Some students at Cleveland State University were upset when its President Ronald Berkman failed to wholeheartedly condemn an offensive poster that encouraged homosexuals to commit suicide. Instead, he released a statement defending free speech.
Last Thursday, a flier with a silhouette hanging from a noose was found posted to a campus building. The poster listed suicide statistics for the homosexual community and encouraged, “Follow your fellow faggots” and stated, “Fascist solutions.” It’s not known who posted the flier.
President Berkman further angered the triggered students when in his statement about the flier, he emphasized the school’s commitment to free speech:
CSU also is committed to upholding the First Amendment, even with regard to controversial issues where opinion is divided.
By Tuesday, Berkman was forced to release an additional statement clarifying that he didn’t actually support the message of the poster, and invited students to an open discussion:
Dear CSU community, please join me for an open meeting tomorrow to discuss a recent incident involving an anti-LGBTQ+ poster on campus. pic.twitter.com/ae1u7wBty3— Ronald M. Berkman (@PresBerkman) October 17, 2017
At the forum, which took place Wednesday evening, several students confronted Berkman, telling him they felt like the flier was a “death threat” and claimed:
"The impact that was made especially toward black and queer students on this campus how a lot of us feel unsafe and how you handled the situation you could have handled it a lot better.”
Students protested outside the forum, holding signs that read, “Freedom of speech doesn’t apply to hate speech.” Others left angrily, cursing the president as they stormed out.
Berkman apologized to students and said, “You designate a group to meet with the chief diversity officer and vice president of student affairs and you tell us what it is we need to do for you to feel comfortable and safe on campus.”
Unfortunately, that means erasing any viewpoints that aren’t theirs.
H/T Fox News