UCMeP’s Critique of Violence

Update: On Friday, February 26, Chancellor Birgeneau, UC President Mark Yudof, and the rest of the UC Chancellors publicly condemned the recent events at UCSD. While their press release does not specify what events they are condemning, it does demonstrate the UC higher-ups uncanny ability at equating hate speech with the recent protests to defend public education. At the time of writing “UCMeP’s Critique of Violence,” UCMeP did not know about this condemnation because – unlike Chancellor Birgeneau’s condemnation of the so-called “Durant Riot” –  this press release was not sent en masse to the entire UC Berkeley community (hmmmm). Chancellor Birgeneau has yet to say anything about the vandalism of UC Davis’ LGBT Center.

We here at the UC Movement for Efficient Privatization are morally outraged over recent events at the University of California.

No, we aren’t (just) talking about the racist actions at UC San Diego or the homophobic vandalism at UC Davis.

We are talking about the band of terrorists disguised as students dancing to defend public education who, in the early morning hours of February 26, struck a vicious blow to everything UC Berkeley holds dear: its dumpsters and trash cans.

Within hours of this despicable event, Chancellor Bobby Birgeneau – writing from the same undisclosed location he has been bravely hiding in since December – sent an email to the entire campus community titled “Vandalism at Durant Hall.”

In this powerful missive, Birgeneau, “condemn[ed] in the strongest terms the overnight criminal vandalism in Durant Hall that spilled over onto Bancroft and Telegraph avenues.”

As increasingly belligerent acts of racism and homophobia shake UC Berkeley’s sister campuses, UCMeP would just like to commend the leaders of the UCB administration for their bold decision to not just speak out against racism and homophobia this past Friday. We are proud that they have highlighted the real threat facing the UC: all those students, faculty, and employees vainly struggling to defend what’s left of public education.

That Chancellor Birgeneau on his own has yet to publicly condemn the hanging of a noose in UCSD’s library or the vandalism of UC Davis’ LGBT center is more than appropriate. After all, why should the leader of UC Berkeley be concerned about goings-on at other campuses of the UC when he has burning trash cans on his own campus to contend with?

Friends, as Chancellor Birgeneau has recently demonstrated, racism, sexism, and hate speech are not the biggest enemies the University of California faces. The real foes are free speech, the right to dissent, and the tolerance of minority opinion.

We must battle these democratic evils with everything we’ve got.

It is toward dance parties and brief midnight occupations of construction sites that our moral outrage should be directed, not nooses and homophobia.

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