Pro-Hamas protesters shut down Congressman’s speech, University of Maryland president calls it ‘democracy’ in action

Image: University of Maryland

Pro-Hamas protesters “shut down a Democratic” Congressman’s speech at the University of Maryland, and the school’s president praised it as “an example of free speech,” reports Campus Reform:

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) spoke at the University of Maryland on March 28 … about “Democracy, Autocracy and the Threat to Reason in the 21st Century.” Even though Raskin is among the growing chorus of Democrats calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, pro-Palestine protesters still decided to heckle at the event. Raskin believes that a temporary ceasefire agreement would include the release of hostages being held by Hamas, according to a press release….A few minutes into the speech, pro-Palestine protesters began shouting at Raskin, accusing him of being “complicit in genocide.”

Raskin responded, stating that he wished the protesters would engage with him instead of “heckling”… After a period of heckling, Raskin stopped speaking and attempted to conduct a Q+A session with the audience, which protesters made impossible. “It’s very tough to solve problems in the Middle East here at the University of Maryland in the physics department,” Raskin said.

University of Maryland President Darryll Pines eventually ended the event and referred to the protest as an example of free speech playing out. “He came here to speak about where our democracy is going in our country,” Pines told Capital News Service. “What you saw play out actually was democracy and free speech and academic freedom. From our perspective as a university, there are the difficult conversations that we should be having.”

The University of Maryland would not tolerate right-wing protesters shutting down a speech by a progressive, but it not only allowed left-wing protesters to shut down a speaker, but praised it as an example of “democracy and free speech and academic freedom.”

Colleges have double standards that favor pro-Hamas demonstrators. Colleges are allowing illegal, masked pro-Hamas rallies, in states and cities that have anti-mask laws that have been upheld by appeals courts. They allow such rallies, even when laws ban public mask-wearing except for Halloween and health reasons, even though colleges would never tolerate mask-wearing right-wing protesters. With their identities hidden, these mask-wearing pro-Hamas protesters are emboldened to commit acts of vandalism and to physically threaten classmates they view as “Zionist.”

As law professor David Bernstein observes, “the biggest problem with how many campuses are handling pro-Hamas protests right now is not a failure to prohibit ‘hate speech,’” — which should not be banned on college campuses — “but a failure to enforce existing, content-neutral rules” against misbehavior like going into classrooms to disrupt class with noisy protests that make it impossible to hear what the professor is saying. As history professor KC Johnson notes, “recent disruptive anti-Israel protests –students with bullhorns interrupting classes, etc)–were organized by unrecognized student groups. They’re ‘technically not permitted to stage on-campus demonstrations’” at schools like Harvard, because of their unrecognized status. So “Why hasn’t Harvard enforced its rules?”

State universities and other units of government are constitutionally forbidden to have ideological double standards in who they allow to demonstrate.

At San Francisco State University, left-wing students offered money to kill Jews.

Harvard told Jews to “hide” their menorah at night during Hanukkah.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) staff harbor high levels of antisemitism, reports The College Fix.

In a recent Harvard-Harris poll, most young adults surveyed said they believed “Jews as a class are oppressors.”

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By GIL