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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Being offended goes with life

Uploaded: May 1, 2017
Condoleezza Rice has a simple message for the 19-year-old students she teaches at Stanford.
“You do not have a constitutional right not to be offended.”
Amen.
There are way too many universities--think University of California President Janet Napolitano with her words that will be not used or worries of micro-aggression--that have abandoned free speech in hopes of sparing the snowflakes of this college generation. They have stilled the robust debate of ideas that once took place on college campuses.
The secretary of state and national security advisor in the George W. Bush administration spoke Saturday to a gathering of Transforming the Bay with Christ at the 3 Crosses church in Castro Valley. The gathering brings together faith leaders from around the Bay Area. Rice is a member of Menlo Church in Menlo Park.
She also challenged those attending as well as her students with the comment that if you are comfortable in your surroundings routinely, you are not challenging yourself. For students, she bluntly said that life is tough so let’s start practicing being uncomfortable now. For Christians, she said look how Jesus lived and who he associated with—do the same outside with people outside of your comfort zone.
The theme of the day was unity. Dr. Rice started her address by asking whether it was an oxymoron to seek unity through diversity when diversity is all about how we are different. The diversity in our culture has allowed more sub-sets of identities that she could imagine.
Couple that with today’s technology and media and we can tailor what we hear exactly to what we want and never be exposed to different ideas. Those silos take away any connections other than with people who think like us and are like us.
She contrasted that with the life of Jesus who spent his life mixing with people unlike him. Dr. Rice said that every life is precious to God and belief needs to be the foundation of everything we do.
She said we have three callings:
• At home, to provide the compassion and care to people who need it. Government can do a lot, but not this. She harkened back to French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville who observed the strength in America in voluntary associations to do good. That can be the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, your local non-profit or the churches—all formed to serve others voluntarily.
• Take that same compassion and care into the broader world, all focused on every life has value. She related a story from the Bush Administration where they were considering whether to invest $15 billion in Africa to slow the AIDS epidemic. Dr. Rice told about how her mother died of breast cancer at 30, but was diagnosed at age 15. Those fifteen years so her mother got to see her graduate, hold her first book, and see her as a Stanford professor were simply priceless. Giving African children more time with the moms would be equally so. The president made the decision saying to whom much is given, much is expected. Do it.
• The third calling is speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Addressing the faith leaders who may feel isolated in our post-Christian society, she encouraged them to consider Christians in China, Iraq or Egypt with continued persecution and worse. We are blessed to have the freedom to worship as we choose and express our opinions freely.
She encouraged the leaders and her students as well to turn their attention outward and focus on others. The question changes from Why do I have so little? To why do I have so much and what should I be doing with it?
Dr. Rice emphasized that talking is fine, but it’s action that’s important. She encouraged people to find a common goal, amid their diversity, and then act together.

Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on May 1, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Amen Dr. Rice! She would be an excellent President of the US.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on May 3, 2017 at 1:03 pm

I don't know the context in which Condoleezza Rice said those words, and it's too bad that Tim Hunt didn't clarify what she meant or precisely what he means by supporting the statement “You do not have a constitutional right not to be offended." Is this supposed to be a statement in defense of bigoted or demeaning or racist speech or behavior by some students against others? Sure sounds like it can be interpreted that way and, again, it's too bad that Tim Hunt provided no clarification or context.

If Tim's support for this statement is support for the right to bigoted or demeaning or racist speech or behavior on college campuses, then I've got news for you: (1) "Free Speech" is a 1st Amendment protection against government crackdown on speech or expression. It does not inhibit the ability of Stanford University, a private institution, from acting against those students who act against any of their speech or behavior codes. Similarly, if a dinner guest at your private home starts acting in an abusive manner towards your other guests, he can't claim that the 1st Amendment protects him from you throwing him out of your house. (2) Aside from the fact that "Free Speech" doesn't apply against private institutions or individuals, completely "Free Speech" doesn't apply in workplaces (private or government) or campuses (private or public) either. Won't go into a long explanation, but consider this: Do you think that if you start making racist comments against co-workers (either at a private workplace or a government workplace) that you won't be immediately fired? Do you think that the 1st Amendment will protect you against being fired? Nope, it won't. I'll leave it to you to look into that and find out for yourself why it won't.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on May 3, 2017 at 1:07 pm

@American: "Amen Dr. Rice! She would be an excellent President of the US."

