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Columbia Student Group Thinks Student Groups It Disagrees With Should Be Defunded

The Black Students' Organization thinks the College Republicans are peddling violent speech.

The Columbia University chapter of the College Republicans has few friends at the school. The Black Students' Organization (BSO) has no love for the right-leaning group, but rather than agreeing to disagree, the BSO has proposed the Student Governing Board strip them of their funding.

In its proposal, filed October 29, the BSO contends the College Republicans shouldn't be recognized as a legitimate organization or receive funding if they invite controversial speakers to campus. Recently, the group invited Tommy Robinson, the founder of the anti-Islam English Defence League, and Mike Cernovich, an alt-right commentator, as part of Free Speech Month.

The Student Governing Board (SGB) collects about $250,000 from students and reallocates it annually to student organizations on campus. Last year, the College Republicans received $4,640, according to the university's newspaper, the Columbia Daily Spectator.

"We do not support, in any capacity, giving a platform to beliefs that blatantly oppose our livelihood and humanity, and especially not in the name of intellectual diversity," the BSO proposal reads.

Robinson attempted to give a speech about mass immigration in Europe via Skype on October 10, but protesters carrying signs that read "hate speech = violence" and "Muslims are welcome here" helped force the event to shut down the speech early.

Cernovich spoke on October 30, due in part to a large security presence facing hundreds of student and community protesters marching in the streets. No one was injured,

The BSO complained to the Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) and encouraged other student organizations to support its mission to denounce white supremacy by defunding and derecognizing the College Republicans.

According to the Spectator, the group also asked that funds for the College Republicans be transferred to groups composed of students of color, LGBT students, and Muslim students, because they are typically targeted by Cernovich and Robinson.

"If the word 'white supremacist' can be applied to a person, maybe don't invite them to our campus," Nicole Allicock, the CCSC vice president of policy, said during the meeting.

Allicock also suggested the College Republicans submit a list of proposed speakers to the CCSC for approval before they can be invited to speak on campus, per the Spectator report.

The Council voted to send a general concern report to the Student Conduct and Community Standards committee, which investigates and resolves cases of "academic, behavioral, and gender-based misconduct."

Defunding is a particularly blunt form of censorship attempted on several campuses, including the University of California-San Diego. Wesleyan University's student newspaper, the Wesleyan Argus, nearly lost its funding after running an op-ed critical of the Black Lives Matter movement in September 2015.

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) intervened and argued defunding the paper would violate the principles of a free student press. Ultimately, the Wesleyan Student Assembly passed a resolution that salvaged some of the paper's funding.

The BSO and the CCSC at Columbia seem similarly interested in allocating funds based on popular opinion. Clearly the opinions of the College Republicans are not in vogue. "When you attempt to intellectualize the fruitfulness of literal hate speech, you dehumanize your peers," according to the BSO proposal.

But what if the tides turn on campus and suddenly BSO's viewpoints were considered too dangerous to fund? Censoring College Republicans through the budget sets a dangerous precedent for how the university funds student organizations, several of which are currently led by students who wrongly assume the status quo will never change.

This isn't the only reason to reject this proposal. BSO's entire argument is predicated on the idea that speech is violence––a specious concept in its own right.

Josh Craddock, the editor-in-chief of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, argued in an August op-ed for National Review speech-as-violence creates an opening for authoritarian limits on the First Amendment. While speech can inspire violence, violence, by definition, requires force, Craddock wrote.

"If utterances of speech are truly violence, then government can ban them as criminal conduct, just as we prohibit other forms of private violence," Craddock argued.

The students at Columbia University would be wise to welcome freedom of speech and not open the door to censorship.

Photo Credit: Richard B. Levine/Newscom

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  • ||

    literal hate speech

    Umm...is there a mechanism to strike this word from existence? It's apparently lost all meaning.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    What are you talking about?

    I am literally shaking because we're literally coming up on the one year anniversary of when we literally elected Literally Hitler

  • Chipper Morning Truthjammer||

    You know who else was literally Hitler?

  • Red Tony||

    Was it Hitler?

    I think Hitler was literally Hitler.

    He was figuratively Hitler too.

  • Brandybuck||

    No, Hitler was figuratively Himmler. Sheesh.

  • Chipper Morning Truthjammer||

    I broke the game.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    George W. Bush?

  • Finrod||

    Nah, past GOP Presidents end up getting praised by current Democrats in order to further demonize the current GOP President. W now has a 51 percent approval rating among Democrats.

