Leftist Censors Defeated at UC Santa Barbara

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In a victory for free speech advocates, it has been confirmed that University of California officials reimbursed a student Republican group at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) for expenses incurred hosting David Horowitz for an on-campus lecture. The university’s student government initially balked at paying the $1800 for the conservative author’s May 26th appearance, simply because they didn’t like what he had to say. The College Republicans (CRs) turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. It was all the help they needed. “UCSB’s student government utterly refused to fulfill its constitutional duty to be viewpoint-neutral in its funding decisions,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “Thankfully, UCSB has finally rectified this error and saved itself from an embarrassing and inevitably doomed fight against the First Amendment.”

University officials had no choice. On March 22, 2000, the United States Supreme Court unanimously overturned a ruling by the 7th Circuit Court, which had declared mandatory student fees to be unconstitutional. Southworth v. The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System was a case filed by three students at the University of Wisconsin who contended that it was a violation of their First Amendment rights to use portions of their student fees to fund ideological or political activities with which they disagreed. The students were ostensibly offended that the University was funding activities by groups with multi-cultural, environmental, or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered agendas.

Speaking for the Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that collecting and allocating fees was constitutional, even as he made it clear that such a system in and of itself was not a constitutional requirement. The court also noted that such fees could be used by student groups to fund any activity, that those organizations cannot be denied funding based on their viewpoint, and that it makes no difference whether the activity takes place on or off campus. “We conclude that the University of Wisconsin may sustain the extracurricular dimensions of its programs by using mandatory student fees with viewpoint neutrality as the operational principle,” Kennedy wrote.

Thus in a bit of irony, a failed case brought by students offended by progressive ideology was the basis by which the UC Santa Barbara student government was forced to fund a conservative university event.

Last May, the UCSB College Republicans requested $2000 to host Horowitz. UCSB’s Associated Students Finance Board denied the request. A May 3rd email from Board member Lucy Nguyen explained that the funding was denied “because the board believes that the dialogue between Horowitz and UCSB students will not be a constructive one.” College Republicans appealed the ruling to the Associated Students Legislative Council (ASLC) and a hearing was held on May 4th. The minutes of that meeting demonstrate both the prejudice and constitutional ignorance of some of the participants. To wit:

  • “An appeal was mentioned about David Horowitz. While it is important to maintain freedom of speech for all organizations on campus and financial policy, expressing opinions that this speaker in particular embodies and demonizing other organizations is wrong.”
  • “To walk on campus after hearing this person speak, this person was brought to this campus 3 years ago and this is about student fees that are paid by the students. He can come to this campus and express freedom of speech, but using student fees to make this happen, please tell me where I can withdraw student my fees, even one cent that’s funded to this, I don’t want to be a part of it.”
  • “We were on campus when he last came to speak and I had a lot of friends that felt really unsafe on campus. As a Jewish person, I want to maintain the safety of the student body. Free speech is important but not limitless, e.g. You cannot yell fire in a crowded building.”
  • “This is about safety and this is an unsafe speaker…Islamophobia had been on the rise and we don’t think it’s safe to talk about these issues and is promoting negative imagery about these groups.”
  • “The problem with David Horowitz coming is that he incites hates. I don’t want to spend money for video, it’s all over the Internet just to bash people and he uses these speeches as a tool. I don’t see why student fees should go to filming.”

Members of the board sought ways around funding the event, such as contending that campus safety trumped freedom of speech, wondering aloud whether they could deny funding based on the event itself rather than its context, or whether David Horowitz’s lecture could be construed as a “hate crime.” Advised that they would be sued for attempting any of the above ploys, the board relented. They also voted to hide the Finance Board’s discussion from the public record.

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  • mrbean

    David won a cultural battle, not the culture war. The Left never goes away.

  • tramky

    The liberal Progressive idiots at UCSB reveal themselves–and their teachers–as the intellectual cowards they are. David Horowitz tell uncomfortable & inconvenient truths about the enablers of American jihad.

    Unsafe on campus?!

