A few times during his hourlong speaking engagement at UC Hastings School of Law on March 1, students briefly stopped shouting down Ilya Shapiro and goaded him to speak. Each time, the prominent constitutional law scholar and mouthpiece for the libertarian think tank Cato Institute managed only a few words before students banged on tables and chanted Black lawyers matter to drown him out again, according to a video recording shared by the law schools Black Law Students Association.
Shapiro was on the San Francisco campus that day to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy as part of an event organized by the schools Federalist Society, a conservative libertarian group. But Shapiro had shared his thoughts on the matter more than a month earlier. In a since-deleted series of tweets, he said President Bidens pledge to nominate a Black woman would result in a lesser black woman serving on the nations highest court.
Shapiros casually racist tweet quickly got him suspended from a new administrator job at Georgetown University Law Center, but didnt scotch his appearance at UC Hastings, which triggered the student protest.
On March 2, UC Hastings Chancellor David Faigman and his fellow deans sent a letter to students scolding them silencing a speaker is fundamentally contrary to the values of this school, the letter reads and hinting at possible disciplinary action. The letter also argues that legal professionals must be able to engage with the full range of ideas, legal arguments, or policies that exist in the world as they find it.
More from Justin Phillips
UC Hastings spokesperson Elizabeth Moore told me the school would not provide further comment.
The way the schools leadership chided students made me think about how Black people are expected to be docile in the face of insensitivity. In this vein, Shapiro is a lot like the Republican mob attacking federal appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearings. Both use the topics du jour of white nationalism Shapiro implying that Black folks are intellectually inferior; Republicans grasping at culture war talking points that have nothing to do with Jacksons record.
Not challenging rhetoric that is ignorant or actively intolerant only serves to legitimize inequality. The responses from UC Hastings students and Judge Jackson reveal the necessity of speaking up.
A few weeks after the Shapiro event, the Black Law Students Association, with support from allies and some of the schools faculty, sent UC Hastings leadership a letter and list of demands regarding how the school can address its racial equity issues.
Included in it was data from a 2021 UC Hastings Campus Climate Advisory Committee assessment, which was shared with The Chronicle and found that 40% of respondents of color, including multiracial people, experienced exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, and/or hostile conduct at the school within the previous two years. Only 8% of white respondents reported the same experiences.
Among the students demands was for the school to ensure that no disciplinary actions will be taken against students who exercised their free speech rights during the Shapiro protest.
Dominique Armstrong, a co-president of the Black Law Students Association, told me that as much as the protest was about Shapiro, it was also about Black students not feeling welcome on campus.
One of the schools big things is telling us to be advocates, Armstrong said. But if you cant advocate for yourself, how can you advocate for your clients?
Shapiro described the protesters as an unruly woke mob taking part in a national cancellation campaign. But what I saw were passionate students taking a stand for change they felt is long overdue. I saw the faces of individuals who could one day follow Judge Jacksons path, on which theyre forced to both confront Americas shortcomings and help the country overcome them.
Thats grueling, thankless work, as Armstrong already knows. Its exhausting for Black students like myself to constantly have to explain how something is racist.
Which is why, for me, it has been equally spectacular to watch Jackson push back against often-hysterical Republicans during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
Republican senators have floated absurd QAnon-inspired conspiracy theories in their desperate attempts to make Jackson seem like a judge who is sympathetic to people convicted of possessing images of child sexual abuse and who uses critical race theory to shape her decision-making.
Jackson has been calm and measured in her responses, often pointing out that her record is a balanced one that cant be seen as supporting one viewpoint or another.
Underneath the GOP theatrics is their palpable fear of Black people like Jackson attaining positions of power.
Jacksons loudest moment, in my mind, came toward the end of Wednesdays marathon session when Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., asked her to address young people who may want to follow her path. Jackson capped off an emotional reply with this line: I would tell them to persevere.
In other words, silence simply isnt an option.
