"We cannot as a society allow what we regard as vile speech to lead us to abandon the cherished value of free speech," Dr. Mark Yudof, President of the UC Berkeley University on why Louis Farrakhan was welcome to speak.
One-Sided 'Free' Speech at UC Berkeley Pamela Geller, Big Hollywood
Recently Louis Farrakhan spoke at the University of California at Berkeley, and received a standing ovation. Before he spoke, however, there were quite a few protests over his being welcome on the Berkeley campus. But Dr. Mark Yudof, the president of the university, brushed them all aside and insisted that Farrakhan had to be allowed to speak there. Yudof’s explanation? The freedom of speech. He explained: "We cannot as a society allow what we regard as vile speech to lead us to abandon the cherished value of free speech."
In this case, Yudof was using this policy and this line of thinking to sanction the unthinkable, to whitewash the filth of Louis Farrakhan’s ugly Jew-hatred and America-hatred.
In an infamous March 1984 radio broadcast, Farrakhan said: “Hitler was a very great man.” Later he claimed that Hitler had made a deal with Zionists that allowed Jews to “take the land away from the Palestinian people.” Judaism, said Farrakhan, was a “gutter religion.” Israel was the product of the Jews’ “old naked scheming, plotting and planning against the lives of a people there in Palestine,” and the ultimate result of all that scheming would be that America, as Israel’s ally, would be “drawn into the heat of the third world war, which is called Armageddon.” Farrakhan has also referred to “satanic Jews” and “the synagogue of Satan.”
But Mark Yudof could give a platform to this racist hatemonger at the University of California at Berkeley, home of the famous Free Speech Movement, because the First Amendment is pure. It can be used to allow a hearing to the most egregious and, as he himself put it, “vile speech.”
I have no objection to this in principle. Not at all. I am a firm believer in the freedom of speech as our society’s fundamental bulwark against tyranny. And it is under that umbrella, that big tent, that I demand that voices of truth, of freedom, of love, of liberty, of all that is good and decent in America also be heard at the University of California-Berkeley and on college campuses from sea to shining sea.
Lovers of freedom must appeal to the good that is in Mark Yudof and so many other university administrators like him all over the country -- the very same good that propelled them to pursue their academic fields as a passion: the pursuit of truth. Surely even the most hardened leftist academic ideologue could not have forgotten entirely about that, even if it is just a dim memory.
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