The president of the University of California system lashed out against President Donald J. Trump, who Thursday signed an executive order to protect free speech on campus.
Unprompted, Janet Napolitano issued the following statement:
The executive order that President Trump signed today is unnecessary. Like many higher education institutions across the country, the University of California is ground zero for robust exchanges of ideas and differing viewpoints.
UC’s policies already align with applicable laws protecting free speech, a fundamental tenet of our democracy and the guiding principle of academic rigor. We have established a national free speech center to explore the evolving dynamics of the First Amendment on campuses. The university has spent significant resources on security and logistical support to facilitate the expression of diverse speakers and opinions. A simple visit to any of our campuses would underscore the superfluous nature of this executive order.
We do not need the federal government to mandate what already exists: our longstanding, unequivocal support for freedom of expression. That tradition is alive and thriving on all of our campuses. This executive order will only muddle policies surrounding free speech, while doing nothing to further the aim of the First Amendment.
Trump’s order did not specifically target the University of California system, but the school system has been under fire multiple times over the past few years for its treatment of conservatives on campus.
A former community college professor assaulted a conservative counter-protester at an Antifa rally on the campus of the University of California – Berkeley by hitting the protestor with a bike lock wrapped in a sock last April.
The same school was forced to settle a lawsuit with a conservative student group after it cancelled an Ann Coulter speaking event, citing “security fears.”
Most recently, a man named Zachary Greenberg was charged with three felonies after brutally beating Hayden Williams, a conservative student on the campus of UC Berkeley. The exchange was caught on video and quickly went viral.
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