Thursday, April 16, 2009

That shoutdown in Chapel Hill

The shoutdown in Chapel Hill

Those of us who went through the agonies of the ill-advised and ultimately unconstitutional Speaker Ban Law in the 1960s were dismayed to read of the ugly confrontation between students, some faculty members, police and former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, the immigration opponent who was scheduled to speak on campus but was in effect shouted down by protesters the other night.

The most troubling thing was that the UNC-Chapel Hill campus appears to be intolerant of free speech -- especially if that speech appears to be bigoted, racist and offensive. I don't agree with Tancredo on anything that I know of, but disrupting his appearance and ultimately prompting him to flee does not solve the problem that students perceive -- that someone has thoughts they don't want to hear. Instead, it creates, maybe confirms, the impressions of many conservatives that university campuses are tolerant only of speech with which they agree and are intolerant of speech they find offensive. That's hardly the definition of academic freedom. Had students really wanted to irk Tancredo, they would have listened in stony silence, or perhaps turned their backs and walked out.

Such incidents also may play directly into the hands of those who agree with Tancredo and who oppose not only illegal immigrants in this country, but legal immigrants, too. Tancredo and his allies are using the UNC-CH incident to raise funds, ultimately strengthening financial and perhaps popular support for their
cause as well.

The lesson of the Speaker Ban Fiasco has been lost on students who believe free thought is dangerous. The truth is that it's more dangerous to ban speech than it is to hear the speech of those with whom you disagree. But to many people, evidently, the First Amendment is a scary thing.

If you want to see the take of lawyer Hugh Stevens, a former editor of the Daily Tar Heel and veteran of the Speaker Ban wars in the late 1960s, here's a link to a column that ran in today's Daily Tar Heel at UNC-Chapel Hill.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

The liberal way, freedom of speech unless we disagree.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how tolerant the left is when they disagree with an opposing view.

Anonymous said...

I support the movement to allow same-sex marriage for illegal immigrants.

Anonymous said...

it's completely asinine how you left-wing, bow-tie wearing, sanctimonious members of the NC media must qualify your "outrage" at these recent events in Chapel Hill by calling Tancredo a bigot...you are simply a grown-up version of the students who exhibited such embarrasing behavior.

Dr. Horrible said...

Let me see if I can sum up this article:

"How dare you punks give more ammo to my political enemies by proving what I've been denying all these years!"

Anonymous said...

The students who didn't agree with Tancredo should have held their own rally at another location on campus; that's what we did when the KKK came to Chapel Hill in the 80's.....

Anonymous said...

Talk about a backhanded defense. You say Mr. Tancredo has free speech even though he's a "bigot" and "offensive."

Perhaps he and others like him simply disagree with you, Mr. Betts. Did you really need to qualify your support for free speech by demonizing Mr. Tancredo?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:58 The left doesn't have logic on their side. That is why they demonize anyone with opposing views.

MinuteMan said...

No matter how you slice or dice it, what those students did was outrageous. In fact, they were violent lawbreakers in the end. The Police did what was right and safe for all. The troublemakers should be held accountable, expelled from the University. As for your calling Mr. Tancredo a bigot, I must, too, be a bigot - all because I believe that illegal aliens are just that - ILLEGAL and don't deserve to be in our country.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Betts,
Would you mind publishing exactly what Mr. Tancredo has said or written that makes him a "bigot". I do not consider someone a bigot for being concerned about illegal immigration. Nor do I consider anyone a bigot who would like to examine immigration policy in general--I believe that immigration policy in the U.S. has been examined and re-examined many times during our history. One can look at a policy to determine if it is functioning as intended without being a "bigot". You and the rest of the Observer editorial staff might gain a bit of credibility on this issue if you could explain exactly how you came to the conclusion that Mr. Tancredo is a bigot. I look forward to seeing that explanation. Thank you.

Fern said...

Yes, Jack, how about printing the comments that justify calling Tancredo names. I can’t speak for Tancredo, but I know I made a point of focusing on illegal acts and explicitly stating race, color or country of origin was not my issue, but my comments were not reported and the lies of the advocates for illegal immigration were reported as truth.

And while you’re at it, if you really believe “it's more dangerous to ban speech than it is to hear the speech of those with whom you disagree,” explain why you and the rest of the capital press corpse refused to print the facts I produced proving malfeasance by your political favorites? When Peter Gadiel travelled the state as a representative of those who lost loved ones 9-11, why wouldn’t the press report what he said?

The public errs when they believe papers report the news; they only report the news the editors choose to reveal. Would that the feds would pursue the accomplices that have helped conceal the political crimes for so long.

Anonymous said...

I consider myself to be a moderate liberal, but the antics of the far left as of late are just as reprehensible as anything the far right has ever come up with. Freedom of speech, apparently, only applies if you agree with me (in the figurative sense, not the literal). The media who fuel the fires are just as bad.

Steve said...

