Cal Poly took away Bronson Harmon’s wrestling scholarship after Harmon called someone filming him a “f*ggot,” reported The Daily Caller News Foundation. He was counter-protesting a protest against Trump’s immigration policy and has had his wrestling scholarship at Cal Poly taken away from him after that video went viral. Now, the school’s athletic director, Don Oberhelman, said that Cal Poly can take away financial aid if a student does something that embarrasses the school. If that sounds like something that violates free speech to you, well, you’re not the only one.
I spoke with Josh Smith, a Pennsylvania attorney who’s helping Bronson but isn’t licensed to represent him against the school in California. Smith said: “You can’t condition a scholarship on someone waiving their First Amendment rights….They can attach conditions…but one of those reasons they’re saying it brings embarrassment to the school can’t be because of pure speech.”
The attorney pointed out that Bronson’s conduct took place off-campus and at an event that had nothing to do with the school. Smith was also wondering just where the heck the Justice Department is when it comes to defending student speech.
“I want to see the aggressiveness that the Obama administration had toward these schools with its obviously unwise Title IX expansions,” he said. “I want to see that level of aggressiveness in Sessions’ Department of Justice when it comes to protecting the First Amendment on campus….They can hold the specter of federal funding over these colleges’ head[s].”
College Democrats Pull Out Of Debate
Cal Poly’s College Democrats planned a debate on Fake News with four other groups on campus: the College Republicans, Associated Students, Inc., the Journalism Department, and the College of Liberal Arts, according to The College Fix. But one of the five planned speakers offended the College Democrats. So what did they do — tough it out? No, the College Democrats decided to throw a fit and quit, which triggered a domino effect of other groups and panelists quitting because of uncertainty.
So who was this intolerable speaker? It was none other than Cal Poly Republicans guest Bill Whittle, a conservative commentator who’s contributed to Fox News, National Review, and NRA TV.
The campus group took issue with these comments by the panelist. When discussing the links between race and IQ with YouTuber Stefan Molyneux, Whittle said “Since it so closely correlates to both poverty and crime on one hand and generally success and wealth on the other, it would be useful to be thinking about what a society that was recognizing these differences looks like.”
No, it wasn’t just you — that really was a pretty underwhelming statement from this supposed racist boogeyman. And what about “Islamophobia” — the term popularized by a UK official who later said he “thought Muslims would blend into Britain” and that he “should have known better”? Well, some Cal Poly students also disliked a remark Whittle made following the Orlando massacre: “At present, Islam is at war with non-Muslims in Orlando, Paris, Brussels, Munich, Rome, and in fact in every western country.…Muslims are throwing homosexuals to their deaths from the tops of buildings; they are using knives to stab Jews in Israel, and they are using stones to kill not the rapist but rather the victims of rape.”
Is that false or is it merely offensive? Would adding a “radical” caveat before Islam and Muslims have persuaded the College Democrats to stay in the debate? Probably not.
So there you have it — if you’re an aspiring crybully who desperately wants to shut down a debate on campus, but your college administrators aren’t charging outrage speaking fees and your Antifa buddies are out of town — don’t worry! Just pull your sponsorship and hope the ensuing chaos causes everyone else to quit too.
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