  • Chipper Morning Truthjammer||

    Why would a Republican want to go to Columbia in the first place? Both of these guys should transfer to a nice midwestern school.

  • Red Tony||

    Because Midwestern colleges aren't much better when it comes to speech rights, and Colombia as a brand name at least carries some cache that Purdue or Iowa or Toledo or wherever do not.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Can't believe you put Purdue and Toledo in the same basket; deplorable.

  • Red Tony||

    What, is Ohio not part of the Midwest? I don't know where the East Coast ends and the Midwest begins.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    In exactly the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.

  • Finrod||

    FIRE disagrees with you about Purdue. Actually, back in the 1960s, the joke was that Purdue was a hotbed of student rest.

  • Vernon Depner||

    "...a nice midwestern school."

    Like Oberlin or Antioch?

  • BYODB||

    Watch out, many Reason writers went to Columbia. If that's a measure of the school, I'm glad I stayed in Texas for my education.

  • JeremyR||

    You might like the University of Missouri (a state Trump won by like 20)? No problems with lefties controlling things there or anything.

  • Cavadus||

    Yeah, like Mizzou!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Ugh, Cernovich.

  • Chipper Morning Truthjammer||

    What an ironic name.

  • Rich||

    "I get that a lot."

  • esteve7||

    Fuck your lecturing, you illiberal progressive swine. You are all a bunch of fascists.

    / what they should have said.

  • Red Tony||

    That would've probably gotten them kicked out of school for violating the speech code.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    "If utterances of speech are truly violence, then government can ban them as criminal conduct, just as we prohibit other forms of private violence," Craddock argued.

    The fact that this has to be stated in 2017 is a bit shocking. The fact that his views are probably controversial is double-shocking.

  • damikesc||

    So, why aren't the College Republicans making IDENTICAL arguments against every other group there?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    They have jobs?

  • damikesc||

    They need to cut that shit out.

    I know lots of people don't like it, but if one side is going to engage in open warfare, disarming yourself upfront is idiotic.

    The Right should act EXACTLY like the Left on campuses. Identical tactics. Shut down classes. Shout down speakers.

  • damikesc||

    Robinson attempted to give a speech about mass immigration in Europe via Skype on October 10, but protesters carrying signs that read "hate speech = violence" and "Muslims are welcome here" helped force the event to shut down the speech early.

    I know when I look for societies open to protest to change conditions, I look to Islamic ones. They are always open to such things...

  • DJF||

    Just wait until they see the signs put up to advertise the speaker

    "It's Okay to be Republican"

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    "When you attempt to intellectualize the fruitfulness of literal hate speech, you dehumanize your peers,"

    This is what happens when you decide that words can just mean whatever you want them to mean.

  • Vernon Depner||

    "Literal hate speech"? That would be kind of dull, wouldn't it?
    —"You have dark skin."
    —"Your ancestors came here from Poland".
    —"You have sex with other men."
    —"Your body mass index is over 40."

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    The year is not over yet, but this quoted sentence has to be one of the most indecipherable pieces of socioblabber ever constructed by anyone, anywhere. Literally.

  • Microaggressor||

    We do not support, in any capacity, giving a platform to beliefs that blatantly oppose our livelihood and humanity

    So I gather from this statement they will also start agitating about socialist clubs? Stop laughing.

  • Rich||

    "When you attempt to intellectualize the fruitfulness of literal hate speech, you dehumanize your peers," according to the BSO proposal.

    An example of "Black English"?

  • Rhywun||

    More general than that - it's "university speak". Of course like all Newspeak, it doesn't actually express anything.

  • Vernon Depner||

    "Fruitfullness"? Are they saying hate speech is gay?

  • damikesc||

    "When you attempt to intellectualize the fruitfulness of literal hate speech, you dehumanize your peers," according to the BSO proposal.

    Nobody could de-humanize them more than their sub-simian idiocy in this diatribe they produced.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    "hate speech = violence"

    pillow talk = sex?

  • Vernon Depner||

    Expressing a sexual interest in anyone in any way is literally rape.

  • Rich||

    "If the word 'white supremacist' can be applied to a person, maybe don't invite them to our campus," Nicole Allicock, the CCSC vice president of policy, said during the meeting.

    "If the words 'I lick cock'' can be applied to a person, maybe don't have them be vice president of policy."

