• July 23, 2014

Berkeley Chancellor's Comments on Arizona Shooting Draw Criticism

The chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley is drawing rebukes from some commentators after he linked the shooting rampage in Tucson this past weekend to the failure of the Dream Act and the passage of Arizona's immigration law—an unusually political statement from a prominent university leader.

The chancellor, Robert J. Birgeneau, said in a campuswide e-mail on Monday morning that "a climate in which demonization of others goes unchallenged and hateful speech is tolerated can lead to" tragedies like the shooting in Tucson. The six people who died included a federal judge, and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was among 14 people who were wounded. "I believe that it is not a coincidence that this calamity has occurred in a state which has legislated discrimination against undocumented persons," he wrote.

Arizona enacted legislation last year that stepped up enforcement of immigration laws, and state voters had previously approved a measure that bars undocumented students from receiving state financial aid.

The same "mean-spirited xenophobia played a major role in the defeat of the Dream Act," Mr. Birgeneau wrote, referring to the federal bill that would have provided a path to legal residency for many college students who are undocumented immigrants. The measure died in Congress last month.

Mr. Birgeneau's entry into the heated debate over the cause and context of the shooting was singled out by several conservative commentators, who criticized the chancellor for injecting politics into a tragedy and for being intolerant of free speech. The e-mail was also picked up by Fox News.

Adam Kissel of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education called Mr. Birgeneau's message "very ill-considered." And a frequent conservative critic of higher education, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, posted a blog entry entitled "Genius California Educator Explains the Arizona Shooting." It was a mystery why Mr. Birgeneau would weigh in on the tragedy, wrote the post's author, Diane Schrader, but "I hope the taxpayers of California kick up a stink over this blowhard's abuse of his authority."

Mr. Birgeneau's statement could be fodder for a debate in university communications classes, said Larry D. Lauer, vice chancellor for government affairs and a professor of strategic communications at Texas Christian University. He said it raises question such as: "Is it wise to make a statement in the role of the head of an institution about an issue like hate speech and tie it to a specific act of violence? What are the possible consequences for the institution?"

A Berkeley spokesman said neither the university nor Mr. Birgeneau would have any further comment on the issue. "He's got nothing to add, feels the statement speaks for itself," said the spokesman, Dan Mogulof.

Mr. Birgeneau has waded into the political fray before, notably when he said racism against minority student-athletes was behind much of the opposition from tree-sitting protesters to Berkeley's new athletics center. He also said earlier this year that he was "horrified" by Arizona's immigration law.

His comments come at a politically sensitive time for the university. California's new governor, Jerry Brown, proposed a $500-million cut in state support for the university on Monday, and lawmakers will hold hearings on the budget in the coming months.

But Mr. Birgeneau also received backing from an unlikely source on Wednesday. State Sen. Leland Yee, a Democratic lawmaker and a frequent critic of the University of California, said he agreed with the chancellor's analysis. "I think the chancellor has lived up to his reputation as being a leader of the Berkeley campus," Mr. Yee said.

Rita Bornstein, president emerita of Rollins College and an expert on the presidency, also defended Mr. Birgeneau's attempt to weigh in on a national issue.

"Although we have no evidence that the Arizona shooter was influenced by political rhetoric, we don't know to what extent the hostile atmosphere triggered his deadly behavior," she said. "Chancellor Birgeneau speaks to the need for university leaders to promote civil discourse and decry ad hominem and incendiary speech. He is exercising his own right to free speech."

Paul Fain contributed to this article.

Comments

1. afprj - January 13, 2011 at 01:07 am

"Although we have no evidence that the Arizona shooter was influenced by political rhetoric..."

Sorry, we pretty much know that he was not influenced by political rhetoric. But hey, why let facts get in the way?

2. 11159786 - January 13, 2011 at 07:01 am

The lack of evidence at this time is meaningless. What is obviously true is that demonization of groups of people (be they gays or racial groups or politicians with specific views) is undesirable and sometimes dangerous. Birgeneau knows (as a distinguished physicist) that direct causation is often very difficult to prove and that correlation does not prove causation.

3. jack_433 - January 13, 2011 at 07:11 am

Forrest Gump on causation: "Stupid is as stupid does." Repeated "stupid does" makes the "stupid is" statistically significant. Birgeneau is now at the 10% level and moving toward 5%.

4. 22228715 - January 13, 2011 at 07:20 am

Doesn't FIRE claim to be about brutally unfettered free speech?