    • falco

      When light comes the cockroaches run around… The evil was always hiding in their bed sheets…light just revealed their true identity…

  • taxpayer

    Could this be the start of something big? Let's hope so. Just stay safe, Mr. Horowitz. The leftist/progressive movement will stop at nothing to silence the truth.

  • StephenD

    “Free speech is important but not limitless, e.g. You cannot yell fire in a crowded building.”
    Sure you can…if the building is on fire!
    David Horowitz may say uncomfortable things but that is precisely what needs to be said…and heard. “Wake Up!” he yells, “The building is on fire!” Perhaps more incidents like this will actually work in favor of getting the truth out there.

    • Eric

      "You cannot yell fire in a crowded building.” Sure you can…if the building is on fire!"
      Exactly right. Whether or not the analogus building is on fire is not up to bureaucrats to decide in a marketplace of ideas.

  • sedoanman

    The FIRE is doing some good work. They recently helped a student file an interesting lawsuit against his school, Saint Augustine’s College [N. Carolina]. He posted on Facebook something the school officials didn’t like. As a result, they denied him participation in its graduation ceremony. He was not allowed to pick up his cap and gown [“regalia”] until the Monday after the ceremony. So he filed a lawsuit with the following “DEMAND FOR RELIEF:”

    "98. Wherefore, Plaintiff respectfully requests that this Court:

    (1)Grant a declaratory judgment that Saint Augustine’s College is bound by the promises and representations it makes in its Student Handbook and Student Rights and Responsibilities;

    (2)Grant a declaratory judgment that Plaintiff’s contractual rights have been violated;

    (3)Order Saint Augustine’s College to fulfill its contractual obligations by providing Plaintiff with a commencement ceremony and reception, complete with a program, distinguished speaker, orchestra, and all other customary 'pomp and circumstance' …”
    … etc.

    • StephenD

      I LOVE IT!!

      • sedoanman

        Yes, and a future development is certainly worth watching for.

    • Beth

      Is there a way to get those school officials replaced? because only then, will true justice have been served.

  • kafirman

    Dem demoncrats don like to eat crow. Ha ha ha. They got to feel what it is like to pay for someone else's party. A party which undermines the foundation of multiculturalism, the left's moral center.

  • Herman Caintonette

    From another page:

    "Herman Caintonette · less than 1 minute ago
    Your comment must be approved by the site admins before it will appear publicly."

    It seems that, while David Horowitz claims to be a proponent of free speech, he really only wants it for HIS speech. You can't make this stuff up….

    • Maxie

      Don't take it personally. I've had well-reasoned, thoughfully-presented, obsenity-free and conservative-friendly posts similarly rejected. This site seems to have a text scanning program sensitive to words/phrases that trigger automatic rejection. The problem is that the poster has no idea what these trigger words are and, worse still, the rejected post is never "reviewed" by the site adm. who is otherwise perpetually involved doing something else.

    • VegasLiberty

      In what way is this site's policy of retaining some control of what comments can appear a restriction on free speech? Since when does free speech mean that David Horowitz or any other private person/entity is morally or legally obligated to provide you with a platform. Free speech, my ignorant friend, has only to do with abstaining from using force (governmental or otherwise) to silence someone. That's why (and rightfully so) a newspaper must ACCEPT your letter to the editor. You have absolutely no right to DEMAND they print it.

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        As far as I know, only Arnold Ahlert prescreens comments on here.

      • falco

        Vegas..it is the same education/brainwashing that believes that health care and education is a right//.////…we are in deep kimchi..with fools like this in charge..fav

    • AbsolutelyRight

      Ha ha ha ha too bad Herman, if you agree to post without any obsenity and then you violate that agreement you get edited…I mean how stupid are you? Equating that with "free speech" on a university campus is pretty brainless.
      I guess your as smart as your lefty friends at UCSB

  • esperantominoria

    I wonder if the Leftists would OPENLY SPEAK about SHIA ISLAM and TEMPORARY MARRIAGE and the KORAN?

