The University of California, Berkeley has blocked Young America’s Foundation (YAF) and the Berkeley College Republicans (BCR) from bringing Ben Shapiro to campus on September 14, vaguely claiming administrators were “unable to identify an available campus venue.”
In an email to BCR members, Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell and Student Organization Coordinator Millicent Morris Chaney denied the students’ request for a venue for September 14, 2017, despite what Morris Chaney calls “extensive efforts.”
Berkeley’s inability to find a lecture hall more than two months in advance is laughable. The university’s email is full of double-speak such as the statement “Ben Shapiro is welcome on our campus, and we are committed to supporting his, and your, rights to free speech,” despite paragraphs earlier denying him the same platform willingly granted to high-profile liberals.
In the next breath, the same administrator states that Berkeley can only support the conservative students’ desire to host Ben Shapiro “when events are held at a time and location that allow for the provision of any required security measures.”
Blatantly anti-free speech and unconstitutional actions such as these are exactly why Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans are suing UC-Berkeley for placing viewpoint discriminatory restrictions on the time and place conservatives are allowed to speak.
“Using ridiculous pretexts to keep conservatives from speaking is unsurprising but disappointing,” commented Ben Shapiro upon finding out his invitation to speak had been blocked by Berkeley administrators. “We’ll find a way to get this event done, and UC Berkeley has a moral and legal obligation to ensure we do so.”
An endless stream of liberal speakers continue to be granted opportunities to speak, unobstructed by time, place, or manner restrictions while conservatives are continually treated unequally, and repeatedly relegated to the margins of campus activity.
This attempt to block Ben Shapiro is the University of California, Berkeley’s third instance of shredding the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of conservative students who’ve tried to host YAF speakers on their campus.
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