Yesterday morning, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau e-mailed the campus community with regard to the horrendous mass shooting in Arizona that killed a federal judge, a 9-year-old girl, and several others while gravely injuring Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the apparent target of the attack...Dear members of our campus community:
This weekend's shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the deaths and injuries of many others in the horrific event in Tucson, Arizona[,] have shocked our nation. We here at UC Berkeley offer our sincere condolences to everyone who has been personally affected by this tragedy.
Such a brutal and violent attack on an individual who has devoted herself to public service is deeply regrettable. It calls upon us as an academic community to stop and ponder the climate in which such an act can be contemplated, even by a mind that is profoundly disturbed. A climate in which demonization of others goes unchallenged and hateful speech is tolerated can lead to such a tragedy. I believe that it is not a coincidence that this calamity has occurred in a state which has legislated discrimination against undocumented persons. This same mean-spirited xenophobia played a major role in the defeat of the Dream Act by our legislators in Washington, leaving many exceptionally talented and deserving young people, including our own undocumented students, painfully in limbo with regard to their futures in this country.
On our own campus, and throughout all the campuses of the University of California, we must continue to work toward a climate of equity and inclusion for all. We must be vigilant to condemn hate speech and acts of vandalism on our campuses by those wanting to promote enmity. We must work to support dialogue about our differences and eschew expressions of demonization of others...
If demonization of others is unacceptable in the UC system then how can its head get away with demonizing everyone who disagrees with his personal public policy preferences? Chancellor Birgeneau has simply labelled every opinion other than his own as racist? It is disgusting.
Birgeneau is a disgrace, and if he had any sense of morality in his makeup he would step down.