“The First Amendment gives him the right to speak his mind, but it doesn’t give him the right to speak at such an elevated platform as the commencement. That’s a privilege his racist and bigoted remarks don’t give him.”
Students at UC-Berkeley (UCB) are protesting liberal talk-show host Bill Maher’s scheduled December commencement speech through an online petition that has gathered 1,500 signatures.
The Change.org petition was initiated by Marium Navid, an Associated Students of UC Senator, and backed by the Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian Coalition (MEMSA) student group, according to The Daily Californian, UCB’s official student newspaper.
“It’s not an issue of freedom of speech, it’s a matter of campus climate,” said Navid. “The First Amendment gives him the right to speak his mind, but it doesn’t give him the right to speak at such an elevated platform as the commencement. That’s a privilege his racist and bigoted remarks don’t give him.”
Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, is known for his satirical remarks on issues such as political correctness and religion. He asked to speak at the commencement back in August and recentlybecame the subject of controversy for clashing with guests over Islam.
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