Disrespect on campus

Let’s imagine a left-wing student group stages a rally that includes stepping on an American flag and an Israeli flag. Offended students complain that disrespect to the flags is uncivil, creates a hostile environment and incites violence. Now imagine university officials taking the complaint seriously for half a second. They would cite free speech rights, and that would be the end of it.

At San Francisco State, College Republicans who staged an anti-terrorism rally face charges of incivility, creating a hostile environment and incitement to violence because they stepped on hand-drawn replicas of the Hamas and Hezbollah flags, both of which contain Arabic script naming Allah.

FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) is representing the rally organizers, who’ve been told the case against them will be heard by a panel representing “key constitutencies” in the university community.

“At a public university, stepping on a flag — even burning an American flag — is without question a constitutionally protected act of political protest,” FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley said. “The right to protest is at the very heart of the First Amendment, and means nothing if only inoffensive expression is permitted.”

The Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development investigated the offended student’s complaint. Instead of dismissing it as a free-speech issue, the office referred the case to the Student Organization Hearing Panel, which will rule on the charges. The panel has the power to revoke College Republicans status as a recognized student group.

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  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Some folk are so easily offended they need to avoid the possibility of being offended by staying home, curtains drawn and TV and radio banned.

  2. wayne martin says:

    San Francisco State is a mess and has been for quite a while. For all intents and purposes, Islamic Jihad is on-going on this campus:

    Jihad at San Francisco State:

    San Francisco State University, Finarelli showed up at the student union building that morning to help table and distribute literature to solicit new club members after President Bush’s victory the previous election day. What he found was a noisy and menacing mob of over 300 Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and radical leftist students surrounding his club’s table being held back by 13 San Francisco State police officers. The police officers were forced to surround the CR’s table both in front and in back in order to protect the conservative students’ safety.

    Intifada Against College Republicans:

    San Francisco, November 1, 2004- A mob of Arab students at San Francisco State University attacked a group of College Republicans on the San Francisco State University campus at noon today during a “Turnout the Vote” event in front of the campus student union building.

    SF State could use the services of a Hercules, mucking out the SF equivalent of the Augean stables.

  3. More fuel for the fire against SFSU. As I wrote on my own blog, I don’t know why anyone with more than two operational brain cells would want to go there anymore.

  4. Walter E. Wallis says:

    I remember when Kay Boyle told her journalism students that it was not enough to cover the story, sometimes the reporter needed to throw a brick, too. Later, she admitted to reducing the grade of students who did not participate in the riots.
    The above was not exceptional, but the absolute failuree of the media to react to it was.

  5. This is obviously a hoax. We all know there is no link between terrorism and Islam. Any inclusion of an Islamic symbol on a terrorist organizations’ flag is therefore impossible. At a minimum we would have heard incessant demands to remove those symbols from CAIR and similar organizations.