ASHEVILLE – It’s pretty hard to beat UNC Chapel Hill when it comes to inspiring Radical Leftism, but UNC Asheville is giving the Tar Heels a run for their money with their speaking invitation extended to Tamika Mallory, a Women’s March speaker with a record of supporting the Jew-hating leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, among other radicals of the Left.
Mallory is scheduled to speak next week, the week celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his eternal message of judging others by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Or their religion, or ethnicity, for that matter.
Farrakhan is the antithesis of that message, having too many bigoted statements to list here, but notably referring to Adolf Hitler as “a great man.” And Mallory, well, she has spoken favorably about Farrakhan and, as a result, a Jewish group is putting the pressure on UNC Asheville to disinvite Mallory in light of her record.
From Campus Reform‘s Matt Stein:
“Mallory, who is scheduled to speak during UNC-Asheville’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Week on Jan. 24, has worked with the Nation of Islam and praised the minister, but noted she does not agree with “everything” he has said regarding Jewish people.
UNC Asheville’s chapter of Hillel, a Jewish student life organization, said it was “disappointed” with the decision to invite Mallory, noting that MLK Week represents “an important opportunity to promote the values that Dr. King’s legacy represents, including equality, dignity, and respect for all people.”
“Offering a platform to someone with a track record of divisive views and associations sends the wrong message to our campus community, especially to Jewish students,” the group said, according to the Times of Israel.”
Mallory’s troublesome associations go beyond Farrakhan, too. As a cog in the wheel of the Women’s March, Mallory was essentially teaming up with Linda Sarsour. The embattled co-chair of the Women’s March, Sarsour is constantly expressing anti-Israel views and, though she calls herself a feminist, has been accused of supporting and promoting Sharia law.
To play devil’s advocate, though, one could certainly make the argument that denying speakers a venue based on the divisiveness of their rhetoric is not necessarily consistent with the idea of free speech. The more speech the better – bad speech is gets pointed out, and good speech wins the day.
“UNC-Asheville Chancellor Nancy Cable and Interim Provost Karin Peterson co-signed a statement that highlighted that “the university’s fundamental principles reject bias in all of its forms including anti-Semitism and discrimination” and that “the university’s invitation to an individual speaker at a university event in no way implies endorsement of that speaker’s comments, critiques, views, ideas, or actions.””
After all, North Carolina’s college campuses have been ranked best in the country by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) when it comes to free speech protections.
Be that as it may, a petition to disinvite Mallory from speaking at the university has gained approximately 3,500 signatures. The petition features quotes from MLK defending Israel’s right to exist, in stark contrast to the rhetoric of the Nation of Islam leader Mallory has voiced support for.
Will the university cave to the pressure? Or will the speech go on with out much controversy. Either way, it is an interesting situation to watch unfold after the Left has received so much blow back for their (sometimes violent) refusal to accept speakers with alternative views on college campuses.
Read more from Campus Reform here.