Another example of the left’s “support” of free speech

I’ve documented several instances of liberal “tolerance” for opposing views in the past, in effect helping expose the lie that far lefties often tell about how they are the “real” defenders of free speech and open debate.

We have another example to add to the list today. US Rep. Tom Tancredo’s speech yesterday before a small group at UNC-CH was disrupted by shouts and acts of violence by a group of leftist juveniles masquerading as college students. The Raleigh N&O reported:

CHAPEL HILL – UNC-CH police released pepper spray and threatened to use a Taser on student protesters Tuesday evening when a crowd disrupted a speech by former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo opposing in-state tuition benefits to unauthorized immigrants.

Hundreds of protesters converged on Bingham Hall, shouting profanities and accusations of racism while Tancredo and the student who introduced him tried to speak. Minutes into the speech, a protester pounded a window of the classroom until the glass shattered, prompting Tancredo to flee and campus police to shut down the event.

Tancredo was brought to campus by a UNC chapter of Youth for Western Civilization, a national organization of students who oppose mass immigration, multiculturalism and affirmative action.

University Chancellor Holden Thorp said in an e-mail message to students and faculty that he had called Tancredo today to apologize for his treatment.

Campus police are investigating the incident and will pursue criminal charges if warranted, Thorp said. The students involved also could face Honor Court proceedings if there is sufficient evidence, he said.

Before the event, campus security removed two women who delayed Tancredo’s speech by stretching a 12-foot banner across the front of the classroom. It read, “No dialogue with hate.”

Police escorted the women into the hallway, amid more than 30 protesters who clashed with the officers trying to keep them out of the overcrowded classroom. After police released pepper spray and threatened the crowd with a Taser, the protesters gathered outside Bingham Hall.

Police spokesman Randy Young said the pepper spray was “broadcast” to clear the hallway. He said officers’ use of force was under investigation by the department.

Inside the classroom, several student protesters screamed curses at Tancredo and Riley Matheson, president of the UNC-Chapel Hill chapter of Youth for Western Civilization.

“This is the free speech crowd, right?” Tancredo joked.

Only if it’s approved by the left wing speech patrol, apparently.

The article went on to note that a CH professor even got in on the act, but that others were calling for cooler heads to prevail:

UNC-CH geography professor Alpha Cravey joined protesters in chanting the names of Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus.

But campus visitors and some faculty members in the capacity crowd of 150 urged the students to let Tancredo speak.

“We are the children of immigrants, and this concerns us,” said junior Lizette Lopez, 22, vice president of the Carolina Hispanic Association. “So we would at least like to hear what he has to say if you want to hear what we have to say.”

The protesters relented, and Tancredo began to speak, describing failed state and federal legislation aimed at providing in-state tuition benefits for undocumented immigrants.

Two women stretched out another banner, first along one of the aisles and then right in front of Tancredo. Tancredo grabbed the middle of the banner and tried to pull it away from one of the girls. “You don’t want to hear what I have to say because you don’t agree with me,” he said.

The sound of breaking glass from behind a window shade interrupted the tug-of-war.

Tancredo was escorted from the room by campus police.

About 200 protesters reconvened outside the building. “We shut him down; no racists in our town,” they shouted. “Yes, racists, we will fight, we know where you sleep at night!”

Ah, such maturity. Such eloquence. Such tolerance.

Here’s a short video of what went down, courtesy of the student-produced Carolina Week. One woman, interviewed towards the end of the video, was the voice of sanity by suggesting that all voices needed to be heard. The Chancellor at UNC-CH issued a strong rebuke of those who effectively stopped Tancredo from finishing his speech.

It’s one thing to protest a visit by a madman from an Islamofascistic country. It’s another thing to use violence and shouting to keep a US Congressman from making a scheduled speech. So people disagree with Tancredo. So what? That’s what this country is all about.

Somebody should remind the so-called “defenders of free speech” about that sometime.


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