Earlier today, I covered the disgraceful culturally-reflective incident Thursday night at the University of Missouri-Kansas City involving Daily Wire host Michael Knowles.

If you haven’t yet experienced it for yourself, please see here.

Hecklers perpetually disrupted Michael’s speech, and he was ultimately sprayed in the face with a mysterious substance that smelled like bleach.

Law enforcement took down the culprit as — in the words of TDW — “all hell broke loose.”

In light of the uncivil assault on free speech and evolved societal decorum — as well as the Super Soaker attack on Michael — the head of the school has released a statement.

Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal’s letter is mindnumbing.

He begins by acknowledging a conflict:

“Last night, our campus witnessed a collision of two principles that we steadfastly support: the right to free expression and the right to civil protest in response to views we disagree with.”

Okay…

He then says education is key:

The evening’s events laid bare deep divisions that exist in our society today — divisions that UMKC works diligently to address through education, support and commitment to our values.

So how “diligent” is he? This much:

A student group brought a speaker to campus – a speaker whose professed opinions do not align with our commitment to diversity and inclusion and our goal of providing a welcoming environment to all people, particularly to our LGBT community.

UMKC is a public university; who determines its values? The student body? The taxpayers who support it? Or are they exclusively based on Agrawal’s personal politics?

Secondly, since when does a school itself have a political or social identification? Its purpose is to provide academic education and allow students to expand themselves intellectually.

Furthermore, being that Michael is conservative, how is that less “diverse” than if he were of a more liberal mind? What does that say to all the conservative students, including those in the group sponsoring Michael’s appearance?

And how is a statement of misalignment against Michael in line with being “inclusive?”

This is the idiocy of the baloney version of the word. “Inclusion” must…get ready for it…INCLUDE. You cannot exclude someone in the name of inclusion.

For more on real diversity, please see my article here.

Agrawal, continuing:

Upon learning of this speaker’s visit, members of our UMKC community responded in the best way – by organizing and conducting a counter-event across campus Thursday afternoon focused on positive messages about diversity and inclusion.

So the “best” way to respond to a conservative is protest?

It clearly ain’t agreement, Jack!

And even during the speech, some peaceful protesters stood and expressed disagreement with the speaker’s views.

They did? Listen for yourself:

Agrawal admits it wasn’t all hunky-dory:

An individual who has been identified as a UMKC student attacked the speaker and others by spraying what was then an unknown substance, but police had no choice but to react as if the substance was an immediate danger. Tests later revealed the substance to be lavender oil and some other non-toxic household liquids. The individual was arrested and has been charged with assault and other violations. A campus disciplinary investigation is under way.

Agrawal has three takeaways from the pitiful incident:

  • We remain absolutely committed to the rights and well-being of all members of our university community, especially our students. Our absolute commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and the equal rights of members of the LGBTQ community remains one of our highest priorities.
  • UMKC is a university, which by definition must allow the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions, including controversial and unpopular ones. As a taxpayer-funded public university, UMKC is also required by law to strictly enforce the First Amendment right to free speech for all.
  • Our expectations for students, faculty, staff and visitors is that we each express ourselves in ways that are respectful of others and faithful to the Statement of Values that guides our learning community.”

So primarily important: LGBTQ — which, it seems to me, is a confused grouping; there are many, many gay people who agree that a man is not a woman. And how is the “well-being” of gays — or people identifying as the opposite sex — harmed by someone speaking their view that men and women are different?

What the university “must” do, though: allow free speech.

Shouldn’t the statement be that the university’s leader is appalled by the shameful treatment — including the assault — of an on-campus speaker, and that free speech is the foundation of our country?

Everyone who attends the school — whatever their sexuality or identity — should feel welcome. That is true. What’s also true is that true diversity must actually include all. Including Michael Knowles, who believes — as the title of his speech suggests — that “Men Aren’t Women.”

We’re seeing our educational system sink into the mire of ideological singularity, enforced upon those who wish to broaden their horizons. Rather than expansion, public schools seem to be functioning as a vice, squeezing its students into adherence — or, if you will, “alignment.” The most valuable form of diversity at an institution of higher learning — it should always be understood — is diversity of thought.

In this regard, Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal seems thoughtless.

What do you think of the chancellor’s statement? Let us all know in the Comments section.

Find the full letter below, along with Michael Knowles’s response.

-Alex

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: here and here.

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

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To Our Campus Community:Last night, our campus witnessed a collision of two principles that we steadfastly support: the right to free expression and the right to civil protest in response to views we disagree with. The evening’s events laid bare deep divisions that exist in our society today – divisions that UMKC works diligently to address through education, support and commitment to our values.A student group brought a speaker to campus – a speaker whose professed opinions do not align with our commitment to diversity and inclusion and our goal of providing a welcoming environment to all people, particularly to our LGBT community.Upon learning of this speaker’s visit, members of our UMKC community responded in the best way – by organizing and conducting a counter-event across campus Thursday afternoon focused on positive messages about diversity and inclusion. And even during the speech, some peaceful protesters stood and expressed disagreement with the speaker’s views.Then, unfortunately, some others crossed a line. UMKC must maintain a safe environment in which all points of view, even extreme ones, are allowed to be heard.An individual who has been identified as a UMKC student attacked the speaker and others by spraying what was then an unknown substance, but police had no choice but to react as if the substance was an immediate danger. Tests later revealed the substance to be lavender oil and some other non-toxic household liquids. The individual was arrested and has been charged with assault and other violations. A campus disciplinary investigation is under way.Here is where we stand as we move forward after this incident:

We remain absolutely committed to the rights and well-being of all members of our university community, especially our students. Our absolute commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and the equal rights of members of the LGBTQ community remains one of our highest priorities.

UMKC is a university, which by definition must allow the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions, including controversial and unpopular ones. As a taxpayer-funded public university, UMKC is also required by law to strictly enforce the First Amendment right to free speech for all.

Our expectations for students, faculty, staff and visitors is that we each express ourselves in ways that are respectful of others and faithful to the Statement of Values that guides our learning community.

 

 

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