    In IRAN they are SHIA and they have TEMPORARY MARRIAGE.Watch "BBC Video about Temporary Marriage in Iran:Habib(65) marries Leila(17) for 6 Months"

    • Beth

      TEMPORARY MARRIAGE is for the gang rape of female slaves.

      Koran 033.052 (read it for yourself)

      I often wonder if such an act even bothers the 'leftists' (and that is why they can not see what it is they are defending)

  • PatriotX

    “This is about safety and this is an unsafe speaker…Islamophobia had been on the rise and we don’t think it’s safe to talk about these issues and is promoting negative imagery about these groups.” Hmmmmm…..Uhhh…..no, not true.

    Suicide bombers,

    the burning of U.S. flags everytime you turn on the TV

    being called “infidel”

    being called “dogs and the Great Satan”

    establishment of muslim no-go zones in countries that openly accepted you as their guests

    making it a crime to speak out against Islam

    labeling others “racists” or “islamophobes” whenever they speak an unpleasant truth about Islam

    Pan Am flight 103

    Khobar Tower bombings

    USS Cole attack killing 17 sailors

    threats to our celebraties and other citizens for speaking about the attrocities committed by Islamists

    Islam’s demeaning abuse of women

    9-11 Attacks

    Someone trying to light their underwear to blow up an airplane…..THESE THINGS ARE PART OF AN INFINITE LIST OF of events that are promoting a NEGATIVE IMAGE of Islam, not David Horowitz. I think that quote in the article needed to be directed at the Prime Minister of Iran and other lunatics alike.

    You notice that Islam is never accountable for it’s actions, it’s always the victims of it’s terror networks that are the culprits of spreading hate or violence.

    • Beth

      The tree (koran) is known by its fruit

      • Soliel67

        So true. I am inclined to judge a religion by the behavior of the people who follow it. If it makes them better human beings I am OK with it. But if it makes them intolerant, violent, raging, thin skinned murderers (for the sake of that religion), oh yeah no sense of humor…well I judge that as well.

        Islam is a lowlife religion. It produces jerks.

  • Brujo Blanco

    What is really problematic with these institutions if higher learning is that they are producing the base for our future leaders. They are teaching our future leaders that it is proper to silence those you do not agree with by physically denying them access or means to speak. They are being taught that it is ok to use this type of force to get their way. Government schools in particular are government agencies wand this type of political bias by law is not permitted and should not be tolerated.

    • Toa

      That's why these institutions spend so much energy on demonization of non-"Progressives". If people truly believe that their opponents are evil, they will easily justify censoring, mistreatment, etc. without any second thought whatsoever. It's especially easy for them to do this after not having been taught HOW to think in the first place (a lot of this is parents' fault as well).

    • Soliel67

      There is hope. I went to that school. I was totally immersed in the "other" in literature, etc. Totally immersed in liberal politics. By the way, when I went it was virtually all white (about 22 years ago). And now look at me. I go to Breitbarttv. I go to FPM. Oh and a gf who attended the school with me at the same time, she has also gone conservative.

  • Joey

    Whenever someone wants to restrict your free speech, they always start off by telling you how much they honor free speech. "Yes, we're big supporters of the free exchange of ideas, BUT…'

    But what? But we're going to censor you. Because Muslims "feel unsafe" whenever anyone is allowed to discuss Islam in a light that is not positive–in other words, whenever anyone talks about it's not so peripheral violent elements.

    it's the same with the homosexuals. The "right" to a "safe learning environment" is actually the right to censor others. And it belongs only to a few groups of poor, down-trodden victims. Kind of makes you wonder how they can call themselves victims.

    • Toa

      One of the real absurdities of the homosexuals' "poor victims" whimpering is the fact that a very big percentage of them are in managerial/supervisory, medical, financial and other such positions. Seems that if teh gheys were so "natural", they wouldn't go ballistic over somebody looking at them funny, scream that their critics are "latent gheys" and all the rest of their stupid antics.

  • http://www.pacrimjim.com PacRim Jim

    Good little Nazis in training.
    This used to be a free country.

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