University of California-Santa Barbara Professor Mireille Miller-Young, who teaches “Pornography; Sex Work; Black Film, Popular Culture and Art,” among other topics, has been charged with vandalism, battery and robbery after stealing a pro-life poster from a demonstration on campus and assaulting the activist who filmed her in the act. The assault, which occurred on March 4, 2014 was caught on video by the professor’s victim.
The irony of a scholar of pornography violating First Amendment rights seems to have been lost on Prof. Miller-Young. In the police report, linked by Eugene Volokh at his new Washington Post blog, the professor claims she “felt ‘triggered’ by the images on the posters,” which included a photograph of an aborted fetus. She also said that she was sensitive because she herself is pregnant and was about to undergo tests for Down Syndrome.
As Andy Caldwell summarizes: “She likened the pro-life protest to hate speech and claims she had a moral right to act the way she did. In essence, Miller-Young doesn’t tolerate protest. She claims that it was her rights that were being harmed by allowing the pro-life advocates to interfere in her life and work while on campus.”
The assault echoed a similar attack on a pro-life display at the University of Southern California in January.