PC, racism and Cal Poly

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on August 12, 2003

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has posted a transcript of the kangaroo court proceedings against Cal Poly student Steve Hinkle. [Adobe Acrobat Reader required. HTML highlights here.]

For those of you unfamiliar with the case, Hinkle walked into Cal Poly's multicultural center to post a flyer advertising a speech by conservative Mason Weaver. Some students were offended by the poster and challenged Hinkle. Hinkle offered to discuss the flyer with the offended students, but instead of having a discussion, the offended students decided to call the cops. When it became apparent that the offended students were infringing on Hinkle's First Amendment rights, the campus administration decided to "get" Hinkle by accusing him of "disrupting" a meeting.

The hearing officer's report [Acrobat Reader Required] largely ignores the facts of the case, namely that Hinkle was never told that there was a "meeting" going on that he was disrupting and that all of the contemporaneous statements were that the flyer's content was what was offensive.

For the intellectually challenged administrators at my alma mater, here is the test: If the flyer Hinkle had been posting had been for a free ice-cream social, would there have been any judicial action against Hinkle?

From reading the full transcript (all 125 pages), the answer to that question is obviously no. The entire incident was prompted by the content of Hinkle's flyer.

Cal Poly President Warren Baker, you'd be wise to show some leadership, dismiss the charges against Hinkle immediately and apologize to him. Until that happens, don't expect any donations from me.


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August 2003



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