Monday, September 19, 2016

Student Forced to Remove Trump Hat, ‘You’re Not Allowed to Share Hate Language’

Students at a Canadian university confronted another student who was wearing a "Make American Great Again" hat—when he refused their demands to remove his hat, the students grabbed it off his head.

You've got to take it off," insisted one female student, later identified as Zoe Slusar, a former vice president of Mount Royal University's student life program.

The student wearing the hat—Matt Linder, according to CBC—argued that he was exercising his free speech rights. "I'm not allowed to support a political candidate?" he asked.

"You aren't allowed to share hate language in the university," Slusar replied.

She didn't back down. Eventually she even threatened to report Linder to university authorities. "You got to take the hat off or I'm going to write the president of the university and he's going to come talk to you," she said.

Before that could happen, another student grabbed the hat off Linder's head. You can see a video of the encounter here.

MRU subsequently affirmed Linder's right to wear the hat in a statement: "Mount Royal University respects individuals who exercise their constitutionally-protected right to freedom of expression."

Slusar later admitted that Linder did indeed have a right to wear the hat:

"He is allowed to wear the hat. As a student, I disagree with what the hat represents. I have diverse friends (culturally and sexually) who would drop a class if the person wearing the hat was sitting in the room with them, because they would feel unsafe. Given the deeper issues of intolerance and oppression represented by the hat, I disagree with it."

I disagree with the sentiment behind the hat, too (although I would dispute that it's mere presence makes a room less safe). A university is a place where people with different views should challenge each other, and Slusar had every right to call out Linder for supporting a hateful, fascistic charlatan. I applaud her for doing so. But when she denied Linder the right to express his views, she succumbed to the same authoritarian impulse that animates Trump.

And look—Trump supporters love this kind of thing. They are out there, on college campuses, waiting for an excuse to claim their free speech rights were violated. This is a clear case of an entitled student, drunk on her moral righteousness, giving Team Trump the ammunition it needs to continuing making its case against political correctness.


Colleges’ War on Free Speech Continues

The University of Chicago’s president, Robert J. Zimmer, wrote a Wall Street Journal article, titled “Free Speech Is the Basis of a True Education.” In it, he wrote:

Free speech is at risk at the very institution where it should be assured: the university. Invited speakers are disinvited because a segment of a university community deems them offensive, while other orators are shouted down for similar reasons. Demands are made to eliminate readings that might make some students uncomfortable. Individuals are forced to apologize for expressing views that conflict with prevailing perceptions. In many cases, these efforts have been supported by university administrators.

Sharing the president’s vision, the University of Chicago’s dean of students, John Ellison, sent a letter to freshmen students that read, in part:

Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.

Those are hardly the sentiments of dishonest and spineless administrators at other colleges. At DePaul University, a visit by conservative journalist Milo Yiannopoulos was disrupted by student activists. School security refused to restore order and later banned Yiannopoulos from returning.

Conservative Ben Shapiro was invited by Young America’s Foundation to California State University-Los Angeles to deliver a speech titled “When Diversity Becomes a Problem.”

University President William Covino wrote an email that read, “After careful consideration, I have decided that it will be best for our campus community if we reschedule Ben Shapiro’s appearance for a later date, so that we can arrange for him to appear as part of a group of speakers with differing viewpoints on diversity. Such an event will better represent our university’s dedication to the free exchange of ideas.”

But note that the university invited leftists such as Cornel West, Angela Davis, and Tim Wise without feeling a need for differing viewpoints.

Sociologist Barry Glassner is the president of Lewis & Clark College. Morton Schapiro is the president of and a professor of economics at Northwestern University.

Schapiro wrote in The Washington Post: “I’m an economist, not a sociologist or psychologist, but those experts tell me that students don’t fully embrace uncomfortable learning unless they are themselves comfortable. Safe spaces provide that comfort.”

Both presidents, in a Los Angeles Times op-ed, said campus protests are a “sign of progress” toward diversity and inclusion and are “noble” methods of change, as opposed to the opining of “pundits and politicians … from gated communities and segregated offices.” They added, “Students are coming of age in a time of political, social and economic turbulence unseen in a generation.”

