Left-wing protesters at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill tried to shut down a speech by former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka, claiming his beliefs are racist and hateful.
The Carolina Peace Center and UNC Hillel, a Jewish group on campus, wrote letters to the administration asking them to cancel Gorka’s speech.
“In light of the continued rise in hate crimes against minorities in the United States and the Islamophobic rhetoric of the current administration, we believe that it would be patently irresponsible to allow Mr. Gorka to be given a platform to spew his hateful ideologies and racist viewpoints at a higher educational institution such as UNC-Chapel Hill,” a letter from the Carolina Peace Center said, WRAL reported.
The groups did not give any specific examples.
They did say that the First Amendment should not apply to Gorka’s speech.
“The first amendment is a privilege, is a right, I agree with that. But, I think we have to be concerned when the first amendment right of freedom of speech becomes freedom of hate,” the Carolina Peace Center said.
Gorka, who now works as a Fox News contributor, speaks on national security and Middle Eastern affairs.
He says his beliefs don’t have anything to do with race or religion.
“We are not at war with Islam and our best allies in this war are the Muslims in Egypt, in Jordan,” Gorka said, WNCN reported.
He believes the accusations against him come from misinformed people.
“They’re victims of fake news. They should read my book, read what I’ve said. They should listen afterward. It’s propaganda. We are living in a world of fake news,” Gorka said.
Protesters outside the event lobbed insults.
“I think it’s important to show that the UNC community rejects Islamophobia and fascism,” graduate student Lindsay Ayling said.
The chairman of UNC College Republicans, who invited him, defended his right to speak:
“The university is a place for debate. It’s a place for the sharing of ideas and testing what you believe in,” Will Rierson said. “We don’t necessarily have to endorse every single one of his viewpoints. I haven’t taken the time to watch every single bit of film he’s done before, but I know he worked for the President of the United States. He’s a well-known figure and he should have the right to speak here.”Click here for reuse options!
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