5. 3224243 - January 13, 2011 at 07:45 am

Wouldn't expect anything less from a Berkeley ultra-lib.

6. nuffsed - January 13, 2011 at 08:03 am

"'I think the chancellor has lived up to his reputation as being a leader of the Berkeley campus,' Mr. Yee said."

Well, DUH! He said something incomprehensibly stupid. Isn't that a requirement to work at Berkeley?

7. firestaff - January 13, 2011 at 08:08 am

FIRE's full comments are linked above and also are here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-kissel/uc-berkeley-chancellor-bl_b_807616.html

Criticism of others' speech (especially by a nongovernmental actor like me) is central to free speech. But when a university chancellor says essentially, watch your mouth for your own safety, lest someone on campus turn violent after seeing mean graffiti or hearing your "xenophobia" -- see my full comments.

Adam Kissel
FIRE

8. 11301717 - January 13, 2011 at 08:11 am

Peace.

9. rcagfr03 - January 13, 2011 at 08:40 am

While Mr. Birgeneau interjects his unrelated political viewpoint into this tragedy, it's much more likely that the cuts in mental health services in Arizona over the past several years played a roll.

10. gasten - January 13, 2011 at 08:59 am

Birgeneau is in a position of influence for thousands of impressionable young adults --- and he makes these sorts of jaw-droppingly foolish statements? In my opinion this fact is much more disturbing than most anything else I've heard or read lately.

Is Birgeneau prepared to lay blame at the feet of the media/Hollywood since they have, for decades, glorified violence? Will he point a finger at the left (including Obama) for making many thuggish statements against those who disagree with them? Condemn the SEIU for beating people up over political debates or castigate the anarchists resorting to violence under his own nose? Certainly not. What a hypocrite.

I don't believe, in a free society, we blame anyone other than the perp. Perhaps we take a closer look at once again identifying and institutionalizing the dangerous head cases --- but I seem to recall that people of Birgeneau's ilk were the voices that made that impossible.

11. washingtonwarrior - January 13, 2011 at 09:25 am

I agree with Birgeneau.

12. lackademia - January 13, 2011 at 09:27 am

The motives of the killer are less important than the effects of this act of domestic terrorism. This was a planned assassination of a woman who was vilified for taking centrist positions in a state that legislates racist profiling and has instituted the most regressive laws in the nation. Reading the comments here attacking Birgeneau for daring to speak out during a time of crisis and wide-spread hate speech really brings home the reactionary nature of many academics and Chronicle readers.

13. gasten - January 13, 2011 at 09:49 am

If you believe that government should not influence and be involved in every part of our daily lives, and believe that illegally entering the country is a crime, or that capitalism is a better alternative than socialism, or that the weather is the weather and not something from which we can profit and get grants, or if you don't want nationalized health care, car companies, banks, pharma companies, ... than YOU need to shut up and keep to yourself. The only people with the right to opinions and free speech are those that have their "minds right".

14. physicsprof - January 13, 2011 at 09:52 am

Sometimes random acts of violence are just that. Random acts.

Gaston (#10) makes a good point. If we are going to clean the house from the pseudo-violent rhetoric used at times both by right and left, don't we have to address much more graphic depictions of the violence of Hollywood produced daily? Otherwise I just can't see how taking on the former and not on the latter would be intellectually honest.

15. profmomof1 - January 13, 2011 at 10:08 am

Comments like this make me deeply ashamed to be one of the so-called "academic intellectuals" -- since evidence that something is so is no longer necessary to pontificate about it being so. And reader comments like "the lack of evidence at this time is meaningless" -- after all, we just "know" what the cause of this horrific event is, don't we? Hey, I guess academic scientists no longer need to do experiments, if you have a hunch, then it must be so, and go ahead and start giving lectures about your "discoveries" -- academic historians no longer need to waste time in archives and in digital searches -- if you have a feeling about what the past was like, then go ahead and write your book because it must be so!

16. softshellcrab - January 13, 2011 at 10:12 am

I like comment #2, "The lack of evidence at this time is meaningless." Yahoo! So just say anything!

In my next life I want to come back as a liberal. Then I can throw out accusations without evidence. In fact, I can do even better than that. I can proudly proclaim that my lack of evidence is "meaningless".