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    'White supremacist' is two words, not one.

  • Vernon Depner||

    How 'bout, "If someone calls himself a 'white supremacist', maybe don't invite him to your campus."

  • damikesc||

    If the word 'white supremacist' can be applied to a person, maybe don't invite them to our campus

    Know who's a white supremacist?

    Nicole Allicock.

  • Rhywun||

    According to the Spectator, the group also asked that funds for the College Republicans be transferred to groups composed of students of color, LGBT students, and Muslim students, because they are typically targeted by Cernovich and Robinson.

    You know who else silenced their ideological opposition?

  • Vernon Depner||

    Batman and Robin?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    My parents at the dinner table?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Ambiguously Gay Duo?

  • Rich||

    "If utterances of speech are truly violence, then government can ban them as criminal conduct, just as we prohibit other forms of private violence," Craddock argued.

    BDSM students hardest hit affected most.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    "The Student Governing Board (SGB) collects about $250,000 from students and reallocates it annually to student organizations on campus."

    To me, this seems like the bigger problem. Hold a fucking bake sale already.

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    Bingo.

    If you're BSO, you should run for SGB and advocate to defund from there.

    If you're a College Republican, you should run for SGB to advocate complete shutdown of SGB.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    If you're BSO and you run for SGB, will you be the BMOC?

  • GeneralWeygand||

    You would be the HNIC

  • NoVaNick||

    Bake sales are a hate crime against diabetics and those on gluten-free diets!

  • BYODB||

    I noticed that bit too, and it seems like a vehicle explicitly designed to have 'approved' and 'disapproved' speech through funding to the various clubs.

    Very American of them, really.

  • JeremyR||

    My college did that and one year, they said screw it, we'll take all the money and get George Carlin

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    This is why we can't have nice things.

  • GILMORE™||

    Clearly the opinions of the College Republicans are not in vogue

    this Cernovitch character has 400K twitter followers. Reason magazine has 200K.

    who are you to say what's popular or not?

    this article here suggests that college republicanism (*never exactly the most popular of college activities) is in fact experiencing some significant growth since the election of Trump. which seems to be common sense: its been 8+ years since there was a republican in office. it would make sense that interest tended to grow when that party was in power.

    noted:

    i used to think this, "The reason silencing your opponents is bad is because [it might someday be used against lefties! AND THAT WOULD ACTUALLY BE BAD!]"*-argument was actually just a Robby-phenomenon

    (as opposed to a JS Mill type: "The reason attempting to silence your opponents is bad is because a plurality of opinion makes everyone's views more resilient"-argument)

    I'm starting to think its an editorially-imposed thing.

  • BYODB||


    this Cernovitch character has 400K twitter followers. Reason magazine has 200K.
    ...
    this article here suggests that college republicanism is in fact experiencing some significant growth since the election of Trump.

    Thanks for the nut check(s).

    *chugs bleach*

  • BYODB||

    Honest question: Why do we think that these 'College Republican' types are inviting so-called White Nationalists to campus to speak to them?


    There must be a reason. Certainly, the 'they are white nationalists' argument probably has teeth but what could have led to a point where white nationalism is appealing as an ethos one might ask. These things don't just happen, after all, so it must be a reaction to something yes?

  • ||

    I highly suspect they're simply trolling. And doing it well.

  • Vernon Depner||

    If the goal of the trolling is to expose "progressive" hypocrisy, that goal is out of date. These days the Pop Left is unabashedly opposed to free speech. Doctrinaire leftists, of course, have always rejected the concept of "rights".

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Unfortunately I have to personally investigate every charge of "White Nationalism" because the term is thrown around so wildly and carelessly, that I can't just take "Twitter's opinion" of it.

  • BYODB||

    Hmm... a reasonable point but if we assume that at least some of those cases are actual events where a white nationalist is involved (and some actually have) then what might be the impetus for such a change in the social fabric? It's been something like 60 years since the Civil Rights Act, so why now? What happened? Has this been going on all along without much notice?

    I just find it bizarre that such a thoroughly debunked world view would rear it's head again after half a century but perhaps everything really is cyclical. I believe events are cyclical in many ways, so perhaps this is as well. It's hard to deny that 9/11 certainly changed a lot of people's minds about certain segments of society having basic Civil Rights, as did Pearl Harbor and the propaganda surrounding Japan around that time. Perhaps that was the impetus, or at least one of them?

