Young America’s Foundation (YAF) and the Berkeley College Republicans (BCR) are perplexed by last Friday’s statement from the University of California, Berkeley. It was only after national outcry over Berkeley’s third instance of blocking a YAF-organized lecture that administrators magically found a venue.
Berkeley’s change in attitude calls into question their earlier communications with the Berkeley College Republicans (BCR) claiming venues were not available on September 14 at 7 pm. It also calls into question UC Berkeley’s suppression of the two previous conservative speakers Young America’s Foundation attempted to bring to Berkeley: David Horowitz and Ann Coulter.
“We would like to know what changed so suddenly that Berkeley administrators are able to grant a space for Ben Shapiro to speak, and why this option wasn’t made available for earlier attempts by YAF and BCR to bring Ann Coulter and David Horowitz to campus,” remarked Young America’s Foundation Spokesman Spencer Brown. “The school is trying to save face, and Berkeley now wants a gold star for providing a venue, an act that should not require an ongoing federal lawsuit and nationwide outcry to accomplish.”
The lawsuit filed by Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans continues to move forward, as a lasting remedy to Berkeley’s discriminatory practices remains necessary to prevent Berkeley administrators from continuing their pattern of suppressing students’ rights.
“It is incumbent upon UC Berkeley to expose students to a breadth of diverse ideological viewpoints, noted BCR External Vice President Naweed Tahmas. “The university has committed an egregious disservice to students by maintaining an ideological safe space. The Berkeley College Republicans have taken the lead on campus to provide students with an alternative perspective that is traditionally not heard in classrooms. We believe that students are fully capable of having their views challenged and do not need the university’s patronizing coddling. The Berkeley College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation look forward to hosting Mr. Shapiro at UC Berkeley on September 14.”
The University of California, Berkeley cannot pick and choose which speakers are allowed to address students on its campus, and cannot selectively grant special accommodations to certain speakers while shutting down others. The school has apparently realized it cannot weather another PR nightmare over its unconstitutional actions, and is now outrageously seeking accolades after suppressing Ann Coulter and David Horowitz.
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