17. raywarren - January 13, 2011 at 10:18 am

There is are ongoing investigations in Arizona about the motivations of the shooter in the Tucson tragedy. Until today no significant information was released concerning his behavior during his student tenure at Pima Community College. It was learned Tuesday or Wednesday that he first had contact with Congresswoman Giffords and developed a continuing dislike for her in 2007. This morning (1-13-11) the Pima College records were released and published in the Arizona Republic. It is now clear that the shooter is mentally ill , and that his motivations were unrelated to current political controversies such as SB1070 or health care.

Chancellor Birgeneau's assertions are unrelated to the facts surrounding the Tucson tragedy and he made them, without evidence for them, to support his own political beliefs. His behavior is not in accord with the stature and traditions of Berkeley, and are an embarrassment to the University and its graduates.

18. phemphill - January 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

I find it very interesting that those on the right are so quick to condemn anyone who even suggests that there might be a connection of the hate filled political atmosphere we are currently steeped in and the violent act against a US Congress woman. Instead of a time of a reflection, it's all "Don't point fingers at us!" I have been on several different boards and not once have I heard anyone on the right say maybe we need to watch what we say.

As my mother always warned me as a child: "It's not what you say; It's how you say it." No one is suggesting that Health Care, Taxes, etc. shouldn't be up for debate. However, it's one thing to say, " I don't like the Health Care bill because it will lead to a loss of jobs due to pressure on small businesses." And quite another to say, "That socialist Obama is wrecking our country, and we must Take our Country back, and if Ballots don't work - Bullets will."

19. bnmoore - January 13, 2011 at 11:18 am

It's UC Berkeley. Need say no more.

20. steiny - January 13, 2011 at 11:24 am

FIRE is a hate group. They are for hate speech!

21. 11232247 - January 13, 2011 at 11:26 am

"a climate in which demonization of others goes unchallenged and hateful speech is tolerated can lead to" tragedies like the shooting in Tucson.

Really? Pray tell Chancellor Birgeneau, how exactly do you propose that we go about making "hateful speech" intolerable? Whose right to speech do you now wish to abrogate? Who will we have sit in judgment over what rises to your personal level of "hateful speech?" Oh please do tell us all. Is there a law we might write or a government police agency we could direct that will spare all of us from being perpetually offended or always feeling unsafe by the mere words of others?

Chancellor Birgeneau, history has indeed found a word to describe men of your ilk. But in the interest of polite public discourse, that word will not be mentioned in these writings.

22. gasten - January 13, 2011 at 11:31 am

phemphill says "Instead of a time of a reflection, it's all "Don't point fingers at us!"" Please take a step back and comprehend what you are saying --- essentially it's fine for one "side" to have knee-jerk reactions without facts and attempt to turn a tragedy into political points with vile accusations, but if the accused pushes back a bit against the attack they have not properly "reflected upon the situation". Seriously?

23. katisumas - January 13, 2011 at 11:56 am

I'm a staunch supporter of the Dream Act and very opposed to Arizon's immigation law, as was Congresswomen Gifford. But I can't find a direct cause and effect with the shooting as does the Berkeley chancellor, that is as reported in this article.

I might rather look to the sort of hate speech that depicted the Congresswoman in the crosshair of a rifle. But again this isn't a direct cause and effect. The shooter obviously seem to be mentally ill ("the govt. is brainwashing us through grammar!"). He could be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia which onsets in the late teens and early twenties, though of course I can't diagnose something like that without even knowing him.

A measure of causality thus has to be attributed to violent hateful discourse. Some town hall meetings have been attended by people sporting guns and have shouted down anyone who seem to disagree with them. The language of shooting, killing your opponents seems to be everywhere. In California a Republican website sports the image of a donkey riddled with shots. The talk is constantly about our president being an usurper, an alien. It was predicted by many people that this discourse was unevitably going to end in tragedy, most poignantly by Congresswoman Gifford...

Some mentally ill individuals take metaphors (if that's what they are?) literally. It was only a matter of time for the vandalizing the offices of Democratic officials, the threatening of Democratic elected officials at town meetings so that the police had to be called in for the official to be able to leave the meeting semi safely while the crowd shooted death threats at them, it was only a matter of time till so many of the signs carried by tea party members (though I hope not approved by all its members) calling for revolution and objectifying people they don't agree with politically as hate objects, and then there was the horror of a huge sign almost as big as a building they put out showing a closeup of Nazi extermination camps dead victims piled on top of each other (was my father in that picture? This was murdering him all over again....)