Forget it. Condoleezza Rice was a weak and ineffectual Secretary of State. She still has tire marks on her back from the many times that Rumsfeld repeatedly ran over her during their turf battles in the G.W. Bush years. She was just not in the same league and it showed.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on May 3, 2017 at 6:19 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

"Is this supposed to be a statement in defense of bigoted or demeaning or racist speech or behavior by some students against others?"

Of course it is! The first amendment makes it possible that you won't go to jail EVEN if you use "bigoted, demeaning, or racist" language. And by extension, if you do and get physically attacked, the attacker CAN go to jail for battery.

Now it doesn't mean you can't get fired from your job, or ostracized from your club or community, but when the line of physicality gets crossed, that speech is FULLY protected, hateful as it is.

Republican speakers like Ann Coulter have EVERY right to make their speeches, but the students of universities don't have ANY right to physically harm them because they are "offended".

Tim and Condi are absolutely correct.

When I have time I'll post some "bigoted, demeaning, and racist" comments from the liberal left used in speeches at Universities for comparison. Let's see if some commentors complain then.

And let's not forget that Stephen Colbert making the gay slur towards Trump.

Crickets from the same group that get all a-twitter about Ann Coulter talking about building a wall.

As usual...

Dan



 +   3 people like this
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on May 3, 2017 at 6:39 pm

" Sam": Want to compare Dr. Rice job as Secretary of State with that of Hillary? Bengazi, " missing" e-mails of classified materials, Iran Nuke deal, so-called Red Line in Syria, not taking life & death calls at 2 am, trading favors with countries who donate to Clinton Foundation,....( I could go on and on) Is it possible your hostility with Dr. Rice has something to do with her race? Perhaps you could benefit from some diversity training?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by alice, a resident of Avila,
on May 4, 2017 at 3:48 am

have a nice post. also try Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on May 4, 2017 at 8:10 am

@DKHSK :"Now it doesn't mean you can't get fired from your job, or ostracized from your club or community, but when the line of physicality gets crossed, that speech is FULLY protected, hateful as it is."

My God, Dan. Your logic is as sloppy and shallow as usual. No, the circumstances under which free speech is protected under the 1st Amendment has nothing to do with whether someone physically assaults the speaker. They are two separate things. Physically assaulting someone simply for speaking is virtually always a crime regardless of whether the speech is protected under the 1st Amendment or not. There is no linkage.

@American

Playing the race card, are we?


 +   4 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on May 4, 2017 at 3:59 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Sam,

It's clear that context is completely lost on you.

The topic is about the special snowflakes on college campuses that protest and/or riot as a result of FREE SPEECH.

"They are two separate things":
Web Link

Yeah, sure Sam, you just go ahead and keep telling yourself that.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on May 4, 2017 at 4:40 pm

@DKHSK

No, you're wrong on the context.
No, you're wrong on the topic.

Yes, you are a complete waste of my time.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on May 5, 2017 at 8:33 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

Left-wing liberal "bias, demeaning and racist" speech: Web Link

Compare and contrast.

Do you remember all the times conservatives physically harmed people and destroyed property because of the awful things being said?

No, neither do I.

Dan


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Nanny state, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on May 5, 2017 at 10:43 am

What I see is that not only are colleges and universities promoting censorship, but also the primary and secondary schools, both on-campus and off-campus. Why else do you think PUSD banned the viewing of the inauguration?

Also the primary and secondary schools are in the business of ruining children's lives by punishing them and subjecting them to violence because of some comment they "liked" or someone they "followed" on social media AFTER school hours and OFF of school property. Like PUSD, they have crossed the lines in getting into the business of what kids say or think on their own time, off of school property.

And PUSD started copying the outbursts and rants of Valerie Williams, superintendent of Albany Unified in its own press releases.

