UC Davis Focuses on the Fact that the Show Went on with Respect to Turning Point USA

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – The show went on.  That was the thrust of UC Davis’ focus.

In a release from the University, they noted, “Tonight’s event organized by Turning Point USA at UC Davis, a registered student organization, occurred with minor incidents.”

The university reported, “One officer sustained an injury when he was jumped on from behind and pushed to the ground, and two people were arrested and taken to Yolo County Jail for allegedly painting graffiti on an exterior wall of the University Credit Union Center, or UCUC, where the event was held.”

One of those taken into custody, who is not affiliated with UC Davis, was charged with misdemeanor vandalism and resisting arrest, and the other, who had not been identified, was charged with vandalism, resisting arrest and threats on a police officer.

The university added, “Protesters approached the northeast entrance and broke 10 glass panes in the doors but did not gain access to the building and left the area. No arrests were made related to the breaking of the glass.”

Inside the event the show went on.  UC Davis didn’t mention that, after being criticized in October, this time police were there in riot gear.  But the security planning “allowed the students to successfully hold their event. Their invited speaker, Charlie Kirk, took the stage in front of an audience of about 500 people.”

Aside from pepper spray reports, no major physical injuries were reported, and no one requested treatment for injuries.

The university was caught off-guard when a violent clash broke out in October forcing the cancellation of the event rather than risk any further escalation.  No such problem happened this time.

CBS in Sacramento reported that “Hundreds of protesters converged on the UC Davis campus Tuesday night as a highly-charged speaking event brought out conservatives, liberals and what appeared to be Antifa activists.”

At a counterprotest, former Mayor Gloria Partida and founder of the Davis Phoenix Coalition explained that the kind of speech by Kirk goes too far.

“There’s a line that’s crossed, I think, when it becomes weaponized to oppress other people and, frankly, put other people in danger,” she said.

From the university’s perspective, the point of emphasis was “free speech.”

The university said, “As a public university, we must uphold the right to free speech, as guaranteed under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, even when that speech may be hateful, offensive or abusive.”

They added, “Our campus’s Principles of Community affirm the right of freedom of expression within our community, including the right to protest speech we oppose. UC Davis is committed to supporting a campus environment that is inclusive and respectful to people of all backgrounds and dedicated to the pursuit of deeper understanding through the free and civil exchange of ideas.”

Chancellor Gary May took the issue seriously enough that he released a four-minute video on Tuesday defending the University’s decision.  The video had been viewed 6800 times as of this publication with more than 100 comments.

May pulled no punches in calling Kirk “a well-documented proponent of misinformation and hate and has advocated for violence against transgender individuals.”  He took a stand against “this hateful and divisive messaging.”

He notes that TPUSA, as a registered student organization, has the right to reserve university facilities and invite speakers of their choice, and that the university faces a heavy burden under UC policy to deny such requests over concerns of violence.

While the policy does allow for a denial of a request if the speaker presents a “clear and present danger to the campus,” the campus “carries a heavy burden for such a denial under these circumstances.”

He said, “In short, while I abhor the inflammatory speech of this speaker, UC policy permits the student organization to invite this speaker.”

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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11 Comments

  1. Sharla Cheney

    Kirk responded to Chancellor May’s video on Twitter and threatened to sue. So much for his belief in free speech.  Kirk is well-funded but has no ideas of his own. He just parrots hateful alt right ideas for shock value and without any consideration for what concerns or appeals to  young adults today.   Any of our UCD students could’ve bested him in an honest debate.  Bringing such a low quality speaker to campus diminishes the reputation of the student group that invited him.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Kirk responded to Chancellor May’s video on Twitter and threatened to sue. So much for his belief in free speech.

      That’s probably part of free speech.

       Kirk is well-funded but has no ideas of his own.

      Who is funding him, and whose ideas are they?  For that matter, what ideas are they?

      He just parrots hateful alt right ideas for shock value and without any consideration for what concerns or appeals to  young adults today.

      All I’ve seen are descriptions of what he says – including the description put forth by Gary May.

      And who’s to say what appeals to “young adults today”.  Weren’t there about 500 people in attendance?

      Any of our UCD students could’ve bested him in an honest debate.

      Some UCD students apparently support him.  But what would the debate be about in the first place?  What are they debating?

      Bringing such a low quality speaker to campus diminishes the reputation of the student group that invited him.

      Again, those are UCD students.

       

      1. Sharla Cheney

        Ron, It doesn’t appear that you have familiarized yourself with Kirk. Try doing a little research like I did. He has a high school education and somehow weaseled his way into GOP politics and onto the Trump campaign. He was supposed to bring in young voters, but failed at this (which he blamed Trump for the failure).  He just parrots the talking points of alt right religious conservatives and has no original ideas that might address the concerns of young adults. He was suspended from Twitter for posting misinformation about COVID, promoting dangerous medical advice. He refused to wear a mask, saying that there was no scientific basis to wear one.  He tried to start a school for children, but this failed when conservative investors pulled out of the project after discovering that Turning Point would be managing it.  He is a hustler without any substance.

      1. Ron Oertel

        If you’re going to quote Dirty Harry, are you sure it isn’t, “do you feel lucky”?  (Always thought that was the better line of the two.)

        I take it that the only violence that occurred was the destruction of property (windows), probably not caused by Kirk supporters.

        S

  2. Keith Olsen

    David, why do you have a pic of the Proud Boys on your main website page when it appears the Proud Boys weren’t present at the event?  I can’t find any proof that the Proud Boys were there or caused any problems.  Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to have a pic of ANTIFA and/or the leftist agitators who broke windows and caused damage?

    Any of our UCD students could’ve bested him in an honest debate.

    Kirk challenged anyone to come to the microphone who wanted to debate him?  He put it out there but did any of the UCD students take him up on it?

  3. Ron Oertel

    Thought I’d check Kirk’s Twitter page, to see if I could find what Sharla is referring to, above.

    I didn’t see it, though you can see that Mr. Kirk did post a statement regarding the Sacramento Bee, and the Sacramento Bee then issued a statement – which included an apology regarding any misunderstanding.

    https://twitter.com/charliekirk11?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

    Pretty sure I wouldn’t agree with much of what Mr. Kirk says, but that’s ultimately irrelevant. I don’t know why folks feel the need to shut it down.

    I wouldn’t have even heard of the guy, were it not for the controversy. But there comes a point at which I’m compelled to take the side of free speech, regardless of content.

  4. Walter Shwe

    This is the kind of person that Charles Kirk is.

    Charlie Kirk: “It’s worth to have a cost of, unfortunately, some gun deaths every single year so that we can have the Second Amendment”

    https://twitter.com/JasonSCampbell/status/1643977032509067272

    How many people die from gun-related injuries in the U.S. each year?

    In 2020, the most recent year for which complete data is available, 45,222 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S., according to the CDC. That figure includes gun murders and gun suicides, along with three other, less common types of gun-related deaths tracked by the CDC: those that were unintentional, those that involved law enforcement and those whose circumstances could not be determined. The total excludes deaths in which gunshot injuries played a contributing, but not principal, role. (CDC fatality statistics are based on information contained in official death certificates, which identify a single cause of death.)

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/02/03/what-the-data-says-about-gun-deaths-in-the-u-s/

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