No-platforming Heather Mac Donald, and the emerging no-go campus

Last week a chanting mob at Claremont McKenna College in California successfully prevented a scheduled speech by prominent conservative author Heather Mac Donald, long a colleague of mine in my days at the Manhattan Institute. I’ve got a new piece at Minding the Campus discussing some of the impediments American universities face in effectively protecting visiting speakers, including one big problem with the threat, which is that much of it is coming from inside the building.

More: Heather Mac Donald’s own account; Andrew Sullivan last month; Steve Bainbridge; John McGinnis.

8 Comments

  • The state of Colorado seems to have addressed this with SB 1-062, which was signed into law last week by Governor John Hickenlooper.

    (see http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb17-062 for the law itself.)

    The good news is that this law was passed. The bad news is that it was needed.

    • How does a bill to protect student speech in student address the problems with visiting speakers being shouted down and and threatened with riots?

      • Because the speakers have the same rights as the students that attend a forum.

        From 3(b) of the law: (b) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION GRANTS STUDENTS, FACULTY, OR STAFF OF THE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY THE RIGHT TO MATERIALLY DISRUPT PREVIOUSLY SCHEDULED OR RESERVED ACTIVITIES IN A PORTION OR SECTION OF THE STUDENT FORUM AT THAT SCHEDULED TIME.

        • Unless something else in that bill actually establishes penalties for faculty, staff or students wo attempt to disrupt scheduled outside speakers, the provision you quote doesn’t mean a damn thing.

  • “If the will and the staying power were there, universities could fight back.”

    Best laugh I’ve had all day, Walter. These “demonstrators” are being aided and supported by members of the faculty and administration of these universities.

    A few months ago I was taking my great-niece and two of her friends to a college basketball game. Some of these “demonstrators” threw red paint on me and the girls. I started after the person who threw the paint when I was stopped by a campus police officer. He was there to protect the “demonstrators”. We were escorted off campus. At least the officer was nice enough to take my name and verify what happened so I got a refund for the tickets.

    • @Jim Collins – at the moment I was stopped by a police officer, I would immediately tell him or her that I was filing an assault claim against the protesters, and demanded that they get the name(s) and address(es) of those who threw the paint at you. And if the officer refused, politely take the officer’s name and badge number and inform them that you were filing a complaint and whatever else you could think of that was within your legal rights. This kind of nonsense has to stop, and we can only make that happen if we stand up not only to the protesters, but also to those who enable them.

      I’m very sorry you and your great-niece and her friends had to go through this.

      • The officer was “campus police”. Think glorified security guard. The only thing that he could do was to escort me off of college property. If I had refused, then the real police would be called on me and not the clown who threw the paint. If I didn’t have three 8 year old girls to be concerned about, I probably would have went further.

  • […] conservative student journalists be disciplined [Scott Greenfield, more from Heather Mac Donald, earlier on shout-down of Mac Donald] More: statement by FIRE president Greg Lukianoff on situation at UC […]

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