Did you read the lawsuit against Albany Unified on-line? Here it is the violation of free speech complaint - Web Link

Basically, a bunch of kids who "Liked" or passively "Followed" an instagram account were subjected to riot-like assaults AT SCHOOL as part of SEED atonement public shaming events organized as "restorative justice" demonstrations at the school, were defamed by Williams in her emails to the press (Williams spends a great deal of her time in front of the television cameras, does she not?), were suspended and expelled.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Nanny state, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on May 5, 2017 at 10:55 am

Here is the article from the Washington Post about Albany Unified subjecting students who commented or liked an internet post or passively followed an Instagram account to mob violence and expulsion/suspension as well as parading the students through the school as part of SEED (the program in place at PUSD), where they were violently attacked by the mob:

Web Link


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on May 5, 2017 at 11:18 am

@Nanny State

Gee, Nanny State, you conveniently left out the fact that the social media post that those four students "Liked" and supported showed a black student and black coach with noises around their necks!

Awww, poor racist kids being taunted and subjected to hostility at school for their support of a violent, racist image. How Sad!

:-(

Everyone knows that "Actions have consequences" only applies to liberals, not to fine young, outstanding, up-and-coming racist conservatives! What's wrong with the world?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on May 5, 2017 at 11:22 am

Spell-check error:
That would be a black student and black coach with nooses around their necks! You know, as a hanging rope? Like in racist, KKK images of the lynching of blacks?

Glad that that spell-check error gave me a chance to elaborate a bit on that.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on May 5, 2017 at 11:28 am

DKHSK:"Do you remember all the times conservatives physically harmed people and destroyed property because of the awful things being said? No, neither do I. Dan"

Absolutely without a clue......

"Trump Supporter Targets Non-Republicans in Machete Attack"

Web Link

....


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Nanny state, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on May 5, 2017 at 11:31 am

The issue is that free speech and "Likes" are protected speech under the First Amendment just like famous rappers doling out violent misogyny for the entertainment of a cheering crowds.

The bottom line,regardless of whatever "government stalking" the schools do to monitor social media - Web Link, the Supreme Court has ruled it is covered under the First Amendment.

Also the law also states that in spite of school districts attempting to be the thought police 24 X 7, school districts can only discipline students for what happens on campus or during time on campus, not on their own free time.

What do you want to bet Valerie Williams is applying for the PUSD school chief job?



 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on May 5, 2017 at 11:55 am

@Nanny State :"The issue is that free speech and "Likes" are protected speech under the First Amendment just like famous rappers doling out violent misogyny for the entertainment of a cheering crowds."

Free speech is not an absolute right. It does not protect you if you make a violent threat against a neighbor. That crosses a line. (Any argument there?) As for this school case, it's not as simple as you seem to think it is. Applauding a picture showing a nooses around not just anyone but a SPECIFIC student at the school and a SPECIFIC coach at the school can be reasonably interpreted as violent threats against specific individuals. In my opinion that crosses a line over free speech protections. I'll let the lawyers and courts sort that one out, though.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Nanny state, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on May 5, 2017 at 12:37 pm

As you might recall, the hysterical comments and writings of Superintendent Williams also claimed students waving to each other in the hallways of the schools were making "Nazi" salutes. Also she claimed a 'noose' was found nearby, which the police said was completely false.

The plaintiffs, who appear to be three with Asian names and one with a non-Asian name, did not make a violent threat against a neighbor. They made no threats against anyone.

They did not even post the original pictures nor make the original pictures that ended up on Instagram.

Some did not even comment on the picture. They just were 'followers' of the account.

They did not make the pictures nor distribute the pictures.

If the comments concerned any real 'threat,' then they would have been arrested, but they were not.

The bottom line is that the AUSD violated the constitutional rights of these young students, held mob riots at public school facilities to attack and shame these young men who are all minors.

And now I would say about $ 10 million of the tax payers' money will be spent on defending an unwinnable lawsuit throughout the Federal judicial system and about another $ 10 million will be spent on various settlements to the young men.

Oh yes, and Williams will also probably be let go on her contract and fired and given a settlement as well.

So after all is said and done, that District will have to layoff about $20 million dollars or more in staff and/or not buy materials because of this entirely mismanaged incident.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Nanny state, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on May 5, 2017 at 12:47 pm

If you read the following article, it states that a simple button click to "Like" something is ambiguous at least and it would be almost impossible to equate it as a threat. Also some of the "Likes" were not even of the original photos, but of other person's comments.

