Campus Reform | Berkeley chancellor promotes College Dems' 'hate rally' slated during same time as Ann Coulter speech

Berkeley chancellor promotes College Dems' 'hate rally' slated during same time as Ann Coulter speech

In an email framed as an encouragement to students to stand against “hate,” the chancellor of the University of California-Berkeley encouraged students to attend a number of events, including an organized protest during conservative author Ann Coulter’s visit to campus.

This week marks the annual “United Against Hate Week” in the Bay Area, and UC-Berkeley plans on playing an integral role in promoting the week’s events across the bay, as well as hosting several events on campus, according to an email Chancellor Carol Christ sent to all members of the campus community Monday morning. Christ’s email referenced today’s “angry polarized times” and encouraged students to attend several events that are “designed to catalyze the awareness and actions necessary to confront hatred in its every form.” 

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The Chancellor attached a list of relevant events, compiled and hosted by the official “United Against Hate Week” website. These events include one on immigration, an “Islamophobia Awareness Workshop” at city hall, a “Candlelight Vigil for Lives Lost to Transgender Violence,” and a “Transgender Day of Remembrance Service.” 

Also included on the list of promoted events was the“UC Berkeley United Against Hate Rally,” which is set to take place during Wednesday’s campus lecture by Ann Coulter, hosted by the Berkeley College Republicans. The event description linked by the chancellor specifically states that the promoted protest is being organized by a “coalition of students from Cal Berkeley Democrats” and other on-campus groups.

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The email went on to stress the “priority” Chancellor Christ “place[s] on creating a culture of belonging at Berkeley, without which we cannot sustain our Principles of Community or fulfill our academic mission.”

“Hatred is antithetical to belonging, to respect, to understanding, and to learning itself. We must defend our commitment to diversity and inclusion by remaining united in our condemnation of abhorrent ideologies that promote hatred on the basis of an individual’s origins or identity,” the chancellor wrote. 

Berkeley Assistant Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs Dan Mogulof told Campus Reform that “the chancellor’s message was an endorsement of the overall effort, not of any particular event.”

Mogolof said that the chancellor “did not review the event list” before sending it out to the entire university.

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“If the Chancellor had wanted to specifically support, promote, or endorse any of the individual events she would have done so. The Chancellor's stance against hatred has nothing to do with, and not is impacted by the perspectives or beliefs of those who are targeted,” Mogolof added.

External Vice President of the Berkeley College Republicans Rudraveer Reddy told Campus Reform that he is skeptical of the chancellor’s neutrality and of the narrative the “United Against Hate Week” is trying to promulgate. 

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“The upcoming hate rallies that were recently endorsed by the chancellor obscure the central question facing the Berkeley community,” Reddy told Campus Reform, adding that “nobody in BCR or in the broader conservative movement believes in ‘hating’ any individual on the basis of their immutable characteristics.”

“The real danger is members of the community using nebulous terms like ‘hate’ to encompass mainstream conservative positions, including placing restrictions on immigration in the national interest, and then arguing for the censorship of those points of view in the interest of public safety,” Reddy said, noting “it is also a very convenient coincidence that these rallies should fall on the week we are hosting Ann Coulter. Regardless, we are undeterred and the event will go on as scheduled.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @bradleydevlin