We do know that there are unbalanced individuals out there (actually if I remember right, at least a third of us will suffer from a mental illness in the course of our lifetime) so what happened was predictable. It's a wonder that it took so long...

So yes, there is a cause and effect link between this shooting and the ambient discourse of hatred and violence, just as there is with the frightening rise in violent hate crimes against Hispanics (or individual perceived as such), gays, blacks, Jews and people perceived as "Muslim".....

There is also a cause and effect in the paucity of mental health care and the lack of coverage under private health insurance.

And last but not least, in Arizona and some states, in contrast to states where a permit to carry a gun is required, there is not such thing. And then, tragically, this is one of the consequences of letting the federal law limiting gun maganizes to 10 bullets expire. The shooter was subdued when he was trying to reload after shouting 31 bullets in a matter of split seconds. If he had to had to reload after 10 bullets, perhaps that nine year old child would still be with us.....

24. 22178338 - January 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm

@11159786 "The lack of evidence at this time is meaningless."

Hahhahahahahahahahahahhaahhahahahaha. In other words, just make up anything and let it FLY !! Oh wait, Chancellor Birgenau, and others of his ilk like Daily Kos, Paul Krugman, etc. already did that.

@11159786, what do you do for a living?

25. 11122741 - January 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm

What an idiot this guy is, His comments and the whole response of the democratic party mob out there is the worst I have seen in 50 years and more than drinking the Kool-aid. Didn't see republican spewing this kind of illogical and totally political junk when Hinkley tried to assasinate Reagan. All of the comments by these left wing fanatics makes one wonder if they were pre-organized and all tossed out there before boo was known about this kid. I am an independent but have lost all respects for these pandering eleite types and consider my generation a bunch of dysfunctional dummies for all of their alledged education who have squandered their inheritance and what others worked so hard for. Hey Birgeneau wake up and smell the coffee, the 60's are over and gone and they weren't even that good at the time and I was there but your thinking and views are as dumb as the best of them at that time.

26. 22011625 - January 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm

And some wonder why the UC is losing respect....

27. davi2665 - January 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm

The REAL hate speech is by idiots such as the Berkeley Chancellor who just can resist an opportunity to take another swipe as the "elite" representative of the hate America first crowd and the "blame America first" crowd. It is no surprise to hear this emerge from Berkeley, and will undoubtedly be follow by sanctimonious legislators who would love to silence any opposition to politically incorrect (i.e. non-Marxist) speech.

28. sanford_forte - January 13, 2011 at 01:20 pm

test

29. saluki87 - January 13, 2011 at 01:52 pm

Do some of the posters here, like lackedemia, bother to study or at least modestly follow the story? The violent criminal act of an individual is not terrorism under any definition. Not only is there no evidence that any political discourse influenced this individual, there is all sorts of evidence to the contrary!

I'm sure the Berkeley chancellor read all about it but could care less about the facts. I wish the chancellor and the extreme left wing would just be honest and state that they are simply using every opportunity to argue for their political agenda.

30. emwhite - January 13, 2011 at 01:54 pm

The viciousness of the counter-attacking right wing in this blog seems to me to be a sign of the hidden guilt they must feel for fostering hate speech and approving violent metaphors. Like kids caught with their hands in a cookie jar, they lash out at those who call them out for what they have done.

31. rsp0001 - January 13, 2011 at 01:54 pm

Berkeley's Chancellor should realize that words have meaning and consequences. Being so brilliant he obviously knows this. That is precisely why he made his comments. And that is why there was such a vitriolic response. The system really works! Presidents and chancellors know this. Higher Ed has so many "experts."

God protect us!

Still...when a theatre usher yells "fire" it will always have more impact than if a mere, non-brilliant movie patron utters the same stupid thing. There doesn't seem to be any learning here.

Keep fighting...

32. ethnicam - January 13, 2011 at 02:02 pm

It's inspiring to see the Chancellor take an informed stand on something other than the wallets of corporate donors, even knowing that those wallets will open less frequently while state support for UC/Cal State dries up amid ignorant rants about "elitism" (anyone at all who graduated from college is among the elite). We have not seen "elitism" in these two historically vibrant public university systems, but we're about to as fees "sky rocket" first to comparable levels at other state universities, and then to those of the privates because the state does not value higher education, or thinks public colleges ought simply to raise fees to cover costs. I'm thankful that the UC is lead by conscientious scholars and statemen like Yudof, as demonized as he's been, and Birgeneau at Cal. They've performed well given what they're up against. When the state abandons them, public colleges have only private donors, fee hikes, program cuts, firings and furloughs to help meet costs. "Elitism"? You ain't seen nuthin' yet.

