Columbia University, NY - Leftist Columbia students destroyed civility and assaulted academic freedom when they disrupted the Republican Club sponsored event by storming the stage at Roone Arledge Auditorium on Oct 4, physically preventing Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist from speaking.
More than two weeks have passed since that outrageous attack on free speech, and to date, nothing of significance has been heard from Columbia's president, Lee Bollinger, who seems to prefer anonymity in dealing forthrightly with this important free-speech-on-campus issue.
Is Columbia a real university, where opposing views can be debated openly? Or has Columbia become simply a breeding ground where only leftist so-called "liberal" thought is tolerated?
Silence is acceptance, and in this case, Bollinger's silence speaks loudly that Columbia's policy is to accept racial epithets, hate speech, hate crime, censorship, and hooliganism - so long, of course, as it is directed only at conservative speakers. Leftist speakers come and go on campus, and nothing comparable ever happens to them.
A letter from attorney Jack H. Robbins, of Dana Point, makes demand that President Bollinger conduct "a full and complete investigation in a timely manner." Robbins' letter notes that the university police officers present "did absolutely nothing to prevent the attack, or to stop the violence once it began." And, according to Robbins' letter, no one from Columbia - least of all Bollinger - ever inquired if the speakers' had been injured.
The student bullies of Columbia were abundantly filmed. Their attack on free speech was immediately posted on University websites and in the national news. Yet to date, no arrests or suspensions have been made, and President Bollinger remains missing in action.
If conservative bullies had similarly stormed a leftist event, such as by the Chicano caucus or the socialist coalition, can anyone doubt that enforcement would have been severe, and investigation and punishment immediate? Had anyone shouted racial slurs at leftists, or made false allegations, can there be any doubt that investigation and prosecution would have been called for by Columbia's president?
The Minuteman Project is neither racist, nor violent, despite the hysterical claims of the individuals and groups involved in the disruption at Columbia. Yet the Project and its representatives have been both slandered and libeled by the arrogant, violent, irresponsible allegations of the hooligan disrupters, whose uncivilized acts have been effectively condoned by the silence of the administration.
It's time for President Lee Bollinger to stop being silent and step up to denounce and investigate - then to arrest, suspend, and sanction, without regard to political correctness. He should follow that with a personal invitation to the Minuteman Project to return to Columbia. Only then can Columbia again be considered a real university. Until that happens, supporters, donors, alumni, and entering students are well advised to "steer clear" of this intolerant school.
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