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Justin Phillips appears Sundays. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @JustMrPhillips
- What's Wrong With Abortion Federalism? - Reason - June 29th, 2022
- The myth of American conservatism - UnHerd - June 29th, 2022
- CHAMPLAIN IS TREASURER: Whitewater to face Sterling in November; Brecheen, Frix head for D2 Congress runoff - Tahlequah Daily Press - June 29th, 2022
- State Auditor Cindy Byrd wins reelection; other state offices head to runoff - Oklahoman.com - June 29th, 2022
- In the 1980s, My Friends In Texas Said I Was 'Overreacting' - Medium - June 29th, 2022
- Dont Believe the Obits for Bitcoin - The Wall Street Journal - June 29th, 2022
- Kansas GOP governor candidate arrested on felony charge plunges ahead with campaign - Kansas Reflector - June 29th, 2022
- Watters and Gutfeld Throw Down on Drug Legalization - June 22nd, 2022
- Smart Ass Cripple: Libertarian Union-Busting Tactics Target Illinois Health Care Workers - Progressive.org - June 22nd, 2022
- Biden administration wants to take the buzz out of cigarettes - Axios - June 22nd, 2022
- Economics, politics, and the parables of Christ: An interview with Fr. Robert Sirico - Catholic World Report - June 22nd, 2022
- Biden Falls Off the Metaphorical Bike - Reason - June 22nd, 2022
- Upstate political candidate responds to allegations he isn't eligible for office - WYFF4 Greenville - June 22nd, 2022
- 'We Believe in Human Cooperation:' Justin Amash's Vision for the Libertarian Party - Reason - June 20th, 2022
- Shock and Awe - Splice Today - June 20th, 2022
- Out with the old: is neoliberalism really dying? - The New Statesman - June 20th, 2022
- 10 Popular Video Game Debates That Need To Die - WhatCulture - June 20th, 2022
- Objectivism and libertarianism - Wikipedia - June 11th, 2022
- Compatibilism | Issue 62 | Philosophy Now - June 11th, 2022
- Schmidt: Little House connected to Libertarianisms start - June 11th, 2022
- SD Libertarian Party wants to give voters options - KELOLAND.com - June 11th, 2022
- Desperate Argentinians pin their hopes on more capitalism - Reaction - June 11th, 2022
- 34 independent candidates file to run for Congress in New Jersey, most in 30 years - New Jersey Globe | New Jersey Politics - June 11th, 2022
- The map wars - Washington Examiner - June 11th, 2022
- Societies always have been run by the elite class - Monroe Evening News - June 11th, 2022
- Opinion: Reynolds' 'flat tax' is just a ruse to let the rich avoid their civic duty - Iowa City Press-Citizen - June 11th, 2022
- To Understand Elon Musk, You Have to Understand This '60s Sci-Fi Novel - Jacobin magazine - May 31st, 2022
- Summer Activities To Enjoy With Your Libertarian Kid - The Babylon Bee - May 31st, 2022
- Trump Media Company Planning 'TMTG+,' a 'Non-Woke Alternative' to 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' and 'Stranger Things' - Next TV - May 31st, 2022
- Tuttle Twins Controversy: The Case of The Terrible Libertarian Propaganda and The Tuttle Twins and Much More! - pelhamplus.com - May 31st, 2022
- Conservatism, If You Can Keep It - The American Conservative - May 31st, 2022
- Why arent you giving us back our money? reader asks of local governments with ARPA funds - Dayton Daily News - May 31st, 2022
- Libertarian Tim Wilson finally manages to get government out of his life - The Shovel - May 25th, 2022
- Libertarians, Democrats to hold joint town hall in New Albany - Evening News and Tribune - May 21st, 2022
- Letter to the editor: Libertarians are not naive - BayToday.ca - May 21st, 2022
- Election file: Lockdowns abused the rights of Sudburians, Libertarian candidate says - The Sudbury Star - May 21st, 2022
- Al Cross: As primary voters move GOP farther right, will others follow? - Courier Journal - May 21st, 2022
- 'Growing pains' | Northern Kentucky incumbents ousted in legislative primary - WHAS11.com - May 20th, 2022
- Kurl: COVID, conservatism and the downfall of Alberta's Jason Kenney - Ottawa Citizen - May 20th, 2022
- Academic Freedom and the Mission of the University - Reason - May 20th, 2022
- More Crypto Regulation: Thank The Federal Reserve - Seeking Alpha - May 20th, 2022
