Free Speech on Campus? Not For Conservatives

You know that, of course. This story is just a drop of water in the ocean of officially-sanctioned campus leftism.

At the University of Minnesota, there is a bridge over the Mississippi River on Washington Avenue. (BTW, it won’t be long before Minnesota Democrats demand that Washington Avenue be given a new name.) University organizations of all types are given space on the bridge to post signs. The college Republicans consistently do so, with this result:

For the third year in a row, the University of Minnesota chapter of College Republicans had its Washington Avenue Bridge panel vandalized.

The phrase “Queer Power” was spray painted in black over the three-panel painting sometime Friday evening or Saturday morning. The group’s panel features words such as “Make the U Great Again,” “Trump 2020” and “The proposed pronoun policy mocks real social issues” — a reference to a gender expression policy that is currently being considered by University administrators.

A Saturday afternoon tweet from the College Republicans’ account stated the vandalization is a “blatant attack” on the group’s First Amendment rights.

Three years in a row! Needless to say, the perpetrators have never been caught, nor has any serious effort been made to identify them. The Republicans’ signs were not controversial, and were notably inclusive:

This is what the signs looked like post-vandalism:

Other student groups’ signs are not vandalized, only the Republicans’. Three years in a row, and counting. But the university’s administration doesn’t mind the suppression of conservative speech. On the contrary: in 2016, when the Republicans’ sign “Build the Wall” was vandalized, the university’s president, Eric Kaler, said that college Republicans “should have been more inclusive about recognizing the pain it caused.” So a slogan voiced by the winning candidate for the Presidency of the United States isn’t entitled to First Amendment protection at the University of Minnesota.

Coincidentally, the Chairwoman of the Minnesota College Republicans, my daughter Kathryn, is home for the weekend, so I asked her to comment. Her response:

We are extremely disappointed that our College Republicans at the University of Minnesota were targeted once again for expressing their beliefs. The University of Minnesota has proven year after year that their campus is unsafe and unwelcoming for conservative students. We hope they act quickly in disciplining the students involved, and we plan to hold them accountable until they do.

When she says “unsafe,” she isn’t kidding. Last year’s University of Minnesota college Republican president had to be escorted around campus because of threats of violence, and I attended a speech at the University of Minnesota by Charlie Kirk, who needed numerous armed guards because he was so bold as to say that free enterprise is better than Communism.

Our universities are sick, and I am afraid the disease will prove fatal.

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