King’s dream.
This is not a slate of demands. We will not occupy the Chancellor’s office, or plant a noose, or otherwise disrupt campus life, if our quiet voice of reason gets lost amidst the opportunistic aggression of the race-baiters. We’ll live in a world that’s a bit more racist, we’ll have a bit less pride in our alma mater, and our best potential successors will be a bit less likely to come here… but life will go on.
And this is not the work of a disembodied intelligence; you’ll see the stamp of our individual life experiences. One of our staff members is an economics student, frustrated by the disconnect between “pay people to dig ditches and refill them” Keynesian orthodoxy and the complexities of the real world. Others have sat in philosophically or politically biased classes, wondering about (and sometimes discovering) the consequences of articulating a coherent dissenting perspective. And most of us have grappled with that eternal mystery, “Why?”… in the context of the meal point system, at least. But we understand that our pet peeves are not as important as universal issues like maintaining academic standards. It’s okay if some items receive much more attention than others.
With that said, here’s what we wish to see:
• a school that hires the best and brightest of academia, regardless of race or creed or politics.
• a school that continues to respect the spirit of Proposition 209, admitting students on the basis of academic merit and personal accomplishments without any reference to race. This is in the interest of all parties; the black graduation rate at UCSD doubled after the proposition’s passage.
• a school that helps minimize exploitation by informing students of their legal rights. Perhaps a list can be provided to every student during Welcome Week.
• a school that applies its standards of taste to its own buildings, not just its off-campus parties or rogue publications. For instance, the name “Che Café” is, at best, of questionable propriety; “Revolutionary Cafe” preserves the theme without giving too much sanction to a mass murderer. (Yes, we realize it doesn’t rhyme. On the other hand, it is good enough for an etude. Anyway, we’re open to other suggestions.) It can be repainted with a mural of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, and Henry David Thoreau.
• a school that does not withhold funding from student organizations following the rules. We believe the Koala should be socially sanctioned for its inflammatory and vulgar response to recent events. But it should not be forced to shut down, unless it actually broke the law.
• a school with transparent student government. Transparency is a powerful enemy of organized favoritism. All Associated Students meetings should be open to the public; and we believe it is also now practical and desirable to film and broadcast them live on the A.S. website.
• a school that provides funding and resources to ethnic groups in an equitable manner. There’s room for debate regarding what that entails; quite a few of the BSU demands can be accepted under this principle (and we’re okay with that). But certainly not all of them.
• a school that fosters a racially integrated community by hosting inter-group dialogue and activities.
• a school that offers more humanities classes with a neutral point of view. We believe in intelligent diversity of thought on campus, not just diversity of color.
• in the same vein, a school providing an economics education not any more wedded to Keynes than the facts justify.
• a school that minimizes the financial burden it places on its students by taking advantage of digital books and other cost-effective technologies.
• a school that enforces financial discipline on its programs. Departments and organizations should not be allowed to disproportionately drain UCSD’s resources by accruing massive debts; that hurts everyone, regardless of color.
• financial transparency of the UC Regents, the University of California, San Diego, and the Associated Students of UCSD.
• a school that respects voluntarism, not just “official” forms of social work.
• a school that encourages active citizenship by promoting involvement in student media. (Granted, since we are a student media organization, this request is self-interested.)
• a school that honors greatness, regardless of its source. We think a showcase of student, alumni, and faculty achievements, at a central visible location on campus, is a good way to do this.
• a school that demonstrates its commitment to economic efficiency by allowing students to opt out of purchasing meal points.
• a school that properly disciplines any student who violates another student’s rights.
• a student government structured to defend student rights. We recommend renaming the A.S. position of Associated Vice President of Student Advocacy to Vice President of Student Rights; this would confer voting privileges on the position, allowing its occupant to be an effective force for respect of student rights at UCSD.
• and finally, an administration and A.S. committed enough to peaceful inquiry to consider this list, despite our lack of threats.
Alec Weisman, Editor-in-Chief
First I wanted to let everyone know we are working on a story on everything over the weekend, but we wanted to send out this brief update in the meantime.
More Letters to the Editor:
Through the Lens of an Underrepresented Minority
Mario Medina, Marshall Senior
In light of the ridiculousness that has consumed our campus, and it is ridiculous on all sides of the political spectrum, I thought it only best to serve up my two cents and talk a little about some things that have really got me going.
