Anti-Free Speech Left Cancels Another Speaker at Berkeley…But This One May Surprise You

First they came for Milo Yiannopoulos; but these were sophisticated liberal academics repulsed by the brash pomposity of the flamboyant provocateur, so they said nothing.

Next they came for Ann Coulter; but these were scholars and intellectuals offended by the reckless Trump-worship of unprincipled publicity hounds, so they said nothing.

Then they came for Ben Shapiro; but these were left-wing charlatans and anti-Semites intimidated by the superior intellect of Jewish conservatives, so they said nothing.

But now they have come for Richard Dawkins, a sophisticated liberal academic, scholar, intellectual, and left-wing charlatan himself; and there’s no one left to speak for him.

The intellectual train wreck that is the University of California, Berkeley has just seen another derailment of free speech. And yes, this time it is an otherwise card-carrying member of left-wing intelligentsia who is the victim. Richard Dawkins, the atheist pseudo-scholar who writes popular fiction books about a universe without God, has had his Berkeley event summarily shut down and refunds dispersed. And why?

Here’s the hilariously absurd announcement from the event organizer, Brown Paper Tickets:

Subject: Notification for Richard Dawkins: Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist … Dear Richard Dawkins event ticket buyers, We regret to inform you that KPFA has canceled our event with Richard Dawkins. We had booked this event based entirely on his excellent new book on science, when we didn’t know he had offended and hurt – in his tweets and other comments on Islam, so many people.


KPFA does not endorse hurtful speech. While KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech, we do not support abusive speech. We apologize for not having had broader knowledge of Dawkins views much earlier.  We also apologize to all those inconvenienced by this cancellation. Your ticket purchases will automatically be refunded by Brown Paper Tickets.  Sincerely, KPFA Radio 94.1 FM

This is so backwards it is impossible to understand how a thinking human being could have scripted those sentences without seeing their own self-contradiction. “While KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech,” is the polar opposite of “we do not support abusive speech.” If you don’t believe someone should have the right to offend or hurt the feelings of another person with their speech, then you don’t believe in free speech. This really isn’t a difficult concept. And yet the people who boast to everyone about all the PhDs they’ve accumulated and dissertations they’ve written can’t seem to wrap their minds around it.

As a person with basic observation skills, I think Richard Dawkins is a fool to strut around pretending (at least publicly) that there is no God. I think his work is shoddy thinking which reveals that while he is most likely a gifted scientist in his field of study, he is a mere layman when it comes to theoretics and philosophy. But he has every right to speak and be heard by those who want to pay to hear him.

This is the left cannibalizing itself. It gambled years ago on developing a political voting block through intersectionality, grievance mongering and victimhood culture. While that approach yielded temporary success at the ballot box, the chickens are coming home to roost right there in Berkeley, California.


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Peter Heck

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