- In New Hampshire, Libertarians, Budget Cuts, And A Small Town Battle To Save Public Education - Forbes - May 17th, 2022
- A new era at TheWeek.com and a goodbye - The Week - May 17th, 2022
- Indiana Democrats, Libertarians join together for town hall series ahead of November election - WFYI - May 17th, 2022
- As Kendrick Lamar releases new album Mr Morale, revisiting the reflections of social disquietude in rapper's music-Opinion News - Firstpost - May 17th, 2022
- Abortion: Let's look at the arguments pro and con - The Citizen.com - May 17th, 2022
- Election 2022: Who's on the Ballot? - Georgetowner - May 17th, 2022
- Why are liberals trying to water down the racist views of the Buffalo gunman? - Washington Examiner - May 17th, 2022
- The Buffalo shooter was an eco-socialist racist who hated Fox News and Ben Shapiro - Washington Examiner - May 17th, 2022
- Ron Swanson's Best Significant Other On Parks And Recreation Is Obvious To Fans - Looper - May 17th, 2022
- The Pandemic Revealed Americas Deeper Sickness - The Nation - May 17th, 2022
- Letter to the Editor:Important Information for Voters from Common Cause - The Paper - May 17th, 2022
- McMullins is a DC man through and through and won't do what Utah voters need. - Salt Lake Tribune - April 29th, 2022
- The New New Right Was Forged in Greed and White Backlash - The Intercept - April 29th, 2022
- What's Conservative About the New Conservatism? - The Dispatch - April 29th, 2022
- How The Swiss Government Is Helping Bitcoin & Blockchain Technology Grow Up - Forbes - April 29th, 2022
- The power of the independent voter - Denver 7 Colorado News - April 29th, 2022
- As Illinois gears up to vote on workers' rights, unions remember those killed on the job - The State Journal-Register - April 29th, 2022
- Meet the Republican Candidates for State Auditor and Treasurer - Nebraska Public Media | News - April 29th, 2022
- Morgan County Democrats and local candidates join bipartisan effort demanding paper ballots ahead of the 2022 Midterm elections - Morgan County... - April 27th, 2022
- The Anti-Vaxxers Won. This Is Pandemic Country. - The River - The River Newsroom - April 27th, 2022
- Kansas activists opposed to COVID-19 mandates greet legislators with rally at Capitol - Kansas Reflector - April 27th, 2022
- Does Elon Musk really understand the books he claims inspired him? - The Telegraph - April 27th, 2022
- Personal Freedom: Libertarians, the Russia-Ukraine Crisis, and a Crisis of Ideology - Modern Diplomacy - April 20th, 2022
- The libertarian phenomenon towards 2023: strengths and challenges - Zyri - April 20th, 2022
- Will Washington County shift back to its conservative roots? - Portland Tribune - April 20th, 2022
- The risk in a Biden reversal of medical conscience protections - The Week - April 20th, 2022
- What Peter Thiel, J.D. Vance, and Others Are Learning From Curtis Yarvin and the New Right - Vanity Fair - April 20th, 2022
- The Elusive Politics of Elon Musk - The New York Times - April 17th, 2022
- 'The more the merrier': Who looks to unseat Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt in 2022 election? - Oklahoman.com - April 17th, 2022
- Campaign Notebook: Keeping tabs on paper clips and the two Jesse Whites - Shaw Local News Network - April 17th, 2022
- Peter Coy - The Law That Shaped the Internet Presents a Question for Elon Musk - Asharq Al-awsat - English - April 17th, 2022
- "Minx" is a breezy good time reminding the left to reclaim the lost politics of pleasure - Salon - April 17th, 2022
- Opinion | Will Democrats Soon Be Locked Out of Power? - The New York Times - April 17th, 2022
- The Real War in Ukraine and the Culture War in Florida - Reason - April 17th, 2022
- Do Democracy: Remake the Wisconsin Idea - Daily Kos - April 17th, 2022
- Register to vote in the May Primary before the April 25 deadline - Morgan County Citizen - April 17th, 2022
- Why Hawks Fear the Restraint Coalition - The American Conservative - April 17th, 2022
- Guns, guns everywhere: Last weeks subway shooting was horrifying. If the Supreme Court creates a national right to carry, the future will be worse. -... - April 17th, 2022
- Deadline to register to vote in primaries is April 22 - Lenoir News-Topic - April 17th, 2022