First, while the Compton Cookout and the Koala could have been a little more sensitive, it is their right to do what they please as long as what they do not physically harm others. Emotional pain is understandable, but let’s get some things straight. First of all, PIKE has unfairly been singled out for blame for an event that was simply a party, a themed party, hosted by several members of the UCSD community. I have heard tons of hate directed towards them, when in reality the party was simply that, a party. Was the invitation offensive? Maybe. I can’t speak for those who are African-American, but in all fairness, people throw themed parties all the time, and I have personally attended some. They don’t promote stereotypes; they openly mock the ridiculousness of the stereotypes themselves. Not all black people behave in a certain way. Not all Latino people are illegal immigrants. Are all white people rednecks as well? No, but until black media stops promoting images of thugs and gangsters, talking about banging every chick they see, then what else do people expect. In the end, it is merely entertainment.
Ever wonder why the first amendment, you know the insignificant one containing that little snippet bout freedom of speech, is the first one? DUH, because it is the MOST important one. It’s not like the founding fathers rolled the dice and picked a number for each of the amendments randomly. They had a purpose. The Koala, while offensive, is free to print what they want, whenever they want it, and for whoever they want, it. It is their right.
AS is a totalitarian system. They know they are powerless because nothing trumps the good ole Constitution. So their response is predictable: fascist. My father escaped communism, and let me tell you one thing, it is not a pleasant political system. It sucks. People want to talk about oppression, well, live in a communist state and then talk about how much America sucks. The reality is that the Koala is a response to the uptight, PC system that tries to indoctrinate students at most universities. I hear all this talk about privilege, yet have not found one person who can truly define it. Am I privileged because I own a vehicle, or because I have a college education? Privilege does not equal whiteness. Trust me, I have met plenty of white people who are as poor as any other poor people, and they do not toss the word privilege around. Freedom of speech is what reminds us that we live in a truly FREE society, one that values dialogue and seeks not to destroy dissidence.
Oh those kids from BSU and MECHA. Yes, we get it, the world hates you and you can’t ever amount to anything because whitey is keeping you down. I mean it’s not like blacks and Latinos are in politics, or CEO’s, or millionaires or highly educated. Oh yeah, they are! This is not 1960’s Jim Crow South. Nowadays, minorities are highly desirable because everyone wants to add a little color in their board room. Therein lies the problem with focusing on race so much. Affirmative action only hurts minorities. No one will take people of color seriously knowing that they may have only gotten there because of the color of their skin. I heard someone once say, “Racism exists because when all you think about is race, you can always find racism.” I believe in America, and the rights of all Americans. BSU had a reason to be upset and hurt, but they did what race based organizations do best: they took it to the extreme. They took a small test sample of ignorance and turned it into a crusade against a repressive UCSD society. I have been here for over three years and I can tell you that I love UCSD. People like me because the only thing I care about is how awesome a person is, not how awesome you are because of the color of your skin.
Black people listen up: you are not entitled to anything! No one is. In America, you work for what you have, and you earn your stripes through your hard work. I am sick and tired of people feeling like they deserve all these things because of perceived slights in the system. Wake up America. We have a black president who became the leader of the free world because he is a smart, talented, charismatic and eloquent individual. He didn’t sit back and whine about racism. Obama confronted it with the best available tools he had: the power of his mind. BSU’s demands were so ludicrous, I actually thought they were joking around. Half of their demands focused on segregating the black community from UCSD, which they already do not need to do. BSU blew up a small event to pass a radical agenda. Their agenda is inherently leftist, which explains why MECHA, who are the epitome of racism, attended in stupidity, I mean solidarity. All this brings me to the reason why I wrote this opinion.
