The President of the University of Washington has written a blog post discussing the importance of freedom of expression, yet admits to contacting the state’s attorney general in an attempt to find “sufficient grounds” on which to ban MILO from talking at the university.
“I want to state clearly, especially to the thousands of people who have contacted my office with concerns about an upcoming visit by a speaker known for racist and misogynist provocation, that we understand and empathize with their objections and frustration,” wrote university president Ana Mari Cauce.
“Nonetheless, the right to free speech and expression is broad and allows for speech that is offensive and that most of us would consider disrespectful, and even sexist or racist. As a public university committed to the free exchange of ideas and free expression, we are obligated to uphold this right,” she continues.
However, despite paying lip service to upholding MILO’s 1st Amendment rights, Cauce reveals that the university contacted the office of Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson to “review” the event, in a seemingly unsuccessful bid to find legal grounds on which to ban him.
“We have reviewed this event with the State Attorney General’s office and there are not, at this time, sufficient grounds to ban him from speaking on our campus, although we continue to monitor what is going on as he speaks elsewhere,” Cauce said.
Cauce also confirmed the university is planning counter events in order to provide students with an “alternative gathering space” should they wish not to attend the talk.
“Speakers like this thrive on negative attention and our Student Life office is working on developing other programming at the same time that would offer an alternative gathering space for the many who find no value in speakers like this,” she wrote.
MILO’s event at UC Davis was cancelled last week due to violent left-wing protesters preventing it from taking place. FOX News reports that police are preparing for marches against MILO’s event at UW, as well as against the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump.