School officials at Palm Beach State College kicked members of the Young America’s Foundation off campus after they saw anti-Obama literature at their table.
There is much more to the story, as reported by the Orlando Political Press:
On Tuesday September 7, 2010 at around 11:00am one Palm Beach State College (PBSC) student and two Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) members, state chairman Daniel P. Diaz and state vice chairman Eddie Shaffer, were shut down and had campus police called on them after tabling and recruiting during club rush at the College. The PBSC student, Christina Beattie, had received prior permission from college administrator Olivia Ford-Morris to promote her organization on campus via telephone and email communication.
On the day of club rush, officials approached the group and after seeing information about the organization and its ideals criticizing Barack Obama’s economic policy. Ms. Ford-Morris was visibly disturbed by the material presented, published by the Heritage Foundation, criticizing President Obama’s administration. College officials then called the campus police to assure the group left campus. Ms. Ford-Morris denied having ever talked to Ms. Beattie about giving permission to the organization to be a part of PBSC club rush.
This reminds me of an episode years ago, when Scott and I were just becoming politically active. There was a freshman orientation at the University of Minnesota, and campus organizations were invited to set up booths and pass out literature to solicit incoming freshmen to join. The Young Republicans had a booth and passed out anti-Clinton literature–it seems like only yesterday! Students who were running the event disapproved of the presence of conservatives, ordered the Republicans out and confiscated their literature. Their obviously illegal action was backed up by the then-Dean of Students, who wrote a rather astonishing letter to the effect that because the University of Minnesota is devoted to diversity, there is no room there for Republicans. Seriously. (BTW, it is a reasonable guess that most of the tax money that supports the University of Minnesota is paid by Republicans.)
Our friend Peter Swanson, at that time the President of the Republican group at the U of M, came to Scott and me, and we represented the college Republicans in pursuing claims arising out of the obvious infringement of their First Amendment rights. We won hands down, and one of the remedies we negotiated was that the head of the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota was required to attend First Amendment sensitivity training at the hands of a law school professor.
We have fond memories of that occasion, but the underlying reality is chilling. I really don’t think most liberals have any respect for free speech as such, and if they had the opportunity, they would shut us all up or throw us in jail.