33. softshellcrab - January 13, 2011 at 02:37 pm

@emwhite No. 30

So let me get this straight... left wing zealots like the chancellor carelessly blame the shooting incident on conservative rhetoric, without any evidence whatsoever, and in fact in the face of evidence that it had nothing to do with conservative rhetoric... then when conservatives complain about it, that's just further sign of their "hidden guilt", as they "lash out at those who call them out for what they have done"...

Gee, we're such losers! How nice it must be to be a liberal... Just say anything you want. After all, per comment no. 2, "The lack of evidence at this time is meaningless".

34. doctorthomas - January 13, 2011 at 03:00 pm

Another self-promoting liberal buffoon in academe....just what we needed.

35. dougsmith - January 13, 2011 at 03:04 pm

This country is doomed to right vs. left arguments.

36. mainiac - January 13, 2011 at 03:40 pm

The country is doomed by social justice.....

37. emwhite - January 13, 2011 at 04:07 pm

Isn't there some way we can rescue this blog from the far right bullies, with their demeaning language, name-calling, and willful/ignorant misreadings? Certainly a CHE blog should represent an educated readership. It isn't right vs. left arguments but rational discourse vs. destructive rants.

38. 22178338 - January 13, 2011 at 04:24 pm

@emwhite Please tell me you are acting out sort of a parody, right? Well done, but this isn't The Onion, my friend.

You twice referred to this comment string as a "blog." It isn't. These are comments on a legitimate news story. I hope you aren't asserting that it's okay for Chancellor Birgeneau to make assertions, without any mechanism available to counter them.

The good Chancellor, not letting the facts get in the way of developing his own unsupported thesis, tossed out the idea that the shooter was motivated by the failure of the DREAM Act legislation to pass. There's no evidence whatsoever of this. So far as anyone can tell, Birgeneau is alone across the country in this specific analysis. Perhaps he has missed his calling as a crime analyst.

There IS substantial evidence that the shooter's problems stemmed from the fact that he was an untreated schizophrenic. Why are you surprised that the chancellor is being called to account for his remarks?

Finally, isn't calling someone a "bully," which you did, name-calling? You libs are going to have to decide which way you want it.

39. avalongod - January 13, 2011 at 04:53 pm

Here's an article including interviews with several experts on media violence. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=giffords-shooting-vitriol They agree that there's no evidence linking this tragic event with public speech or any other "violence" in the media. Making these kinds of comments, without evidence from the investigation is foolish.

40. mchag12 - January 13, 2011 at 05:26 pm

Finally, a rare and intelligent comment and analysis from a University President.

As for the right-wing wannabees who are attempting to dominate this comments section: you are the reason acts of mass violence have grown so rapidly in recent years. Please go find a hole and crawl into it, or better yet, get all of your friends and go live in the woods. If we can built a border fence that covers a state, I'm sure we can find the material to close you in, built a moat around the fence, and let you rant.

41. physicsprof - January 13, 2011 at 05:35 pm

#40: Finally, a rare and intelligent comment and analysis from a true intellectual.

42. 11351990 - January 13, 2011 at 06:35 pm

I for one am tired of listening to the right try and divorce themselves from any violence that their rhetoric may advance. Good for the Chancellor of Berkeley a university known for thinking and not knee jerk political responses. Think about the possible effects of "don't retreat reload, place them in the cross hairs for elimination, and retreat to 2nd amendment solutions.' And being the loudest doesn't make you right a correlation that the right doesn't seem to understand.

43. physicsprof - January 13, 2011 at 06:57 pm

"...from any violence that their rhetoric may advance."

which reminds me the "Minority Report" movie.

44. ledzep - January 13, 2011 at 07:51 pm

phemphill - Right, the perfectly innocuous "time of reflection" from the Democratic punditocracy - whose reflection? Why, naturally the political opponents of that illustrious body of commentators! Naturally they have to reflect and repent! How could anybody object?

