Thursday, March 8, 2012

UC President Mark Yudof Issues a Statement on Hate

Tonight, University of California President Mark Yudof has issued a statement on the spate ofhate incidents that have been occurring on UC campuses recently. 

Subject: Open letter to UC community from President Yudof on recent incidents 
From:    "Mark G. Yudof, President" <> 
Date:    Thu, March 8, 2012 6:00 pm 
To:      UCI Community:; 
Open letter to UC community from President Yudof 
I write today to address, once again, the moral and ethical 
imperative for all of our University of California students, faculty 
and staff members to foster a climate of tolerance, civility and 
open-mindedness. I am prompted to do so because of a number of recent 
incidents that undermine this imperative. 
University campuses are proper venues for collisions of ideas and 
viewpoints. Conflicting viewpoints not only are inevitable but also 
healthy in this context. 
What is not acceptable are acts meant to disrupt the speech of 
others. What is not acceptable are hate-driven physical and, yes, 
verbal attacks on any group or individual that are meant to silence 
or intimidate those who would express differing opinions. 
It was wrong for hecklers to disrupt speakers on the UC Davis campus 
at an event entitled "Israeli Soldiers Speak Out."  It was 
reprehensible that one of these hecklers accused the speakers of 
being associated with rapists and murders. Under the direction of 
Chancellor Katehi, campus officials dealt appropriately with this 
individual, moving him out of the room and barring re-entry. But I 
want to make this clear: I condemn the actions of those who would 
disrupt this event. Attempting to shout down speakers is not 
protected speech. It is an action meant to deny others their right to 
free speech. 
It was wrong for a vandal or vandals on the UC Riverside campus to 
deface the Israeli flag displayed by the Jewish student organization 
Hillel, scrawling the word "terrorists" across it. I applaud 
Chancellor White for his rapid and vigorous condemnation of this 
cowardly act. And I join him whole heartedly in that condemnation. 
The chancellor was right to assign campus police to investigate. 
Two years ago, at UC San Diego, it was African Americans who were 
vilified by words and images that mocked their heritage and who felt 
threatened by the hanging of a noose. Around the same time, 
derogatory and profane words were spray-painted across the entrance 
to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center at UC Davis. 
Likewise, swastikas scrawled on campus walls or doors have made 
Jewish students feel unsafe. 
Since then, among other initiatives, the system's central office has 
worked with the campuses and various groups, including students, to 
revise policies on student conduct; the new provisions strengthen 
prohibitions on threatening conduct and acts motivated by bias, 
including religious bias. We also are working with the Museum of 
Tolerance and the Anti-Defamation League to improve campus climate 
for all students and to take full advantage of our marvelous 
Still, despite diligent efforts, we cannot say - and, realistically, 
never will be able to say - that hateful incidents won't occur in a 
community made up of 235,000 students and 185,000 employees. There 
inevitably will be speakers or forums that present ideas others will 
view as hateful and abhorrent. Hateful incidents will not be 
tolerated and I stand ready to condemn them whenever and wherever 
they occur, as should all members of the UC community. 
As for incendiary speakers, we cannot as a society allow what we 
regard as vile speech to lead us to abandon the cherished value of 
free speech. But the same Constitution that permits some public 
figures to engage in hateful commentary also protects my right and 
duty - and your right and duty - to condemn these merchants of hatred 
when they come into our community. Again, the best remedy for bad 
speech is to surround it with good speech. 
Finally, it is important that we keep our eyes on the prize. What we 
collectively are trying to preserve is a vibrant and vocal university 
community that is not afraid to explore or even argue about ideas, 
that is not afraid to make stands on controversial issues, that is 
not afraid of discourse, but one that embraces the ethic of doing so 
in a spirit of respect and civility. 
With our Chancellors, I remain committed to the principle of 
balancing protection of free speech and promoting strategies to 
foster an environment where all students, faculty, staff members and 
guests can feel safe and respected - no matter their individual 
characteristics or viewpoints. 
Please send all replies to: 


The message invited comments, so here is the one I sent.

"For Yudof's statement to have meaning, I suggest he back it up by attending 
Minister Farrakhan's appearance at Berkeley on Saturday. Do what I do, Sir, with 
Malik Ali and the other hate-mongers who come to UCI. Let him have his free 
speech then challenge him in front of his audience during the Q and A. Tell him 
and the audience what he is and that you stand with the people he spouts hate 
Gary Fouse 
Adj teacher 
Here is today's updated information from Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers on the 
previously-reported disruption of two Israeli soldiers at UC Davis last week.

Here is a report on the statement by the San Francisco Chronicle (SF Gate).

It is good that Mr Yudof has issued this statement. However, it falls short. It does not namethe perpetrators of the hate. To this day, we do not know who was really behind the incidentsmentioned at UC San Diego. We do, however, know who is instigating the hate directed at Jews.

It is one thing to list the incidents. It is another to state who the culprits are when 
you know. Two years ago, UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake reacted to the hateful, 
anti-Semitic remarks of Amir Abdel Malik Ali at UCI's anti-Israel week put on by the 
Muslim Student Union.Yet, he did not name the speaker, the statement, the victimized 
group, nor did he name the event, or the sponsoring organization. You cannot condemn hate if you are not willing to name the perpetrators.

No matter who they are.


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