One Wisconsin Now
Press Release

New Republican ‘Safe Spaces for Racists’ Legislation Threatens Students With Expulsion for Declaring Hate Speech Not Welcome on Campuses

U.S. Senate Hopeful Leah Vukmir Out to Prove She Can Make a Bad Idea Even Worse

By - May 3rd, 2017 11:01 am

MADISON, Wis. — Republican efforts to create “safe spaces” for conservative provocateurs to promote racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic ideologies on university campuses hit a new low today with a bill authored by State Sen. Leah Vukmir. According to the provisions of the proposal unveiled today, students could be expelled from a state university or technical college for organizing a protest to “dissuade” speakers from appearing on campuses. Administrators would also be prohibited from speaking out to support or oppose public policies that affect the University of Wisconsin System or state technical colleges.

“Leah Vukmir is apparently trying to prove that she can take a bad idea and make it even worse,” commented Scot Ross, Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now. “This scheme literally threatens students with expulsion from school for publicly declaring racism has no place on campuses and gags administrators from advocating for their schools.”

Among the egregious provisions of the bill is the requirement that, “No person may threaten an invited speaker or threaten to organize protests or riots or to incite violence with the purpose to dissuade or intimidate an invited speaker from attending a campus event.” The language is so broad that it could even cover student social media posts or attempts to persuade that are clearly protected by the First Amendment.

The bill further declares that, “… administrators must remain neutral on public policy controversies.” Controversies regarding the university in recent years have included state funding, campus sexual assault, and campus speech.

For violators of the provisions, the bill mandates that the Board of Regents overseeing the University of Wisconsin and Technical College System Board impose a disciplinary process that includes suspensions or expulsion for students and pay cuts or termination for administrators.

An earlier proposal being circulated for legislative sponsorship by Rep. Jesse Kremer along with Speaker Robin Vos, Rep Dave Murphy and Sen. Sheila Harsdorf could expel students who exercise their First Amendment rights to criticize racists, sexists and homophobic provocateurs brought on campuses. In addition, the bill could restrict faculty from doing research and discussing research on public policy issues facing the state and the nation.

In a radio appearance the primary author of the bill, Rep. Kremer, agreed with critics that his proposal, originating from a right wing think tank in Arizona, is likely unconstitutional.

Ross concluded, “Banning students from using their First Amendment rights to create safe spaces for racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia on campuses is flat out unconstitutional. It should be the legislators promoting these ridiculous bills who are threatened with expulsion.”

Charles Murray Stay Home! Racism is Not Weclom Here!

Charles Murray Stay Home! Racism is Not Weclom Here!

Under the bill, this sign could get you expelled.

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

Mentioned in This Press Release


Recent Press Releases by One Wisconsin Now

Dan Kelly’s Opinion: It’s OK to Lie in Judicial Campaigns

State Supreme Court Candidate Co-Authored Column Opposing Efforts to Clean Up Court Campaigns

Campaign Cash Keeps Flowing to WILL’s Shill Dan Kelly

Over $14,000 from Board Members of Right-Wing Legal Group to State Court Justice’s Campaign

Right-Wing Group That Wants to Criminalize Abortion Backs Dan Kelly State Supreme Court Campaign

Dan Kelly Supporters Want Court Action to Allow Enforcement of Abortion Ban Dating to 19th Century

24 thoughts on “New Republican ‘Safe Spaces for Racists’ Legislation Threatens Students With Expulsion for Declaring Hate Speech Not Welcome on Campuses”

  1. AG says:

    Threatening others or taking part in acts of violence are not free speech.

  2. Vincent Hanna says:

    Neither is telling a college what they can and can’t comment about or expelling a student for organizing a protest or restricting faculty from doing research. Kremer himself said it’s too vague. The legislation is idiotic.

  3. Daniel says:

    The bill prohibits “threaten[ing] to organize protests.” It is an open and shut First Amendment violation.

  4. Huck L. Berry says:

    Except, the typically racist Liberal student doesn’t just protest — instead they incite violence, try to destroy a person’s livelihood, attempt to doxx and shame their fellow citizens, and then turn around and act victimized when they’re called out on their bad behavior. If SJW muppets kept their anti-white, anti-conservative, anti-black conservative, anti-latino conservative, anti-Asian conservative, anti-police, anti-Christian, and anti-American open-border hate speech off of college campuses, Republicans wouldn’t feel the need to draft defensive bills like this. It’s really that simple.