What kind of name is Tancredo anyway? I do resent these people coming here telling us how to run our country, but the liberal students should have let the guy speak. Such folk are much less dangerous when their ideas are exposed to the light of day, rather than letting them portray themselves as martyrs.

If the good people of Colorado didn't learn anything the other summer when their crops were rotting in the fields, and they keep electing folks like Tancredo, then that's their business.

Anonymous said...

Illegal means exactly that. This is not a race issue, but rule of law. Why don't the US chage there immigration policy and allow more people from Latin America to obtain visa's? It's ashame when people speak the truth and then are labeled a bigot or racist. Political correction is ruining this country.

Anonymous said...

What kind of name is Tancredo anyway?What kind of an idiot question is that?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:29 it's the only way the left can make an argument by attempting to belittle you.

Anonymous said...

I hope Tancredo comes back and chokes you with your prissy little bow-tie due to your libeling him.

Of course, Tancredo is a MAN and you're a prissy little twat.

Go to Hell (i.e. Mexico - the place where the only people you love live).

best-tutor said...

Hello!

very nice post... enjoyed it very much.

Thank you

http://www.best-tutor.com
http://best-tutor.com"

good site

tutor
tutor

Lorraine said...

cheap wedding gowns
discount bridal gowns
China wedding dresses
discount designer wedding dresses
China wedding online store
plus size wedding dresses
cheap informal wedding dresses
junior bridesmaid dresses
cheap bridesmaid dresses
maternity bridesmaid dresses
discount flower girl gowns
cheap prom dresses
party dresses
evening dresses
mother of the bride dresses
special occasion dresses
cheap quinceanera dresses
hot red wedding dresses

传斌 said...

replica Watches
replica Watches
replica Watches
fake Watches
knockoff Watches
replica Rolex Watches
replica Breitling Watches
replica Cartier Watches
replica Omega Watches
replica Tag Heuer Watches
replica Bell & Ross Watches
replica Panerai Watches
replica IWC Watches
replica Patek Philippe Watches
replica Chopard Watches
replica Gucci Watches
replica Corum Watches
replica Montblanc Watches
replica Jacob & Co Watches
replica A.Dunhill Watches
replica A.Lange & Sohne Watches
replica Alain Silberstein Watches
replica Audemars Piguet Watches
replica B.R.M Watches
replica Baume & Mercier Watches
replica Blancpain Watches
replica BMW Watches
replica Breguet Watches
replica Burberry Watches
replica Bvlgari Watches
replica Chronoswiss Watches
replica Concord Watches
replica D&G Watches
replica De Witt Watches
replica Dior Watches

Anonymous said...

Replica Handbags
Fake Handbags
Knockoff Handbags

Replica Louis Vuitton Handbags
Replica Gucci Handbags
Replica Chanel Handbags
Prada Handbags
Replica Fendi Handbags
Replica Dolce Gabbana Handbags
Replica Chloe Handbags
Replica Jimmy Choo Handbags
Replica Thomas Wylde Handbags
Replica MiuMiu Handbags

Replica Balenciaga Handbags
Replica Coach Handbags
Replica Lancel Handbags
Replica Hermes Handbags
Replica Marc Jacobs Handbags
Replica Anya Hindmarch Handbags
Replica YSL Handbags
Replica Mulberry Handbags
Replica Givenchy Handbags
Replica Valentino Handbags
Replica Versace Handbags
Replica Cartier Handbags
Replica Marni Handbags
Replica Bottega Veneta Handbags
Replica Loewe Handbags
Replica Kooba Handbags

Replica Bally Handbags
Replica Burberry Handbags
Replica Christian Dior Handbags
Replica Juicy Couture Handbags
Replica Ferragamo Handbags
Replica Celine Handbags

lucyliu said...

nike air max 90
nike air max 95
nike air max tn
nike air rift
nike shox r4
nike air max 360
nike shox nz
puma mens shoes
puma shoes
puma speed
nike shoes
nike air
nike air shoes
puma cat
air max trainers
mens nike air max
nike shoes air max
nike shoes shox
air shoes
nike shoe cart
puma future
cheap puma
sports shoes
nike air rifts
nike air rift trainer
nike air
nike rift
nike rift shoes
cheap nike air rifts
bape shoes
jeans shop
diesel jeans
levis jeans

LAN said...

puma mens shoes
puma shoes
puma speed
nike shoes
nike air
nike air shoes
nike air max 90
nike air max 95
nike air max tn
nike air rift
nike shox r4
nike air max 360
nike shox nz
puma cat
air max trainers
mens nike air max
sports shoes
nike air rifts
nike air rift trainer
nike air
nike shoes air max
nike shoes shox
air shoes
Lucyliu IS Lucyliu
nike shoe cart
puma future
cheap puma
nike rift
jeans shop
diesel jeans
levis jeans
nike rift shoes
cheap nike air rifts
bape shoes