Many college administrators have generalized contempt for American values. Here’s just a bit of the evidence. A reporter from Project Veritas covertly recorded an administrator at Vassar College following through on her request to shred the Constitution.

Carol Lasser, professor of history and director of gender, sexuality, and feminist studies at Oberlin College, said that “the Constitution is an oppressive document” because it intentionally makes change a slow process. Wendy Kozol, chair of comparative American studies at Oberlin, agreed, saying, “the Constitution in everyday life causes people pain,” and added that she rarely discusses the Constitution in class and that when she does, she tends to focus on specific amendments.

The University of Michigan and Case Western Reserve University have announced safe spaces to protect students from unwelcome opinions. University of California-Santa Barbara students want trigger warnings for all classes and the right to be excused from any lessons that might “trigger” them.

The courage shown by University of Chicago administrators is relatively rare. The academic tyranny seen on many college campuses reflects a dereliction of duty by those who are charged with the ultimate control—the boards of trustees.

Trustees have the power to fire a president and his key administrators for yielding to campus tyrants. College administrators buy into today’s nonsense because they lack backbone and are cowards. Worse yet, they may see merit in safe spaces, trigger warnings, and student disruption of speakers with uncomfortable ideas.


Schools Crack down on "USA, USA" Chant, Ban Flags

By Todd Starnes

Patriotism is under fire in Western Michigan. The OK Conference, representing 50 schools, has announced a crackdown on fans chanting, “USA” at football games. They are also implementing strict rules on flags and political banners.

“Coaches and fans are irate,” said Bill Simonson, the host of a statewide sports radio show. “People are tired of being told what flag to fly or what political side to lean towards.”

Mr. Simonson, who hosts “The Huge Show”, was the first to break this insane story.

The athletic conference’s crackdown comes after fans from a predominantly black school took offense after fans from a predominantly white school displayed a Betsy Ross flag and a “Make America Great Again” banner.

Critics called the flag racist and a local superintendent said it symbolized hate.

“To wave a historical version of our flag, that to some symbolizes exclusion and hate, injects hostility and confusion to an event where no one intended to do so,” wrote Forest Hills Public Schools Superintendent Daniel Behm in a letter to parents.

Simonson, host of The Huge Show, told me local residents are furious.

“He painted a picture that the school is filled with insensitive people,” he said. ‘If Colin Kaepernick can have his freedom of speech and freedom of expression – guess what – it’s a two-way street.”

OK Commissioner Jim Haskins said their executive board decided that moving forward fans will only be allowed to chant “USA, USA” after the National Anthem.

He told that it has nothing to do with banning patriotism. He said students are using the chant in a derogatory manner – such as “U Suck (bleep) and those type of things.”

“That’s what we have the problems with,” he told the newspaper.

But television station WOOD reports the Michigan High School Athletics Association has not received any official complaints about fans “repurposing ‘USA’ to mean anything derogatory.”

The athletic conference is also cracking down on signs and banners and flags.

“Any signs, flags, banners, cheers, or promotional material that carry questionable implications or are degrading are prohibited at any OK Conference venue,” he told WOOD.

Mike Shibler, the superintendent of Rockford Public Schools, supports the crackdown.

“We will certainly inform our students that this type of behavior when done in a derogatory and insulting way will not be accepted and will not occur,” he told WOOD.

But what happens if a student argues that the chant is in fact patriotic?

“I don’t believe that,” the superintendent told the television station.

It sounds like Western Michigan is dealing with a severe infestation of liberal educators.

“This is the United States of America,” Simonson told me. “What happens if someone walks in with a military uniform and the kids want to chant, ‘USA’? You can’t do that? Are we living in Communist Russia?”

Instead of punishing all the fans, why not just identify the troublemakers and yank them out of the stands?

One thing I cannot abide is stupidity and ignorance. And there’s a whole mess of it in Western Michigan’s school system.

I hope every person reading this column in Western Michigan will show up at tonight’s football games waving Old Glory. Post your photos on our Facebook page.

And if the Spirit moves, inhale a big gulp of air and belt out a patriotic cheer – one that we’ll be able to hear from sea to shining sea.



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