The Cal State Bakersfield College Republicans group put out a statement Monday regarding its effort to bring conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos to the university on Oct. 25.
The statement, which is not attributed to an individual but released on behalf of the group, explains why members decided to invite Yiannopoulos to CSUB.
“While we do not endorse everything that Mr. Yiannopoulos believes and says, we do endorse wholeheartedly his right, and the right of every other human being, to free speech.”
The right to free speech, the statement reads, has been under assault throughout the United States — especially on college campuses.
Bringing Yiannopoulos to CSUB, the group wrote, was a way to demonstrate the importance of free speech.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not, the statement goes on to say, protect people from what “some may deem ‘hate speech’ or speech they may find offensive.”
“There is no doubt that Milo does offend people, say things that are deemed by others to be mean, cruel or offensive,” the letter reads.
But when the country starts restricting what people say — beyond the limits of the “clear and present danger clause” — then free speech is nullified, the statement said.
Finally the letter encourages everyone who has an opinion about the group’s plans to bring Yiannopoulos to CSUB to attend the event, ask questions, “respectfully challenge opinions to which you do not understand or do not agree with.”
The statement makes no mention of the status of the event.
Last week an attorney representing the CSUB College Republicans challenged the university’s stance on the proposed event at the university’s Icardo Center.
CSUB officials have told the College Republicans that it cannot sell tickets to the general public under university policies.
It can make the event public and pay Yiannopoulos’ $20,000 speaking fee itself or sell tickets only to students.
CSUB's lawyer, in a Friday letter to the attorney for the College Republicans, said the group has until Friday to finalize the event under those university policies.