Web Link

All in all, this was blown way out of proportion and now AUSD and Valerie Williams should be planning on spending the next 5 years in court.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on May 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Sam,

Oh Sammy, moral equivalence does you no good here son.

A raving lunatic does not a fascist movement make.

Do try again.

Dan


 +   3 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on May 5, 2017 at 1:20 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Sam,

"Applauding a picture showing a nooses around not just anyone but a SPECIFIC student at the school and a SPECIFIC coach at the school can be reasonably interpreted as violent threats against specific individuals."

No Sam: Web Link

No it cannot.

Look up "Intent, Imminence, and Likelihood" in Brandenburg v Ohio.

You simply have no idea what you're talking about.

Dan


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on May 5, 2017 at 3:23 pm

@Nanny State

Guess we just see things differently. Good luck, though, in your efforts to make America a place where any young American bigot or aspiring racist can freely express their views in support of lynching black students and black teachers without fear of any negative consequences.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Nanny state, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on May 5, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Sam, spare us the hyperbole.

the First Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights whether you like it or not or agree with it or not or whether you agree that simply 'following' a Twitter account or Instagram account makes you somehow guilty of supporting what is broadcast on the Twitter or Instagram account by the rightful owner of the Twitter or Instagram account. Guilt by association does not equate to guilt.

Also, school districts cannot make public spectacles of students on public property by creating public school-sponsored riots on public school campuses to create mob violence to punish students for an activity that students did outside of school and outside of classroom hours.

No wonder the elementary enrollment for AUSD has declined 10%. It appears to be run by a bunch of incompetent administrators.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Nanny state, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on May 5, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Web Link indicates elementary students have declined 10% in two years at Albany Unified.

It is no surprise. Parents with school districts run by incompetent staff pull their children out of the public school system to place their children in educational settings run by people who know what they are doing.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on May 5, 2017 at 6:58 pm

@Nanny State:"the First Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights whether you like it or not or agree with it or not or whether..."

This is a waste of my time. I already told you once that the First Amendment is not an absolute right.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Nanny state, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on May 5, 2017 at 9:23 pm

Albany Unified has a history of incompetent administrators and bullying teachers that have no place in the classroom.

In this case a Chemistry teacher did not let an A+ student make up a chemistry lab and received a failing grade for missing it due to the student being required to attend an adoption hearing for his sister, even though it was pre-arranged for the student to make up the work.

Web Link

In this case, the parent and student were retaliated against for exercising their freedom of speech to complain to the principal after the teacher changed her mind and would not let the student complete the assignment.

All in all, regardless of their dysfunctional culture at AUSD and its propensity to get sued for all sorts of reasons, like failing to have students take the required P.E. minutes as mandated by state law, or failing to reasonably accommodate a student and allow him or her to complete an assignment, they continue to be sued.

Students are entitled to an education, and are also allowed to express themselves however they want off campus and in their own time, short of yelling fire in a crowded movie theater, without being subjected to some sort of public mob riot at school.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by mike, a resident of another community,
on May 6, 2017 at 5:30 am

Sam:

The odds of a young black male being lynched in the Bay Area by a racist KKK goon is slim to zero. However, a young black male getting shot by another young black male is pretty high. Why don't you liberals concentrate on stopping black on black genocide?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on May 6, 2017 at 12:58 pm

@mike:"Why don't you liberals concentrate on stopping black on black genocide?"

Sorry, I've had my fill of responding to low-IQ postings here.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Nanny state, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on May 6, 2017 at 3:35 pm

The headline on the SFGate website says "Albany High students suspended for following racist Instagram sue" thus I think Sam you are failing to understand there is a big disconnect in the school district acting like what some say in the Comments on SF Gate resembles some sort of horror scene in Chairman Mao's Communist Revolution.

The school administrators forced these youngsters to be lined up and paraded (remember these students who are suing did not post the original photos but were merely followers of the Instagram account) around the actual school campus in a public shame parade allowing them to be assaulted by fellow students.

Take a look at the comments - Web Link

Sounds like a scene out of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery."


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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