University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Cites Free Speech, Declines Action Against Student Exhibiting Nazi Sign

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Amid a backlash in response to a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student holding a Nazi sign with antisemitic language while protesting an Israel Independence Day event on May 6, the school, citing freedom of speech, said such action cannot be stopped.

Kristian Gresham has been described as “a 26-year-old man with a documented history of aggressive, racist and criminal behavior, [who] demonstrated last week before a group of Jewish and pro-Israel students while holding signs that featured swastikas and a call to gas Jewish students,” according to a Change.org petition calling for his expulsion from the school, which to date has 835 signatures.

In a statement, the school administration stated that “as a public university, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee respects everyone’s right to free speech, even when it is speech that we disagree with.”

In two statements, university chancellor Mark Mone condemned the incident, but said the student had a right to protest.

“Many of you have expressed concern that my last campus message—which came in response to a student carrying a sign with a swastika on it during an Israeli Independence Day event on our Milwaukee campus last Monday—inadequately addressed the significant harm that it caused,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “Please know I have heard you and acknowledge my message did not fully capture or reflect how deeply saddened, frustrated and angry I am personally, as a member of this community, that anyone would inflict such pain and fear on our Panther family. I am sorry.”

In a statement last week, Mone said, “Under the First Amendment, displaying offensive symbols, such as a swastika, to a general audience in a public space is protected akin to speech. Nevertheless, please know that we emphatically renounce such hateful symbols and do not support or condone any viewpoint that is hurtful, harmful or disparaging.”

“We are a large, urban public university that will always be a forum for the free exchange of ideas, even when those ideas are hateful or repugnant and challenge our thinking in dreadfully unsettling ways,” he said.

(JNS.org)

{Matzav.com}

8 COMMENTS

  1. This isn’t the intention of the right to free speech. It’s true intention is to allow the free reporting of events and the free exchange of ideas in political debate. To make a statement which merely says hate that person or those people and I wish them dead, is entirely outside of that allowance. It isn’t conveying an idea other than hate. It isn’t protected under the constitution. The liberals have completely distorted this concept, as they distort just about everything.

  2. If he was anti toeiva, anti black or anti islamonazi, the university would have promptly expelled him. Promotion of Jew-hatred is free speech, all of a sudden. Liberal-fascist academia establishment are hypocritical Jew-haters.

  3. To quote the freebacon:

    “What Kristian Gresham did was not just an expression of speech,” the group wrote in its petition. “He threatened the safety and education of his fellow students. “‘Gas the Jews'” is not protected free speech. It’s incitement of violence against the Jewish community on campus.”

    “Kristian’s actions also violated the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Code of Conduct Policy 18.11: ‘No person may engage in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct under circumstances in which the conduct to cause or provoke a disturbance, in university buildings or on university lands.'”

  4. the universities are scared of their students. it used to be that it was’immoral’ to live a toeva life: now it’s immoral to reject that life style. it used to ‘wrong’ to hate blacks; now it is ‘wrong’ to be white; murder was considered a crime; now a woman can choose to kill her own child even when the baby is in the birth canal or has been born already. a person’s gender was always determined at birth; now one can check off ‘undecided’ on the birth certificate application.
    it is time for this medina of chesed in which we live to wake up

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