Is NC media whitewashing radical demands of black UNC Students?

By Dallas Woodhouse

Raleigh, NC – Triangle-based media outlets have been extensively reporting various issues surrounding Nikole Hannah-Jones declining to accept an offer of employment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Several media outlets are reporting on UNC-Chapel Hill black student leaders and organizations’ demands from campus administrators.

On July 7, the News and Observer’s Kate Murphy reported:

“UNC-Chapel Hill student leaders are again asking the university to make the campus safer for Black students, with eight specific actions that can be implemented for the fall semester.”

“Members of the Black Student Movement announced their top priorities at a press conference at the Sonja Haynes Center for Black Culture and History last week. The demands are focused on safety and equity,” according to the newspaper report.

The report listed some of the demands as:

  • Incorporate the student-generated anti-racist alerts into the Carolina Alert system to notify students.
  • Terminate the employment of acting police chief Rahsheem Holland, who forcefully shoved Black students out of a recent UNC Board of Trustees meeting.
  • Use a metric-driven recruitment strategy for Black faculty and reinstatement of VITAE program for more diverse hires.
  • Publish equity scorecards for university departments that show data on student enrollment, discrimination complaints, and why Black employees are leaving.
  • Create a permanent memorial for James Cates, a 22-year-old Black student who was killed on campus in 1970.

WRAL also reported on the list of demands but left out the one that would revive one of UNC’s most troubling policies. It would threaten to eviscerate academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Same for CBS-17.

Ditto WTVD on July 7, 2021.

Same for the AP.

In the previous day’s article (“How Nikole Hannah-Jones and UNC’s Black community say school can begin to fix things,” July 6), the News and Observer reported:

“The UNC Black Student Movement sent a list of 54 demands to Gene Davis, vice-chair of UNC-CH Board of Trustees, and to UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. Davis agreed to meet with student leaders about actions the board can take.”

The original posting of the piece did include a link to those demands, but the text of the original article appears to have left out the most shocking part.

A later version of the article did include the following demand by UNC black student leaders.

UNC to bar white supremacist groups and speakers from campus

However, the actual demand text is more shocking:

No Agents Of White Supremacy On Campus

Purpose:

To protect Black students from hateful White Supremacist rhetoric and actions on our campus and improve the review process for receiving permits to speak at the university.

■ UNC College Republicans bringing Corey Lewandowski a notable white supremacist and Donald Trump’s campaign manager.

Pro-life Group fall 2019 that specifically targetted [sic] Black women

■ Both theses [sic] groups obtained university permits

We note that members of the Black Student Movement specifically attended the speech given by Lewandowski, former Trump campaign manager, for the purpose of walking out. However, the desire of the group was to disrupt Lewandowski from speaking, according to UNC-Chapel Hill’s student newspaper.

“BSM President Chris Suggs said the group planned its protest as a silent walkout because of action taken by the General Assembly and the UNC System in 2017 to prevent protesters from disrupting speakers on campus.”

“When UNC College Republicans invited Lewandowski to come and speak, they clearly undermined the values that this university represents and disregarded communities and students of color,” Julia Clark, co-chairperson of BSM’s Political Action Committee, said in a statement reported in the Daily Tar Heel.

In an exclusive interview with Carolina Journal, Lewandowski, who is currently assisting with the former president’s political operations, said:

“It’s amazing to me that the left would try and silence voices at institutions of higher learning. As a two-time New York Times best-selling author and someone who has spoken at Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, and a number of other Ivy League institutions where they welcome the free flow of ideas, it’s sad to see UNC caving to the woke left.  By canceling people with different thoughts on college campuses, we are indoctrinating children with radical ideas that will only teach hate and perpetuate divisiveness across this country.”

According to dictionary.com, a white supremacist  “is a person who believes that white people constitute a superior race and should therefore dominate society, typically to the exclusion or detriment of other racial and ethnic groups, in particular black or Jewish people.”

There is no evidence Lewandowski has ever expressed such a belief and declaring someone a “white supremacist,” is arguably libelous.

Media archives record no history of pro-life speakers doing anything to black students. However, there have been several arrests for violence AGAINST pro-life students.

So a prominent UNC-Chapel Hill student group, one that is being featured all throughout North Carolina’s media landscape, has a formal demand to reinstate the reviled UNC Speaker Ban.

Frank Wilkinson (left) speaks to UNC students gathered on Franklin Street.
Photo by Charles Cooper. Durham Herald Co. Newspaper Photograph Collection, North Carolina Collection Photo Archives, Wilson Library.

On June 26, 1963, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the Act to Regulate Visiting Speakers, later known as the Speaker Ban Law. The law forbade anyone to speak on a University of North Carolina campus who was a known member of the Communist Party, or who was known to advocate overthrow of the United States Constitution, or who had invoked the Fifth Amendment in respect of communist or “subversive” connections.

The ban rocked North Carolina. It was so controversial across the state and the academic world that UNC-Chapel Hill continues to have a special section in its university history and archives chronicling this shocking episode.  The official State Archives of North Carolina also have a dedication to the incident.

According to UNC:

“Civil rights demonstrations rocked the South in the spring of 1963. North Carolina was no exception as demonstrations sprang up throughout the state. In Raleigh, demonstrators picketed many segregated establishments including the Sir Walter Hotel, where many state legislators stayed during the legislative session. On June 25, 1963, the North Carolina General Assembly passed ‘An Act to Regulate Visiting Speakers at State Supported Colleges and Universities,’ otherwise known as the Speaker Ban Law.”

The John Locke Foundation’s North Carolina History Project online encyclopedia states:

“State legislators appropriated funds for UNC yet worried about the alleged radicalism of the University. Meanwhile, civil-rights demonstrators in Raleigh protested segregation in such establishments as the Sir Walter Hotel, where many solons roomed during the legislative session. Some legislators were not disposed to make distinctions between civil-rights demonstrators and Communist agitators. In this context, the Speaker Ban was passed on June 25, 1963, without significant legislative debate.”

The encyclopedia entry added:

“Another inadvertent target of the Speaker Ban was the playwright Arthur Miller. A professor at UNC-Chapel Hill decided not to invite Miller to speak about his play ‘The Crucible,’ based on a mistaken belief that Miller had taken the Fifth Amendment about Communism. Miller had been a recalcitrant witness before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), but he had not taken the Fifth.”

It’s ironic that black students would want a speaker ban re-established because:

“In 1965, the NAACP chapter on the Chapel Hill campus wanted to invite Carl Braden.  It was far from clear that Braden came within the terms of the Speaker Ban, but the UNC-Chapel Hill administration got a decision from the state Attorney General’s office that the Speaker Ban applied to Braden.

“Banning certain speakers from campus based on the content of their speech, which is listed among the students’ demands, is equivalent to bringing back the infamous Speaker Ban. Debate, inquiry, and discourse are essential for higher education and for a functioning democracy,” said Jenna Robinson, president of the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

Another UNC-Chapel Hill Black Student Movement demand is:

“To include anti-racist alerts in the Alert Carolina system with the goal of increasing safety on campus for Black students ahead of what will likely be a tense year for our community. To prioritize transparency with students ahead of a dated and untrue image of campus as a utopia of diversity.

Students should not have to sign up for a new service in order to hear when dangerous white supremacists are on campus.”

So now we have students wanting to ban pro-life speakers and Republican/conservative-oriented speakers. They also want the power to declare anybody they see fit as a racist or white supremacist and broadcast the names of those people across the media, email, and cell phones at will, with a touch of a button.

Might there be a story here?