OUTRAGEOUS: University of Wisconsin Defends Protesting Student’s Call to ‘Gas’ Campus Jews

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The following is via Washington Free Beacon:

Outrage is mounting in the Jewish and pro-Israel communities at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee after a student at the school protested an event celebrating Israeli Independence Day with signs displaying swastikas and calls for Jewish students to be gassed, speech the university says is protected and cannot be stopped.

Kristian Gresham, reported to be “a 26-year-old man with a documented history of aggressive, racist, and criminal behavior, demonstrated last week before a group of Jewish and pro-Israel students while holding signs that featured swastikas and a call to gas Jewish students,” according to an online petition condemning the display.

University Chancellor Mark Mone has already disseminated at least two formal letters on the incident, which has sparked calls for the school to expel Gresham. Mone, in his statements, condemns the hateful rhetoric but insists that the university has a responsibility to support free speech.

“Many of you have expressed concern that my last campus message—which came in response to a student carrying a sign with a swastika on it during an Israeli Independence Day event on our Milwaukee campus last Monday—inadequately addressed the significant harm that it caused,” Mone wrote in May 14 communication. “Please know I have heard you and acknowledge my message did not fully capture or reflect how deeply saddened, frustrated and angry I am personally, as a member of this community, that anyone would inflict such pain and fear on our Panther family. I am sorry.”

This followed a May 7 message from Mone defending Gersham’s right to free speech, an argument that roiled tensions on campus and prompted the school to later recalibrate its response.

“Under the First Amendment, displaying offensive symbols, such as a swastika, to a general audience in a public space is protected akin to speech,” Mone wrote in the May 7 communication. “Nevertheless, please know that we emphatically renounce such hateful symbols and do not support or condone any viewpoint that is hurtful, harmful or disparaging.”

“We are a large, urban public university that will always be a forum for the free exchange of ideas—even when those ideas are hateful or repugnant and challenge our thinking in dreadfully unsettling ways,” Mone wrote.

READ MORE: Washington Free Beacon




13 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder what would happen if you put something saying ‘hang blacks on trees’ or kill all gays. What would happen? What about if you just held up saying saying ‘being gay is a sin’ ? Or I don’t like black people’. This proves the liberals are a bunch of frauds and low lives. It also proves that they’re extremely racist.

  2. The headline is both inflammatory and erroneous. The school defended the first amendment and their position on free speech. Simply because they didn’t say what you wanted them to day doesn’t mean they defended the lad. “Nevertheless, please know that we emphatically renounce such hateful symbols and do not support or condone any viewpoint that is hurtful, harmful or disparaging.”

  3. This is a specific problem for this year and next 2 years, when Iyyor and Ramadan are coinciding, so these perverts are profaning their so called holy month, by outrageous Yom-ha’Atzma’ut and Yom-Yerusholayim counter protests.

  4. Amil Zola,

    Stop burying your head in the sand. Many times it seems the biggest defenders of Anti-Semites are among our own!

    Then they say they’re not Anti-Semitic, only Anti-Israel. That’s what’s crazy today, they cloak their Anti-Semitism in Anti-Israel views but in reality it’s all one. Look at this lunatic for your proof.

  5. Mommy10 and ocho sinco are absolutely wrong. If someone were to put something saying ‘hang blacks on trees’ or “kill all gays”, or ‘being gay is a sin’ or “I don’t like black people”, he would be treated exactly the same way. The university would condemn his speech, but could not do anything to him.

    comments is wrong too. There is no difference between a swastika and an open call to kill Jews; both are absolutely protected speech. This is not subject to debate, it’s absolutely clear black letter law.

    And yes, Reb Yid, that is exactly what the freedom of speech means. No protection is needed for people who say popular things; the whole point of the freedom of speech is that people may say unpopular things, even disgusting things, without having to fear being punished by the government.

    And no, Loshenhora, the university will not allow violence, either by this person or against him. RMDK please note that. Also note that someone stole his sign and was arrested for it, which is exactly what should have happened. Violence is not protected speech.

    I rarely agree with Amil Zola, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.