I blogged in the past couple of days about SF’s probable decision to “re-educate” its police as the preferred way of addressing the very real fact that, on a per capita basis, more blacks are committing crimes in San Francisco than they are in other California cities. I also blogged about the critical mess that saw politically motivated bike riders attack a family in a minivan. I didn’t have to blog about Gavin Newsom’s latest fall from grace, since Drudge did it for me.
The one thing I neglected to blog about was a brief flash of sanity related to San Francisco State University’s investigation into the fact that college Republicans stepped on faux Hamas and Hezbollah flags, unaware that they had the word “Allah” written on them. In the City that hates religion, the campus Republicans were essentially being tried for religious desecration. Fortunately for a little thing like the First Amendment, the SFSU administration held itself back from falling off that cliff:
In a crucial victory for free expression, San Francisco State University (SFSU) announced yesterday that its College Republicans will face no punishment for hosting an anti-terrorism rally at which participants stepped on makeshift Hezbollah and Hamas flags. SFSU’s decision comes after months of pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), national and local media, and the public—all of which called on the school to uphold the students’ constitutionally guaranteed right to free expression.
“We are relieved that SFSU has come to its senses and recognized that it cannot punish students for constitutionally protected expression,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “But the fact remains that the university should never have investigated or tried them in the first place. This was a protected act of political protest and it is impossible to believe the university did not know that from the start.”
SFSU’s shameful attack on free expression began after an October 17, 2006 anti-terrorism rally at which several members of the College Republicans stepped on pieces of paper they had painted to resemble Hamas and Hezbollah flags. Unbeknownst to the protestors, the flags they had copied contained the word “Allah” written in Arabic script. On October 26, a student filed a formal complaint with the university against the College Republicans, alleging “attempts to incite violence and create a hostile environment” and “actions of incivility.” Although university administrators could have settled the matter informally or dismissed the charges outright, the university instead chose to press forward with a hearing on the charges.
Phew! Now all we need to do is to get the campus to stop turning a blind eye to the persecution of Jews on campus.