In a campus-wide email, a big-shot official at the University of California, Santa Barbara has reacted to an associate professor’s on-campus assault of a teenage anti-abortion protester by — wait for it — blaming the 16-year-old girl.
National Review obtained the full text of the all-campus email sent on Wednesday by Michael D. Young, UCSB’s vice chancellor for student affairs.
Late last week, the district attorney in Santa Barbara, Calif. formally filed misdemeanor charges of theft, battery and vandalism against the professor, Mireille Miller-Young. (RELATED: Charges for prof who claimed ‘MORAL RIGHT’ to censor, batter 16-year-old abortion foe)
Vice-chancellor Young’s meandering missive clocks in at almost 1,100 words.
Parts of it present a deeply admirable defense of First Amendment rights.
“First, the principle of freedom of expression resides at the very foundation of our society and, most certainly, at the foundation of a world-class university such as UC Santa Barbara,” he writes. “Freedom and rights are not situational: we either have freedom of speech or we do not.”
However, many other parts of the taxpayer-funded administrator’s email present a frightening and very sad vision of First Amendment rights.
Young denounces “various anti-abortion crusaders” for utilizing “images that many in our community find distressing and offensive.”
He suggests that individuals who carry such signs “peddle hate and intolerance” because some people cannot tolerate the messages. And religious people are just the worst.
“[E]vangelical types have been visiting UCSB and university campuses since time immemorial,” he writes. “What we see at UCSB today is simply the most recent generation of true believers, self-proclaimed prophets, and provocateurs.”
Young then adds that the authors of the Bill of Rights “got it right when designing the First Amendment” but he can’t help observing that these authors were “all white men of privilege, some even slave owners.”
Young also implies that people who protest abortion in free-speech zones have an “agenda” “wrapped in intolerance and extremism.”
Anti-abortion protesters, he writes, are “outsiders coming into our midst to provoke us, to taunt us and attempt to turn us against one another.” He adds: “If we take the bait, if we adopt negative tactics and engage in name calling, confrontation, provocation, and offensive behavior, then they win and our community loses.”
Young’s dispatch closes by urging students, faculty and administrators to “contact the Office of Student Life immediately” “if you feel harassed or think you are being subjected to offensive speech or material as an involuntary audience.”