On another note, I love this argument, with its purely verbal force: 'of course this was a political act, since he shot a Congresswoman.' Uh, yes. But was it motivated by a "political climate," or was his climate so closed off from anything mainstream as to make all of this debate meaningless? That's the question, and the evidence is clearly in favor of the latter interpretation. But when you seamlessly slide from pieties about all of us learning to reflect a little ... to nakedly partisan attempts to lay guilt - well, it gets harder to take seriously. I'm not talking about everybody - the President's remarks have been more than appropriate. But what on God's green earth does the immigration issue have to do with it? (I mean, other than Birgeneau wanting to solidify his bona fides in a diverse state higher ed system...) This shooter was all kinds of crazy, but there hasn't been a shred of material to link him to immigration issues. I can understand people's wondering about his anti-government paranoia and a possible connection to tea party stuff (though with the language business it looks more Chomsky than Ron Paul) - but immigration? This is nothing more than the pious belief that everything conservative is so evil that it just has to have dramatic evil consequences. 'Here's something dramatic and evil - well, we know where THAT comes from! End of discussion.'

45. rambo - January 13, 2011 at 09:24 pm

In Mexico, it is the law that anyone applying for work/job/employment there must speak and write Spanish.... unlike here

46. gmclean - January 14, 2011 at 02:48 am

The vitriol expressed in so many of these comments is example enough of what Chancellor Birgenau was writing about. He was not making statements of exact causality but rather bringing forward a description of the "climate" of "demonization of others that goes unchallenged..." and legalized discrimination - it's not the tit for tat we all wish could be pointed to, but the general atmosphere of intolerance that is repeated in so many of these comments. It's insidous. Genuine reflection is difficult, isn't it?

47. mainiac - January 14, 2011 at 08:28 am

Progressive/Leftist hate has method origins right here. See it daily on almost every news outlet, on the pages of the NYRB, and of course, CHE.

48. ambrit92 - January 14, 2011 at 09:54 am

There is a wonderful analysis of the rush to judgment that I found here: http://truthinthelaw.blogspot.com/2011/01/tucson-blame-game-time-to-dial-back.html I would strongly urge all those who are finger pointing to read it!

49. jaysanderson - January 14, 2011 at 02:50 pm

Don't be so hard on the guy. If he were preoccupied with things like facts and justice he wouldn't be a very effective college administrator, now would he?

50. dave_p - January 14, 2011 at 03:22 pm

As a Tucsonan, UA faculty member, and constituent and supporter of Gabrielle Giffords, I thought the chancellor's remarks were unfortunate and, from my vantage point in Arizona, inflammatory and unconstructive. Unconstructive to diversity-minded people like myself who the chancellor would presumably want to support. The remarks also displayed a stunning failure to think logically for someone in such a prestigious position at such a distinguished university. I would urge posters not to post equally stunning failures in logical thinking, as some have done above. It's truly remarkable how political beliefs can turn gifted thinkers into unthinking ranters and apologists.

51. fgoodwin - January 15, 2011 at 05:21 pm

Birgeneau: "We must be vigilant to condemn hate speech"

EXCEPT when said hate speech demonizes:

(1) the entire state of Arizona,
(2) those who support legal immigration, and
(3) everyone who disagree with you.

There, fixed it for you . . .

52. ripken123 - January 15, 2011 at 06:27 pm

Gasten- QUOTE: If you believe that government should not influence and be involved in every part of our daily lives, and believe that illegally entering the country is a crime, or that capitalism is a better alternative than socialism, or that the weather is the weather and not something from which we can profit and get grants, or if you don't want nationalized health care, car companies, banks, pharma companies, ... than YOU need to shut up and keep to yourself. The only people with the right to opinions and free speech are those that have their "minds right".:QUOTE

You do realize the same Govt that you speak of controling every aspect of our lives is the same one that considers entering the Country illegally to be a crime dont you?

53. soverign - January 15, 2011 at 06:30 pm

Adding a benign and completely stupid remark as the one made by Birgeneau to the tragic events that happened here in Tucson is reprehensible.
It seems he has forgotten that we have laws that keep the United States of America from becoming total chaos.

A Country that does not protect it's borders is not a Country at all.

54. maxibell - January 15, 2011 at 09:44 pm

It sounds to me as though this chancellor is assuming this was politically motivated. But we also know what to assume does. It makes an ass out of u and me. I've heard hate speach come from the left, day in and out. That's all they know. Governor Brewer is correct in wanting to protect her Arozona citizems from the Mexican Mafia, their violence and their dope that cause the violence more often than not. If I resided in Arizona, I'd want protection from the Mexian border. That is simply being correct, protecting your fellow citizens from harm and doing as The US Constitution says.

55. nicholasstix - January 19, 2011 at 10:46 am

Testing, 1,2,3.

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