2020 Democrat presidential contender Bernie Sanders is catching major heat for his defense of past comments concerning the policies of the late Cuban strongman Fidel Castro.
On social media, Sanders received bipartisan criticism.
After a clip of Sanders praising the Cuban regime in 1986 surfaced, Sanders said during a CBS News “60 Minutes” interview that “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know?”
Sanders added, “When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”
Sanders then tried to shift conversation back to President Donald Trump, when he said, “Unlike Donald Trump … I do not think that Kim Jong Un is a good friend. I don’t trade love letters with a murdering dictator. Vladimir Putin, not a great friend of mine.”
The 2020 Democrat candidate’s remarks on CBS News were sharply criticized by a number of elected officials. Florida Senator Marco Rubio called Sanders “wrong.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz Tweeted on Sunday, February 23, 2020, “It really makes a difference when those you murder at the firing squad can read [and] write.”
Florida Congresswoman Donna Shalala tweeted, “I’m hoping that in the future, Senator Sanders will take time to speak to some of my constituents before he decides to sing the praises of a murderous tyrant like Fidel Castro.”
The self-proclaimed Democratic socialist was victorious in last weekend’s Nevada caucuses and is the favorite to win the Democrat nomination.
Free Speech Organization FIRE Defends Kansas State Student Jaden McNeil From a Politically Correct Lynch Mob, KSU Will Not Expel the Student
Given the tense climate of American political discourse in 2020, there was speculation that he was about to be expelled from the university.
Nevertheless, online activism from the likes of staunch right-winger Michelle Malkin helped create sufficient pushback against the lynch mobs that were descending on McNeil.
Now, McNeil has even more backup with free speech organization The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) coming to his defense.
FIRE sent KSU a resounding warning:
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on America’s college campuses.
FIRE appreciates that Kansas State University is one of the few institutions in the country whose policies earn a ‘green light’ rating from FIRE. We write today in response to the University’s statement that it is reviewing its “options” concerning KSU undergraduate Jaden McNeil’s statement on social media.
KSU made a suggestive tweet in response to McNeil’s original tweet about Floyd:
A message from President Richard Myers:
The insensitive comments posted by one K-State student hurts our entire community. These divisive statements do not represent for the values of our university. We condemn racism and bigotry in all its forms.
— K-State (@KState) June 26, 2020
A message from President Richard Myers: The insensitive comments posted by one K-State student hurts our entire community. These divisive statements do not represent for the values of our university. We condemn racism and bigotry in all its forms.
We are launching an immediate review of the university’s options. Black Lives Matter at Kansas State University and we will continue to fight for social justice.
McNeil tweeted jokingly, “Congratulations to George Floyd on being drug free for an entire month!”
FIRE’s letter served as a reminder to KSU that as a public university it is bound by the United States Constitution and is compelled to protect free speech per the First Amendment. Yes, even when it comes to offensive speech.
The letter added:
While McNeil’s tweets may be deeply offensive to many, they do not fall into a category of speech unprotected by the First Amendment, which strictly limits public universities like KSU from punishing protected expression.
The entire statement can be read on Michelle Malkin’s twitter feed:
Exclusive: @TheFIREorg sends @KState letter reminding officials of their constitutional obligations in treatment of @JadenPMcNeil ==>"McNeil’s tweets are unquestionably protected by the First Amendment." pic.twitter.com/8dXOvwewGQ
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) June 30, 2020
The stakes are high in 2020, as free speech hangs in the balance thanks to relentless pressure from the PC Left and Big Tech.
The good news is that KSU announced that it will not expel McNeil over his Tweet. But the fight is far from over.
Anyone who values American freedoms should stand in solidarity with McNeil.
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