I wrote here about the fact that the University of North Carolina’s Faculty Council couldn’t bring itself to condemn a speaker at a UNC event who hailed Gaza’s October 7 massacre of Jews as “a beautiful day.” But things at UNC are not all bleak.
On Monday, a UNC speaker series hosted Frank Bruni and Bari Weiss, both formerly with the New York Times, for “a discussion of objectivity in journalism.” That was too much for the university’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter, which organized a protest:
Bari Weiss and her lies are NOT welcomed on campus!
— UNC SJP (@UNC_SJP) January 17, 2024
The radical students didn’t object to the far-left Bruni, but their characterization of the liberal Weiss as a “right wing commentator” who “frequently reviles” everything they hold dear is laughable. Most significantly, though, they got this right: Weiss “conflate[s] anti-Zionism and antisemitism.” Yes: anti-Zionism, the assertion that Israel should not exist, which implies, as a practical matter, that its Jewish majority should be murdered, is the most common form that anti-Semitism takes in today’s world.
So the left-wing students showed up to try to disrupt the Bruni/Weiss event:
While the #FirstAmendment protects peaceful protests, heckling a speaker to prevent people from listening violates their constitutional rights and is unprotected. Props to @UNC for standing up for open discourse. @UNCPPD @bariweiss @goACTA @afsaalumni https://t.co/T1H6Ki1o0m
— UNC AFSA (@UNCAFSA) January 24, 2024
Happily, UNC didn’t let the goons get away with it. The UNC’s Alumni Free Speech Alliance reports:
UNC police were quick to escort the disruptors out of the room, and Provost Chris Clemens took the podium to reiterate UNC’s free speech policies. UNC AFSA commends the swift response to safeguard the expressive rights of all who came to participate in an evening of open dialogue.
So UNC is one for two. Not bad, by contemporary university standards.