Advocates against free speech shut down an event at the University of North Carolina last night in which Rep. Tom Tancredo was to speak against providing in-state college tuition to unauthorized immigrants. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports:
Hundreds of protesters converged on Bingham Hall, shouting profanities and accusations of racism while Tancredo and the student who introduced him tried to speak. Minutes into the speech, a protester pounded a window of the classroom until the glass shattered, prompting Tancredo to flee and campus police to shut down the event.
Tancredo said it was the first time he'd ever had one of his speeches ended by protesters, who were actually threatening him:
About 200 protesters reconvened outside the building. "We shut him down; no racists in our town," they shouted. "Yes, racists, we will fight, we know where you sleep at night!"
Update 9:10 a.m.: Some added perspective after reading Michelle Malkin's column today about that report from the Dept. of Homeland Security that warns about right-wing radicalism turning violent:
Moreover, the report relies on the work of the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center to stir anxiety over "disgruntled military veterans" -- a citation that gives us valuable insight into how DHS will define "hate-oriented" groups. The SPLC, you see, has designated the venerable American Legion a "hate group" for its stance on immigration enforcement. The report offers zero data, but states with an almost resentful attitude toward protected free speech: "Debates over appropriate immigration levels and enforcement policy generally fall within the realm of protected political speech under the First Amendment, but in some cases, anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent."
The radicals at UNC did turn violent and threatening last night. Is DHS assuring us that they are watching these radicals? Are they locked up this morning?
Update II 9:30 a.m.: Video of the event is posted at YouTube by someone from ALIPAC. It appears the campus police were pretty cowardly in failing to clear the room (which surprised me in that it looks pretty small) of the disrupters. Instead they just put an end to Tancredo's talk.
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