Ross: When it comes to hate speech, are you with me?

Dec 12, 2023, 7:06 AM | Updated: 8:59 am


WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 29: Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) speaks during a news conference with House Republican leadership at the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

We now know that if you’re a university president, you need to take a strong stand against hate speech. Last week New York Rep. Elaine Stefanik confronted three college presidents about the anti-Israel demonstration on campus.

Here she is going after Harvard President Claudine Gay.

Stefanik: Will admission offers be rescinded or any disciplinary actions be taken against students or applicants who say ‘from the river to the sea’ or Intifada advocating for the murder of Jews?

Gay: As I’ve said, that type of hateful, wreckless, offensive speech is personally abhorrent to me.

Stefanik: What action will be taken?

Gay: When speech crosses into conduct that violates our policies, including policies against bullying, harassment, or intimidation, we take action to hold individuals accountable.

Stefanik: What action has been taken against students who are harassing or calling for the genocide of Jews on Haravard’s campus?

None of the presidents gave the answer Stefanik apparently wanted – which I think was that such students should be kicked out.

And I get it – when people make threats these days you have to take them at their word. What I DON’T get is why all the focus is on the college presidents, instead of the complete turnaround for Elise Stefanik – because she has not exactly been a crusader against hate speech. Until now anyway.

In 2022 she voted against a federal red flag law designed to disarm people who post hate speech on social media.

“This gun control bill” – I’m quoting her news release from June 24, 2022 – “contains unconstitutional red flag laws that take away due process rights and will have no effect on deterring criminals… Disarming people would only hurt law-abiding citizens.”

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And that’s what I DON’T get. For all that tough talk – demanding to know “what have you done to discipline students who spew hate speech” – when it came to preventing that hate speech from turning into violence, she was just as timid.

So in case I ever get hauled before her committee, let me just say that I would absolutely kick students out of school for promoting genocide – but I wouldn’t stop there. I’d also ban them from social media and send the police to their homes to make sure they don’t have access to weapons.

And I would put their names on a no-buy list so they can’t buy any weapons in the future. Are you with me Representative Stefanik? By the way, I also believe anyone who calls for the hanging of the vice president during an attack on the U.S. Capitol should be stripped of their citizenship. Are you still with me?

News note:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Harvard President Claudine Gay will remain leader of the prestigious Ivy League school following her comments last week at a congressional hearing on antisemitism, the university’s highest governing body announced Tuesday.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: When it comes to hate speech, are you with me?