The Corner

Brown Forms Committee in Response to Kelly Heckling

After New York City Police commissioner Raymond Kelly was heckled off stage by students at Brown University during a speech on October 29, Brown has responded by forming a committee charged with the ambiguous duty of “making findings and recommendations to [the president]” regarding the Kelly event.

In a letter from the president’s office, President Christina Paxson said, “It is impossible not to empathize with our students who strongly object to stop-and-frisk policies and racial profiling. Their feelings, in many cases based on personal experiences, are visceral, raw and genuine.” However, she also recognized that some students and others were upset to not hear Kelly speak and get to ask him questions.

Paxson went on to cite the Brown Code of Student Conduct which states the following:

Protest is a necessary and acceptable means of expression within the Brown community. However, protest becomes unacceptable when it obstructs the basic exchange of ideas. Such obstruction is a form of censorship, no matter who initiates it or for what reasons.

In order to respond to the controversy, Paxson established a committee of five faculty members, two undergraduates, and one graduate student. The committee will first “review the activities and circumstances related to the October 29 lecture and identify issues that may have contributed to the disruption,” and then “address the broader issues of campus climate, free expression, and dialogue.”

While many have decried the Brown students’ obvious (and successful) attempt to stifle free speech, others have rushed to the would-be censors’ defense. Rhania Khalek of the Nation, for example, praised the Brown university students for silencing a “bigot” who, according to Khalek, once said he wants to “’instill fear’ in black and Latino men ‘every time that they [leave] their homes.’” Kelly has flatly denied the claims that he has ever said that, nor has he said anything similar on record.

As of yet, no disciplinary action has been taken against the disruptive students.

Via New York Magazine.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More