  5. Vincent Hanna says:

    The average liberal student does not incite violence and destroy people’s lives. Where does someone get that crap? Breitbart? Conservatives like Milo and Chuck Johnson are the ones who doxx people and ruin lives. And no campus in the state is being plagued by all that hate speech you mention. That is utter nonsense, as is your defense of this bill. They teach you in kindergarten that two wrongs don’t make a right.

  6. Penrod says:

    #5: “The average liberal student does not incite violence and destroy people’s lives.”

    Straw Man.

    While it looks like there are serious flaws in the bill, there most certainly is a serious problem around the country of so-called liberals/progressives attacking those they disagree with. Berkeley, Missouri State, Middlebury…

    If the feds started vigorously enforcing “18 U.S. Code § 241 – Conspiracy against rights” this issue would not exist. “If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same…

    They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section…they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.”

    Riot and commit arson to stop students from hearing Charles Murray or Anne Coulter, or Bernie Sanders, or Angela Davis: Ten years in federal penitentiary.

    The odd thing is that the conservative students don’t riot.


  7. Vincent Hanna says:

    Penrod it’s asinine and false to claim that the average liberal student is inciting violence and destroying people’s lives. That distracts from a serious discussion of this legislation. Rioting and arson are serious crimes and most definitely should be prosecuted as such.

  8. Vincent Hanna says:

    What about the free speech rights of the protester convicted for laughing at Sessions hearing? I’m sure everyone is outraged by that.

  9. Vincent Hanna says:

    Also conservatives scream about allowing Coulter and Milo and their ilk to say whatever they want wherever they want, but demand Stephen Colbert be fired because of a joke he told on his show.

  10. AG says:

    So the language of the bill definitely needs work, but the goals and sentiment of the law are needed, based on what is happening across the country. It doesn’t matter if you believe the average liberal student is inciting violence or intimidating speakers to the point where their safety is considered threatened enough to shut down an event, because it’s happening enough to force this legislation.

    Vincent, Desiree Ali-Fairooz and her companions were already disrupting the confirmation hearing and after two others were already arrested for their disruptions (and she was warned) she continued to disrupt it by “laughing.” She has a long history of interrupting and disrupting all sorts of things. They’ve published pictures of her getting in Condoleezza’s face and shouting at her with “bloody” hands. This woman makes it a point to disrupt politicians and government… she was just up to her regular shenanigans at the Sessions confirmation and is no martyr.

  11. Vincent Hanna says:

    I don’t believe it because it isn’t true. I’m on a campus daily so I have a firsthand seat to all this. So how should the legislation read then AG? How would you write it?

    I know all the details and know her history. The fact is she was arrested and convicted for laughing. That is absurd. There’s a lot of hypocrisy on this issue.

  12. Huck L. Berry says:

    Today’s liberals emulate yesterday’s fascists. Yesterday’s liberals are today’s libertarians. Currently, most “liberal” students are anti-American hate mongers, determined to provoke a response from the other side. This bill is a form of that response.

    #5 “And no campus in the state is being plagued by all that hate speech you mention.”

    That’s completely false. Every university staffed with “liberal” professors is plagued by hate speech. Modern liberalism turns students into violent, racist hypocrits.

    Never been to Breitbart. No clue who Chuck Johnson is. Milo is right more often than he is wrong.

    #9 “Also conservatives scream about allowing Coulter and Milo and their ilk to say whatever they want wherever they want, but demand Stephen Colbert be fired because of a joke he told on his show.”

    So what you’re saying is, homophobic jokes are okay as long as they’re told by liberal, white, hetero, CIS gender males? I thought it was perfectly natural to be gay though, so why are liberal’s using homosexual acts as a form of insult? Hypocrits.

    Please point me to comments made by either Coulter or Milo that state President Obama uses his mouth to holster another man’s cock — a foreign leader’s cock at that. You can probably find statements made — err, I mean “jokes” — about Bathhouse Barry bowing before his Muslim brothers, but that of course actually happened.

  13. Huck L. Berry says:

    #11 “I don’t believe it because it isn’t true. I’m on a campus daily so I have a firsthand seat to all this.”

    Your anectdotal experience is invalidated by fact.

  14. Huck L. Berry says:


  15. Vincent Hanna says:

    I am waiting for your evidence Huck. Feel free to share some facts. You clearly need to do some research before spouting off as you are unfamiliar with how conservatives like Milo and Chuck Johnson have doxxed people and intentionally attempted to ruin lives.

    There is not rampant anti-Americanism on college campuses. That is just completely untrue. You have no evidence to support that.