  • Red Tony||

    Just theorizing, but if I were to try some armchair psychology:

    "America was built on white supremacy" is a non-ironic statement made by a girl in a class I took recently. (For the record, she was white.) Now, if you dislike America and want an excuse to hate it, that's probably true. If you like America but admit that it's done some bad stuff (as I do) you might admit that there's a point to that statement and some truth therein (as I did), or you might view it as true. But if you like America, that's gonna create a problem for you.

    Now let's talk Red Team and Blue Team for a moment. Blue Team generally doesn't seem to like America and seems to put more emphasis on missteps the U.S. has made in the past and how to make up for them, and they seem to be more accepting of the idea that it's okay to not love your country. As an example of this, Michelle Obama said "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country" and took shit from Republicans but not so much from Democrats. (You can argue tribalism all you want, but I suspect that the different reactions were largely due to how Democrats view America–they're more willing to acknowledge its missteps.) Republicans, meanwhile, are all "Rah rah USA!" and publicly proclaim their love of the country.

  • Red Tony||

    So let's go back to that statement "America was built on white supremacy." Now if you're inclined to love the U.S., you probably don't like that statement initially. But then maybe you think about it–you think about the fact that the U.S. is rich, that it has a lot of freedoms the rest of the world doesn't (and often takes them for granted), that America is a pretty good place to live–and maybe you say "well then, what's wrong with white supremacy?"

    Now I'm not advocating for that POV in any way, but if your experience with "diversity" has been "sit here while we ram political correctness down your throat," with the Black Student Union pushing the idea that Republicans and America are racist, with people who hate America also frequently seeming to hate white people, maybe you rethink the idea that white supremacy is a bad thing. Maybe white supremacy built America (personally, I think it was capitalism and a paucity of freedom that made America a powerhouse). And maybe, just maybe–it's not all that bad.

  • Red Tony||

    I'm gonna reiterate that I'm not advocating for making judgements based on race. I believe in meritocracy. I think that judging people on factors that are literally skin-deep is a horrible way to do things and that it leads to awful outcomes. But when race is brought up as the defining factor by most of the "well-educated" people around you–maybe you buy into that worldview but take it to the opposite extreme of what's being advocated for.

    Or, alternatively, maybe the left needs a boogeyman to push their agenda–after all, you don't want to be racist, do you?

    tl;dr: Long summation of why it might be popping up again boiling down to "race seems to have sprung up as the defining factor again." Sorry about taking up three posts and 3000 characters.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Just so you don't do it again

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    I don't think the "built on white supremacy" is an unfair comment if you view it through the lens of "white supremacy was going on while the rise of a country was going on." They were happening at the same time, and the distribution of resources, rights, and voting (for those inclined to think that's something important) was clearly stacked in favor of white males. But I agree with you that the success of the US did not rely on white supremacy. So it puts the term "built on" on tenuous footing. Basically, it's too vague to have a useful meaning.

    I think a lot of people forget that even though Washington, Jefferson, etc were basically white supremacists, which I think disqualifies them from deserving the accolades they get, the US chugged along and continues to self-correct. I'm not convinced that the US government can take the credit for that. In fact, I think the US government has been a net negative influence on racial matters.

    I don't think it's a "left" or "right" issue, or that it necessarily implies hatred toward the government. I think it's just a matter of being honest with the checkered past of this nation. And honesty is vitally important to that whole thing about self-correction...

  • Red Tony||

    And I'd be willing to debate you on that, and it's a fair debate. But I suspect that statements like that would be something that might actually work against their ostensible goal (racial equality) in favor of more divisiveness along racial lines–and, consequently, that's why white supremacy as a philosophy might be on the rise (again, assuming that it's actually happening and not something being given a helluva lot of attention by the left to try and stoke the identity politics fire).

  • damikesc||

    ...except ONLY America is held to this standard.

    What is their point of reference?

    Given that no country had abided by their views in human history, perhaps they are just fucking morons?

    If I'm going to be called a racist and white supremacist just because I don't agree with them, then why not go whole hog on it? If Mitt Romney is little more than a Nazi, who isn't one?

  • damikesc||

    Honest question: Why do we think that these 'College Republican' types are inviting so-called White Nationalists to campus to speak to them?

    I OPENLY applaud them doing so.

    1) EVERYBODY to the right of Mao is a racist and white supremacist, clearly.
    2) These groups are inherently bigoted and racist at their core. Time for whites to fight back and stop just taking all of the abuse.

