Campus tyrants have once again quashed dissent – and once again been coddled by fearful or sympathetic university administrators. This time it happened at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where students prevented former Congressman Tom Tancredo from speaking about illegal immigration and the issue of granting in-state tuition to those who have entered the country illegally.
Local affiliate ABC 11 has the story.
Protesting “students” (in quotes because they obviously have no scholarly interest in or commitment to debate or the free exchange of ideas that should be paramount on a university campus) flowed into and outside the room where Tancredo was scheduled to speak. They chanted loudly, restricted access in and out of the room, stood up inside the room, held signs, unfurled a banner in front of the Congressman and threw a rock through a glass window.
In response, UNC Chancellor issued an official and contrite sounding – but totally meaningless – statement. From WTVD:
UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp responded to Tuesday night’s events and said, “We’re very sorry that former Congressman Tancredo wasn’t able to speak. We pride ourselves on being a place where all points of view can be expressed and heard, so I’m disappointed that didn’t happen tonight. I think our public safety officer appropriately handled a difficult situation.”
Is the Chancellor truly sorry? Then has he invited Congressman Tancredo to return to campus?
Is he truly disappointed? Then has he publicly reprimanded and formally disciplined those students who successfully attacked the university’s function as a “a place where all points of view can be expressed and heard?”
Do Chancellor Holden Thorp and the UNC administration truly believe the campus police handled the situation appropriately? If so, that’s extremely disappointing, because in my view, handling the situation appropriately means enforcing the rights of the innocent at the cost of prohibiting – by force, if necessary – the actions and behavior of others seeking to strip away those rights.
Obviously, a speaker like Tancredo is going to generate a certain amount of controversy on a college campus. You know you’re going to need some security, and you should be prepared with an adequate plan of action should security needs escalate. UNC failed to do this.
If the chancellor genuinely believes that this situation was “appropriately handled,” then campus tyrants will never be stopped from doing this again – and they know it.