Underrepresentation is harsh, especially when you are someone who looks as brown as Hugo Chavez, but bleeds Ronald Reagan. Do I sit back and whine about how I get called a race traitor, or how I have been actually spit on by other people of color. No. That’s right, it’s not about racism. This whole charade is about people trying to make others believe what they believe. This whole drama is because people want everyone to believe what they want, to live in the world they want, and to act in the manner that they want. If people want to believe certain things, they are protected by the Constitution of the United States of America. I am conservative because I believe in the American resolve to overcome all forms of hatred, in the pursuit of a more harmonious union. Students who feel underrepresented listen up: try to see what happens when you vote for a republican and your last name is Medina. People think you’re the second coming of Hitler. Want to know my secret for success? I don’t care about my skin color, the skin color of the President, or what race is in charge of the world. I care about myself and my loved ones. I care about preserving our rights. I care about America, because I love her, and thank her for every minute of freedom she allows me to experience. The media, BSU, MECHA, and the UCSD administration should be ashamed of themselves. Black people are not being targeted for hate crimes, Latinos are not being rounded up for deportation on our campus, so lets be real about this people. It started off with a misguided attempt at humor, and has now blown up on the 7th floor of Geisel. I bet if the reactions of some weren’t so extreme, the reactions of others would not have been so extreme as well.
Feel free to disagree, after all, this IS AMERICA…
Brett Cook, Warren 2011
What we’re currently witnessing at UCSD shouldn’t surprise anyone. In fact, it’s the predictable and logical consequence of how UCSD operates as a system. Specifically, it’s UCSD’s bloated bureaucracy in combination with its institutionalized political correctness that has made this madness possible. Hear me out.
Clearly there is a gap—a ravine, for that matter—between the actions of the frat boys and the insanity that has ensued. This is not to minimize any legitimate gripes that individuals may have with those frat boys. There are, after all, few activities undertaken by frat boys that the majority of individuals would not find offensive. That isn’t the issue. The question is this: How did a stupid frat party bring us incessant Chancellor Fox e-mails, Koala TV segments, circus AS meetings, awkward demands from the BSU, nooses, news cameras, mass protests, and the overall obnoxiousness that no one wants to have to deal with when they’re trying to get an education? The answer may liberate you.
The University of California San Diego is a bureaucratic monstrosity. If you’re a student at UCSD, I don’t need to explain this. You know what I’m talking about. Practically speaking, this means that there is an incomprehensible network of departments and administrators to which everyone must answer but for which no one is accountable. It’s a joke. We all know it.
Ok, now take this bureaucracy and add extreme political correctness… You now have a system in which the very hint of racism can set off a bureaucratic domino-effect. This happens because of the fact that the bureaucracy is accountable to nothing (except political correctness); thus, the tendency of the bureaucracy is always to placate rather than to ameliorate. The result is what we are seeing now: a rapid series of concessions with the hope that the placations might outpace the controversy (in much the same way that one might hope to outpace a fire with a gallon of gasoline).
To be clear: This has become a game, the object of which is to see how many goodies can be squeezed out of the UCSD bureaucracy. It’s a race to the bottom. Whether or not the participants see it that way, make no mistake: What you are seeing at UCSD is a game in progress.
Just look at what happened. After word got out about the party, the first response by the UCSD bureaucracy was to send everyone e-mails that apologized for the party, calling it an “insult to all thinking members of our community”. In full panic mode, the bureaucracy stated that, although this was a private, off-campus event, they were going to “utilize the harshest sanctions in responding to the organizers of this event.” Furthermore, they announced a teach-in to make their apologies, condemnations, and hollow grovelings as conspicuous as humanly possible. It worked.
Like blood in the water, it could not have been any clearer: the UCSD bureaucracy was open for business. The firesale had begun!
Enter: The Black Student Union (BSU). The BSU has, dare I say, acted completely rationally (considering the incentives at play). The louder they yelled, the more they got; the more ridiculous the situation became, the more power they acquired; and the more preposterous the accusations, the more seriously they were taken by the administration.
The supporters of BSU and their “demands” had every incentive to put a noose in Geisel. I’m not saying that they did, only that it would make perfect sense if they did. After all, what’s a noose in a library when you can get the UCSD administration to “take responsibility for implementing institutional action to develop and maintain a critical mass of underrepresented students”—whatever that means.
The point is that we shouldn’t be surprised by all of this. More importantly, we shouldn’t labor under the illusion that this is anything other than what it is. So, if you’ve been stressed out, angered, annoyed, or just generally frustrated attempting to wrap your mind around what’s going on, don’t. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. Bask in the madness. It’ll all be over soon. Just try not to think about the fact that you’re paying for all of it.