An official at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where a professor faces charges for an alleged attack on a pro-life advocate, is calling such campus visitors “provocateurs” and warning students to beware of those “proselytizers hawking intolerance in the name of religious belief.”
The harsh words come from Michael D. Young, a vice chancellor, who dispatched a memo for “widest distribution.”
It follows the alleged attack by Mireille Miller-Young, who teaches pornography, queer theory and black film at the tax-payer subsidized school.
She was accused of misdemeanor theft, battery and vandalism after allegedly stealing and destroying an anti-abortion sign and assaulting a teen girl who tried to retrieve it.
It happened when the instructor came across the pro-life display sponsored by the Christian pro-life group Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust on March 4. Thirteen members of the group had posted banners and literature which displayed graphic imagery of late-term abortions designed to spark conversations with passing students.
Joan Short, a 21-year-old student at Thomas Aquinas College and a member of the pro-life group, said Miller-Young exchanged heated words, complaining about the anti-abortion message, and led the gathering crowd into a chant of “Tear down the sign!” before grabbing a banner and walking with it across campus.
As Joan called 911, her 16-year-old sister Thrin Short began recording the events on a smartphone as the pair followed the professor and two of her students into a building to try to retrieve the banner.
The alleged assault happened as Thrin Short tried to hold open an elevator door where Miller-Young allegedly was trying to take the group’s sign.
Now Young has inserted himself into the controversy.
He notes that the campus has been visited by “individuals coming here to promote an ideology, to promulgate particular beliefs (at times extreme beliefs), or simply to create discord.”
“Some passionately believe in their causes, while others peddle hate and intolerance with less-than-noble aims,” he said in his message.
“What is happening now is not new: evangelical types have been visiting UCSB and university campuses since time immemorial. What we see at UCSB today is simply the most recent generation of true believers, self-proclaimed prophets, and provocateurs. During the past few weeks, UCSB has been visited by various anti-abortion crusaders. Some have been considerate and thoughtful in promoting their message; others have openly displayed images that many in our community find distressing and offensive. We have also seen earnest and thoughtful religious missionaries, and we have seen proselytizers hawking intolerance in the name of religious belief,” he wrote.
But he said free speech allows a wide variety of messages, short of the point of “yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.”
“The price we pay to speak our own minds is allowing others to speak theirs, regardless of how oppositional their views are to our own. Our Founding Fathers – all white men of privilege, some even slave owners – got it right when designing the First Amendment of the Constitution,” he wrote.
He continues with criticism of some messages.
“My mother taught me that just because you can say or do something doesn’t mean that you should. Civility plays an important role in how we choose to exercise our right to expression. We all have the right to say odious things, to display offensive slogans and placards, and to hurt and disrespect groups and individuals that disagree with us. The question is: should we? Should we engage in these behaviors just because we can or because they serve our political, religious, or personal agendas?”
He suggested students should be “civil” in the face of “outsiders coming into our midst to provoke us, to taunt us and attempt to turn us against one another as they promote personal causes and agendas.”
Catherine Short, the mother of the two students involved in Miller-Young’s altercation, agreed that there should be civility.
In a statement released through the Life Legal Defense Foundation, where she serves as legal director, she said: “What Miller-Young did, what she has said and written, what she teaches and publishes, UCSB’s response, and appropriate sanctions for her actions have a place in the conversation.”
But she said disparagement has no place.
“As my daughters tell people they meet on campuses, let’s keep to the topic and have a reasonable, productive conversation,” she said.
After seeing Young’s “prejudicial communication,” she also urged him to “observe a pro-life outreach, and that the school honor free speech and equal access for pro-life groups.”
“At Life Legal Defense Foundation, we are unequivocally pro-life,” said Dana Cody, president. “We daily pursue legal means of ending the abortion of helpless and innocent children and we fully support Catherine’s daughters in their pro-life witness. At the same time, we heartily endorse Catherine’s call for civility to all, especially those whose actions are inappropriate and misguided.”
Short said that ad hominem attacks against Miller-Young are out of line.
“We do not condone this, and we ask that such attacks stop,” she said.
Video of the original issue:
The Santa Barbara Independent reported:
As Miller-Young and the students boarded an elevator, Joan said that Thrin repeatedly blocked the door with her hand and foot and that Miller-Young continually pushed her back. Miller-Young then exited the elevator and tried to yank Thrin away from the door while the students attempted to grab her video camera. “As Thrin tried to get away, the professor’s fingernails left bloody scratches on her arms,” Joan claimed. The struggle ended when Thrin relented, Miller-Young walked away, the students rode up in the elevator, and officers arrived to interview those involved.
“The police did not seem overly concerned about the incident until they saw the video and realized how violent the professor had been,” said Kristina Garza, director of campus outreach for the Survivors ministry.
Police later found the sign destroyed.
The incident even captured the attention of top-rated radio host Rush Limbaugh, who commented March 12 about the professor:
So what do we have here? We have hyphenated name? Check. Teaches multicultural nonsense? Check. Attracted to perverted and worthless areas of academic emphasis? Check. Instinct to lash out violently at those who disagree with her? Check. Resorts to violence when she doesn’t get her way? Check. Logical conclusion: She is a madcap leftist and she has tenure. She is teaching young skulls full of mush, inculcating them with this worthless drivel that their parents are paying through the nose for.
Now, you might say, “Rush this has always gone on.” Not to this degree, folks.
The higher education curriculum has been in the process of being corrupted by militant feminazis for I don’t know how long, but it is continuing to normalize what 10 years ago were extremes. The extremes 10 years ago are the normal today. The extremes 15 ago are the normal. A professor teaching a course in black cultural studies, pornography, and sex work on her faculty Web page?
You don’t think people being educated with this kind of drivel are gonna come out of school confused and thinking they’ve actually learned something? And this is just one professor at one school with one particular area of the curriculum, and it’s happening all over.