Cal Chancellor Birgeneau's recent press release tying the Arizona shootings to the Dream Act made us cringe a little, here's why:
It felt like he was attempting to exploit a national tragedy for the sake of political posturing about the Dream Act for popularity/publicity sake- and it was not necessary.
He could have said his thoughts were with the victims in Arizona and mentioned that Gabby Giffords voted for the Dream Act and he was grateful for her support, vote. But he didn't. He could have stayed on the topic and discussed mental health services, etc. But he didn't. Birgeneau then could have moved on to talk about a relevant news story like this SF story about a UC student facing deportation -a story that directly relates to the Dream Act. But he didn't. Then, Birgeneau could have more appropriately stated his position as it relates to that issue. But he didn't do that - and it is really too bad. It would have felt less like emotional manipulation- using the tragedy as a tool.
Birgeneau also would be more credible on the Dream Act issue and his statements like: "we must continue to work toward a climate of equity and inclusion for all" if he also directly addressed current demographics on faculty and staff in light of recent and upcoming lay offs, terminations. Where are the numbers on that right now, what is the current state of diversity for faculty and staff at Cal? Why isn't he addressing it directly as Operation Exodus rolls along? Why hasn't this page or this page been updated with current numbers on all race and gender demographics related to workforce diversity? That is the press release he should be distributing regularly and widely. If that info exists - one has to dig pretty hard to find it.
A Cal press release tying the Arizona shooting with the Dream Act today seems ill timed as victims are still in hospital fighting for their lives and the dead have yet to be memorialized or buried.
Make the case - but not in this way.
And, where is Birgeneau's statement on the Gilded 36?- crickets...
(but the subtext of his statement seems to try to link all protests and petitions against UC corruption, waste, fraud, abuse as falsely equivalent to "demonization of others" and "hateful speech"- nice try, but it doesn't fly)
Albert Einstein on Ghandi
"I believe that Gandhi's views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil."
Just found this post on this very issue, its good! please read:
UC Berkeley Chancellor Blames Arizona Shooting on 'Hateful Speech'
only a very small group of folks qualified to form immediate thoughtful conclusions about the tragedy, here is one of them from RFK Jr.
"If the University were a business, it would likely be the largest corporation in California."
"If The University Were A Business, It Would Likely Be The Largest Corporation In California"-Regents Minutes (2010)