Milo Yiannopoulos UC Berkely cancellation leads to Donald Trump threatening canceling school funding. Compromised ethical government bias?
Weighing in on the drama that unfolded Wednesday evening when protesters at UC Berkely forced an upcoming speech that right wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos had been slated to give to be cancelled, President Donald Trump threatened to cut federal funding to the college.
Tweeted Trump shortly after 6am Thursday morning: ‘If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?’
Trump’s threat came despite the university having little alternative but to cancel the senior Breitbart editor’s speech as violence escalated along with the school condemning the actions of protesters, having cited safety for its cancellation.
The cancellation came as protesters smashed windows and threw smoke bombs at the student union building Wednesday as Yiannopoulos, a self-proclaimed troll had been scheduled to address members of Berkeley College Republicans.
Campus police said at least three people were injured.
More than 1,500 protesters pushed back on Yiannopoulos’ appearance, and many cheered when news of the cancellation broke.
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
In a statement, Berkeley — often cited as one of the best public universities in America — said it condemned ‘the violence and unlawful behavior that was on display” and “deeply regret(s) that those tactics will now overshadow the efforts to engage in legitimate and lawful protest against the performer’s presence and perspectives.’
The school also noted that Yiannopoulos was invited by the Berkeley College Republicans, not the university itself, but school officials and police still helped plan and secure the event.
The school gets $370 million from the federal government for research, which accounts for more than half of its research budget, according to data from its latest fiscal year. The University of California system as a whole receives nearly $8.5 billion in federal support.
Yiannopoulos, an ardent Trump supporter, invariably stirs protests at his college campus visits, with demonstrators accusing him of racism, sexism, xenophobia and white supremacy. He works for the website formerly run by Stephen Bannon, who now serves as Trump’s chief strategist in the White House.
And there in lies the catch. With Trump’s not too subtle threat to shut funding, the President has put on notice learning facilities that he will preempt them if they refuse to champion view points or idealogue that aligns closely to his administration. Which is to wonder, if Milo Yiannopoulos was a noted left wing pundit, or a purveyor of the ‘liberal elite’ which Trump has openly condemned as the ‘enemy‘, would the politician have gone out on a limb?
Notes politico: ‘At least some portion of Trump’s success as a candidate is owed to the alt-right movement to which he regularly played on the campaign trail. Breitbart has been a frequent publisher of flattering stories regarding the president and the website’s former head, Steve Bannon, is the Trump administration’s chief strategist and senior counselor.’
In the hours after the cancellation, Yiannopoulos mocked protesters in a Facebook post saying ‘the progressive left, the social justice left, the feminist, Black Lives Matter left, the hard left has become so utterly antithetical to free speech in the last few years.’
Which is to wonder, could one also make the same argument of the right wing or conservative strain of idealogy that is sweeping the US?
It’s 8:30AM: Trump has already alienated Australia, U.C. Berkeley & Threatened Iran on Twitter https://t.co/KB58cS9EG6
— Impeach Donald Trump (@Impeach_D_Trump) February 2, 2017
On the left, UC Berkeley’s public statement. On the right, Donald Trump’s. Not hard to determine who has more respect for the Constitution. pic.twitter.com/9omyC4fozT
— Nick Gourevitch (@nickgourevitch) February 2, 2017
Donald Trump coming for UC Berkeley. Bitch please, Berkeley’s been protesting injustices since the beginning of time, they don’t need you.
— Mel (@MzMelanieNicole) February 2, 2017