UCSB’s “Apology”

Recall a week, or so, ago when UCSB Women’s Studies Professor (her class: “Black Woman in Pornography”) Mireille Miller-Young objected to a pro-life demonstration that a 16-year-old girl and her 21-year-old sister were holding in the “free speech” (!) zone on the UCSB campus.  Miller-Young progressed from berating the girls for their demonstration, through stealing a sign they were using as part of their demonstration, to assaulting the younger girl, pushing her a number of times.

After considerable delay, UCSB’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Michael Young, has issued a memo.  The meat of that memo comes near the end:

While urging you to engage with differing ideas and opinions in a civil manner, I also want to remind you that you have the option not to engage at all.  You do not have to listen to, look at, or even acknowledge speech or expression that you find provocative or offensive.  …  If you do not want to be confronted by certain materials or expressions, you should avoid the free-speech areas when you expect that you might encounter them, or simply ignore them.


If you feel that you must respond, hold a peaceful, thoughtful, civil, and dignified counter-demonstration, and show how students engage intellectually and politically at UCSB.

The “you” to whom Young is speaking are the UCSB students.  There’s not a word directed to his misbehaving professor.  There’s not a word of apology for his professor’s misbehavior.  Not a syllable.  The rest of the memo is given over simply to a sermon on the trials of tolerating the disagreeable speech of those with whom a UCSB student might disagree.

To date, there’s no indication that UCSB intends to discipline Miller-Young in any way for her misbehavior.

As an aside, Young also wrote this in his memo:

You also know that I hold equally strong views on the sanctity of free speech.

Yeah.  As long as it’s done in your carefully restricted pair of squares of the campus grounds and confines itself to the limits of your comfort zone.  “Free speech” zone, indeed.  You seem to have lost sight of the fact that every square inch of public ground in our great nation is a free speech zone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *