Berkeley prof complains that the law 'fetishizes free speech'
A University of California, Berkeley professor recently called Ben Shapiro a “racist, sexist, misogynist jerk” who poses a “threat” to the campus community.
In a recent op-ed for CounterPunch, Professor Nancy Scheper-Hughes expresses dismay that her employer would allow such a speaker to appear on campus, calling Shapiro—whom she also derides as “Baby Face”—a “little bully right wing prodigy.”
"In short, hate speech is an act of violence."
“The majority of our students have no idea who Shapiro is, but they know or will know as soon as the barricades go up, that he is a very dangerous, extremely controversial, physical threat [to] them,” criticizing the school’s excessive security measure before last week’s Shapiro speech. “Meanwhile, Baby Face is laughing, making fools of the free speech campus and basking in the narcissistic personal drama.”
She goes on to criticize the university’s handling of the event, saying “department leaders” and other student organizations should be “hosting counter events, teach- ins, timed and presented during the controversial atl right line up of fall speakers.”
“The university simply cannot play possum any longer,” she continues. “We have values, mores, rules of conduct, rules of engagement, all of which are being overturned by fear: fear of lawsuits, fear of the ACLU, fear of wealthy donors, fear of being more than a passive instrument surrounded by lawyers in closed door meetings.”
Hughes then transitions to discussing the First Amendment, calling it “a work in progress” that “evolves” since “there can be and have been amendments.”
“The current law fetishizes free speech to include the rights of a neo-Nazi organization that is to this day responsible for killing Black citizens in Alabama and disposing their bodies in the Alabama River,” she elaborates, before concluding with a discussion of “hate speech.”
In her eyes, hate speech is an action that can have tangible effects on a person’s psychological health, because “hate speech can make someone hate themselves; it can make someone want to crawl into a corner and disappear.”
“Hate speech is a speech act that can harm the central nervous system, it can result in PTSD, and when used by police and jailers to humiliate prisoners hate speech is psychological torture, a civil rights and human rights violation,” Hughes concludes. “In short, hate speech is an act of violence.”
Campus Reform reached out to Hughes for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
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