    I said there’s plenty of hypocrisy to go around, and there is. Calling for Colbert to be fired for a joke (even a bad one) while screaming about allowing Coulter to say whatever she wants wherever she wants is hypocrisy.

  16. Huck L. Berry says:

    I’m on campus daily; you’re just out of touch with what modern liberalism actually represents. Liberal professors are anti-American, and their race baiting, American hating ideology is rampant on college campuses. Modern liberalism is civilization’s scourge.

    Milo himself was doxxed by SJWs. Conservative groups that try to have him speak on campus are doxxed. So whom did Milo allegedly doxx? Was it him or one of his followers? Be specific, you’re the one making the claim.

    If a white, hetero, conservative, Christian, made Colbert’s joke in reference to Obama, people like you would act offended and call for his head. So where’s the outrage from the left on this? Are homophobic insults okay if you just call it a joke? Or when they’re directed at the Right?

    Coulter says stupid stuff all the time. Please direct me to her comments suggesting Obama sucks off foreign leaders — or where she’s tried to ursurp somebody’s right to free speech through violent protest. Liberals are the language police. If they stopped trying to silence conservatives, there wouldn’t be a need for bills like this.

  17. AG says:

    Vincent, you know her background and history and yet you still believe it was just because she laughed that she was removed and arrested? How is that even possible?

    Regarding the language, it needs adjusting so it can’t be interpreted to mean that anyone organizing a protest. Needs to be clear that it is aimed at protests specifically meant to intimidate or threaten harm. Although I wonder how hard that would be to prove… unless it’s specifically stated in social media or emails, etc.

  18. Vincent Hanna says:

    I work at UWM and am on campus daily as well. I am hardly out of touch as I live it every day. I know tons of professors and not a single one is anti-American. That’s a really stupid claim to make.

    I would not be offended. I am not offended by bad jokes. You are making overly broad generalizations (all liberals this and all liberals that) that have no basis in reality.

  19. Vincent Hanna says:

    Milo openly and vilely harassed a student at UWM when he spoke here last year. Here is what Chuck Johnson did:

    And this recent story: “A group of diehard Donald Trump supporters are seeking to intimidate members of the press they deem unfavorable toward the Republican presidential nominee with an orchestrated plan to troll and harass them at their private homes.”

  20. Vincent Hanna says:

    You cannot claim to be a free speech advocate while defending the arrest and conviction of a person for laughing. That isn’t possible.

    I wonder the same thing and it’s why legislation is not the answer.

  21. Vincent Hanna says:

    Joe Wilson should have been arrested for shouting “You lie” at President Obama during the State of the Union.

  22. AG says:

    Vincent, she wasn’t convicted for laughing. She was convicted for her actions after they asked her to leave. You need to get out of your bubble.

  23. Vincent Hanna says:

    The status quo defender telling someone else to get out of their bubble is more irony that I can handle.

    “Several of the jurors indicated they disagreed with the decision of Capitol Police Officer Katherine Coronado to take her into custody because of the laugh.

    “We did not agree that she should have been removed for laughing,” the jury foreperson stated. Some jurors indicated they believed Coronado made a mistake.

    “The officer, she was a rookie officer, and I think it was her first time involved in an arrest,” another juror stated. “Make of that what you will.”

    The jurors indicated they felt they had to convict Fairooz because of the way the laws are written, with yet another juror describing them as “so broad.”

    At least three jurors said it was fair to say they felt forced into convicting her. “There’s almost no way that you can find them not guilty,” one said.

    “There’s not a lot of wiggle room,” said the jury foreperson.”

  24. AG says:

    Nice parsing of the fact… you left a few things out though.

    “Jury Convicts Woman Who Laughed At Jeff Sessions During Senate Hearing
    But jurors say it’s not about her laugh, it’s about her post-laughter conduct.”

    “She did not get convicted for laughing. It was her actions as she was being asked to leave,” the jury foreperson said”

    In a previous court filing, prosecutors said Fairooz “let out aloud [sic] burst of laughter, followed by a second burst of laughter” in response to Shelby’s comments. They said she grew “loud and more disruptive” when officers “attempted to quietly escort” her from the room. Fairooz, the government alleged, “created a scene after scoffing at Senator Shelby’s comments and then yelling that Senator Sessions’ voting record was ‘evil,’ while simultaneously waving a sign that read: ‘support civil right stop sessions.’”

    “If Fairooz hadn’t said anything on her way out, several jurors said, there would have been a different verdict.

    “Ms. Fairooz’s comments as she was being escorted out caused the session to stop,” the jury foreperson said. “It disrupted the session.”

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us