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Biden administration fails to protect civil rights on college campuses


3 minute read

I learned as a child that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Growing up as the grandson of a conservative radio host, freedom is in my DNA. My grandfather, Carl McIntire, was a minister in Collingswood, New Jersey, who hosted a syndicated radio show on over 600 stations in the 1960s. Before the days of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Howard Stern, he had an audience of 20 million, a huge voice for his time. He spoke to the issues of the day and with his following, was not afraid to protest and call things out. And he upset some people in power. To silence him, political pressure was applied to the Federal Communications Commission to use the Fairness Doctrine to strip him of his radio license.

My grandfather wasn’t easily quieted, commissioning an old Navy minesweeper into international waters, off the coast of Cape May, and broadcasting from America’s first pirate radio ship, “Radio Free America.” The New York Times quotes him as proclaiming to his audience, “We’re not lawbreakers. We put our love for the Constitution first, our love for the First Amendment, our love for God, the author of liberty.”

As a 13-year-old, standing on that boat, I’ll never forget watching my grandfather take to the high seas to exercise his freedom of speech. He told me that a person who doesn’t use their freedom to defend their freedom, will ultimately lose their freedom.

However, our blessed freedoms — of religion, speech, assembly, enterprise and conscience — come with a price tag; we might have to live next door to someone with whom we disagree. Tolerance, and the mutual respect of everyone’s freedom, is fundamental to our social contract.

Tragically, what we are witnessing on America’s college campuses today is the opposite of tolerance, and much of it is not protected free speech under the Constitution. Practicing free speech does not mean perpetrating violence against someone because of their race or religion. Practicing free speech does not mean physically blocking Jewish students from entering classrooms and libraries at Columbia, UCLA and other schools. Practicing free speech does not mean shouting “Death to Jews” or “Death to America” or calling for the genocide of any group of people based on their religion or race.

In fact, what’s happening at college campuses across America is an infringement upon the freedoms and civil liberties of Jewish students. Universities are failing to keep Jewish students safe from orchestrated anti-Semitic, pro-Hamas mobs and many Jews are being literally chased off campus.

What’s happening in President Joe Biden’s America is not the America that I know and love. America is a place where all students, no matter their race, religion or sexual orientation, should be able to come to college and learn and argue and be challenged in an open, safe environment. That’s not happening in our country right now, and it’s a national disgrace. In fact, if any other religious or racial group was being singled out like this, US Attorney Merrick Garland would invoke the civil rights act and the federal government would have stepped in. This chaos and lawlessness is the result of an extreme radical ideology that has permeated our culture, as well as the weak leadership of the Biden Administration.

Mike Kelly: Columbia encampments became crucible for anti-Semitism. Universities can’t condone hate

The Biden Administration, the US Department of Education and federal law enforcement must act immediately to restore law and order, prosecute the individuals who are perpetuating these coordinated attacks against Jewish students, and revoke visas of all exchange students promoting terrorism against Jews and America. Moreover, the college administrations’ failure to protect Jewish students from discrimination and harassment are in violation of federal law, and these schools should immediately lose federal funding.

There’s always an appropriate place for peaceful protests and vigorous debate at all colleges and universities, but that freedom of speech comes with the responsibility to respect the rights and safety of all students. When the civil rights of Jewish students — or any groups — are under attack, then the civil rights of all of us are under attack.

As my grandfather showed me at a young age, we need to be prepared to fight to protect our freedoms, and that’s one of the reasons I’m running for the United States Senate. If one of us is not free, then none of us are truly free, and we need to fight for the freedoms of all our fellow Americans. I will do this in the United States Senate.

Curtis Bashaw is a Republican running for the US Senate in New Jersey. He is the owner of Congress Hall and Founder and Managing Partner of Cape Resorts.