    I, personally, refuse to accept the guilt of slavery. Blacks had few problems selling slaves and Africa has a slavery problem to this day.

  • John B. Egan||

    If the White group is peddling violence, then the school should defund them. Simple.

    It is interesting though to see this play out in a college, when Trump's Administration is proposing to muffle all dissent against him in our media, while parroting FOX News and Breitbart, and defund the last vestige of balanced reporting, NPR.

  • GILMORE™||

    Trump's Administration is proposing to muffle all dissent against him in our media

    is that how you characterize things like this?

    Obama wiretapped the AP and his DoJ threatened to throw James Rosen in jail.

    What has Trump done aside from 'talk shit @ CNN, WaPo, NYT, etc' on twitter? please share examples of his authoritarian, dissent crushing moves.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    1) He effectively threatened to pull their licenses. Do I think it was probably an empty threat? Yes, but only because he wouldn't have the support to actually do it.
    2) He also threatened to impose a kneel tax on the NFL. From the looks of it, he followed through.

    That doesn't mean Obama was a saint. But there's no question Trump is moving towards limiting dissent.

  • GILMORE™||

    "their licenses"?

    wtf are you talking about? there's no such thing as a journalism license. the very idea of it is unconstitutional.

  • damikesc||

    1) He effectively threatened to pull their licenses.

    What proposal has been made to do so? Can you cite it?

    2) He also threatened to impose a kneel tax on the NFL. From the looks of it, he followed through.

    Can you cite this tax proposal he made?

    He has done NOTHING compared to what Obama did and which you, apparently, aren't bad with.

  • Finrod||

    Oh, but 'whining on Twitter' == OPPRESSION when it comes from anyone even marginally on Team Red.

    Whereas Team Blue thugs can beat the shit out of people and that's just their 'free speech'.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    "last vestige of balanced reporting, NPR."
    I laughed so hard I nearly dumped an entire can of cheap lager on my laptop. Comedy gold my friend, comedy gold.

  • AndyWingall||

    I guess it would be a waste of time to argue that left wing student groups like BLM invite radicals on campus who support violence, some of them supporters of killing gays and women, as offensive?

  • Tony Cr||

    Maybe the universities should stop funding ALL student groups that are not directly affiliated with the university. Too much whining by today's students. If they want an organization, let them figure out how to pay for it!

  • vek||

    I'm just becoming more and more sure that multiculturalism can never work and everybody who thinks it can is just as delusional as communists.

    It's a warm and fuzzy idea, but people just can't put ethno-religious tribalism behind themselves. I'm meaning mostly coming from minorities nowadays mind you. White people were able to ignore our natural tendencies towards being ethno-centric for decades, but nobody else ever has, and them continually upping the ante on their anti-white and anti-anything white people like shit is pushing whites to go back to the natural tendency to be cliquish.

    I think we're in a death spiral of this right now, and I don't see it ending anytime soon. Europe needs to boot out all their illegal refugees and they can return to being peaceful and well ordered societies easily... But I think America is fucked unless Cali secedes and we convince millions of prog tards to move there and leave the rest of the country alone. I think the tipping point where a society becomes unstable is anything less than 80% of the population being the ruling ethno-cultural group, after that the infighting and ethnic tensions seem to spiral out of control.

  • damikesc||

    Sadly, true.

    People try and claim that diversity is a strength. And while it has some positives, evidence of it being a strength are lacking. The lack of social cohesion tends to undermine all of the benefits.

  • vek||

    Exactly. I think that having a SMALL number of minorities is a good thing. It spices things up just a touch. But once they're large enough to be a major voting block to pander too for special privileges etc it just goes sideways.

    There is ZERO evidence to suggest there is any benefit to multiculturalism, other than to say "Gee whiz it's a *INSERT RANDOM ETHNICITY* person ma! They're so different and unique!" Europe didn't need ethnic diversity to dominate the world. Japan didn't need it to become the wealthiest nation in Asia, and China hasn't needed it to put themselves on the track to be the biggest economy in the 21st century. It is in the most literal sense possible a total lie to say diversity does anything good or useful other than provide eye candy and ethnic food joints or whatever.

    Yet there are a shit ton of obvious problems it causes that are easy to identify in the real world. See all the problems in the news EVERY DAY in the USA and Europe that Japan doesn't have to deal with because they're all Japanese. I think the whole lie is unraveling personally.

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