California is known as one of the most liberal states in the US. Following Donald Trump’s election, there has even been a small push for a “Calexit.”
This week, the University of California at Berkeley cancelled a scheduled appearance by conservative writer and political commentator Ann Coulter. Furious, the best-selling author insisted that she will still be speaking: “They’ve cancelled – although I met every one of their silly demands. I’m still speaking,” she said in an email to WND (using all caps).
“This letter from Berkeley is an outrage,” said Coulter. “There’s no legitimate reason why they would need to delay my speech by five months(!) and then only allow it during daylight hours, when students are in classes. Giving 4 weeks advance notice – as they suddenly demand – gives the violent opposition time to organize and virtually guarantees a speech will shut down. The way to safely give a speech I think is more like 4 hours notice.”
Coulter was invited to speak at UC Berkeley by YAF (Young Americans for Freedom). She had been scheduled to speak about immigration next Thursday evening (April 27th).
In a sent a letter to YAF, she says Berkeley has “no intention” of allowing conservative speakers on campus. She blames local police for allowing riots to occur when conservative speakers visit campus, slams University President Janet Napolitano for letting this happen, and criticizes the school for failing to punish students involved in riots and heckling.
Coulter argues that her speech has been “unconstitutionally banned” from Berkeley. “I feel like the Constitution is important and that taxpayer-supported universities should not be using public funds to violate American citizens’ constitutional rights.”
Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof says the school wants to reschedule Coulter’s speech for September and claims the episode has nothing to do with her conservative viewpoint.
Coulter is prone to exaggeration, but the cancellation certainly appears to be another example in a series of infringements on freedom of speech by the leftwing school:
- Last weekend, over 20 people were arrested when leftists attacked Trump supporters at a rally.
- Earlier this month, Berkeley cancelled an appearance by conservative writer David Horowitz because local police said they could not ensure the speaker’s safety.
- In February, former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopolous was forced to flee for his safety when protestors rioted outside the venue at which he was scheduled to speak. During the riot, protestors used physical force and pepper spray to attack Trump supporters. They smashed bank windows, looted a Starbucks, and spray-painted “Kill Trump” on buildings.
Following the Yiannopolous incident, President Trump shot back at the school by threatening to withhold federal funds. “If UC Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” he tweeted on February 2nd.
This is no small threat. In 2016, federal money made up 55% of Berkeley’s research budget.
“The university says it’s committed to providing a safe and secure environment for guest speakers, but simply can’t guarantee that they be given a prime spot in the heart of campus,” reports CBS. “But campus Republicans say they shouldn’t have to choose between security and free speech.”
“The policy they have of dealing with these outside groups and student protestors really does tacitly approve of and encourage the violence we have seen,” says Berkeley Campus Republicans spokesperson Troy Worden.
It’s even worse in Hollywood.
As I wrote last month, it’s not easy being a Republican in Hollywood. Actor Clint Howard’s advice to young Republicans looking to get into the acting industry is to keep their opinions to themselves.
Actress Morgan Brittany admits that agencies told her not to express her conservative opinions in fear that “casting people” and “directors” might hear. “What is this, the blacklist? They’re not going to hire me because I have an opinion?” said Brittany. “That’s the way Hollywood is and, unfortunately, I got that. But I still wasn’t going to back down.”
Actress Janine Turner agrees that daring to speak about against Hollywood liberals might cost you a job. The worst part is that it’s a one-way street: “The fact that Meryl Streep and all these people can get up there and they can say these things… Can you imagine if one of us got up at the Golden Globes and started talking about in a positive way about Donald Trump or in a negative way about President Obama? We would be ostracized.”