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Amid complaints, University of Tennessee deletes tweet supporting free speech

Amid complaints, the University of Tennessee Knoxville last week deleted a tweet that defended the free speech rights of an individual who penned the phrase “White Pride” onto the university’s outdoor “campus message board.”

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the deleted tweet stemmed from a student complaint over the pro-white message, which was posted on the public university’s “Rock,” a boulder that has stood on campus for decades and serves as a sort of de facto free speech wall.

The student, McKinley Merritt, issued her complaint about the “White Pride” message via a tweet to the university, providing a photo of the “White Pride” message and saying it was “not okay.” The university quickly responded with a tweet that appeared to sympathize with Merritt’s complaint while also upholding the right of free speech.

“Hi McKinley, While we sometimes disagree with what appears on the Rock, those who paint it are protected by the First Amendment. We trust that the Volunteer community will take care of this quickly,” the university said in its tweet.

Merritt later posted a screenshot of the university’s response on her Facebook page, asserting the school responded to her concern about the “White Pride” message “with indifference.”

“This is the reason why people continue to feel unsafe in the world. Don’t be indifferent,” she said in her post.

Others chimed in on social media, saying the university’s response was inadequate. The University of Tennessee later deleted its initial tweet.

The university told the News Sentinel that it scrubbed the tweet since “it didn’t convey our position about racism” and added “there’s no place at the University of Tennessee for racism, bigotry and prejudice.”

According to the News Sentinel, there are no rules dedicated solely to the Rock’s content and “messages are generally self-policed by the campus community.”

An article published earlier this month about the iconic campus boulder described it as a “symbol of free speech” that has stood on campus for decades and has included an assortment of various messages.

“Over the years, it’s been used to mourn national tragedies, protest political issues, propose marriage, advertise events on campus and of course, to spread news about UT athletics,” the report explained.

Read the Knoxville News Sentinel article.

MORE: Content restrictions placed on the University of Denver’s free speech wall

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  • david smith
    • ConnieF85

      UT is full of SJW.

  • socialismisevi!




  • WereTurtle

    As an agent of the state, the University of Tennessee is REQUIRED to support free speech. No debate, no exceptions. The constitution doesn’t suggest they do so, it DEMANDS they do so.

    • fistdeyuma

      They get around that by claiming hate speech is not protected. They define anything SJW object to as hate speech.

  • ConnieF85

    UT is going to H*ll. It has gone downhill for twenty years. It will soon be the Mizzou/ Rutgers of the South. This is a damn shame.

  • rogerthatokay

    It’s not only free speech that our “education” system is attacking…
    10/31/17 cato.org
    African Americans (54%), and Latinos (54%) believe it’s more important for colleges to prohibit offensive and biased speech on campus. Only 65% say colleges should expose students to “all types of viewpoints even if they are offensive or biased against certain groups.”

    …most democrats promote the democrat agenda to change America into a borderless EU style social welfare state. Here’s the hard evidence:

    -6/2/11 Gallup poll: 71% of democrats favor re-distributing wealth.

    -7/10/13 http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/07/09/CA-Senate-Passes-Bill-Permitting-Non-Citizen-Poll-Workers: Californian (100% democrat) State Senate passes law that would allow non-citizens to monitor voters when they cast their ballots.

    -5/6/16 gallup.com Poll: Percent having a positive view of socialism: Democrat 58%; Republican 13%.

    -2/5/17 ap.org “The poll found Democrats were nearly three times as likely as Republicans to say that the U.S. should be a country made up of many cultures and values that change as new people arrive, with far more Republicans saying there should be an essential American culture that immigrants adopt.”

    -2/24/17 rasmussenreports.com Only 49% of Democrats favor keeping out of the country those who do not support the Constitution or who in engage in acts of bigotry or hatred for reasons of religion, race, gender or sexual orientation.

    -4/15/16 pewresearch.org 84% of democrats oppose building the southern border wall.

    -Obama commenting on the impact of open borders:
    “Over the long term, I’m pretty optimistic, and the reason is because this country just becomes more and more of a hodgepodge of folks,” Obama told Vox editor Ezra Klein. [video aired on Jan. 23] http://www.vox.com/a/barack

    -12/8/17 breitbart.com Last year Obama pledged to submit to The United Nations’ “Global Compact on Migration” which would administer the “safe, regular and orderly migration” from the third world to wealthy countries in Europe and North America. On the eve of those talks, however, Trump reversed Obama’s decision and pulled U.S. negotiators.

    -5/2/17 http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/05/02/tom-perez-may-day-march-no-human-being-illegal DNC Chairman Perez: ‘No Human Being Is Illegal’ [VIDEO]

    -11/3/17 aol.com: 50% of U.S. Millennials say they would rather live in a socialist or communist country than a capitalist democracy; 22% of them have a favorable view of Karl Marx.

    -12/6/17 wsj.com Americans between 18 and 29 years years old favor socialism over capitalism.

    If modern democrats had lived in 1776 George Washington would have ordered that they be arrested as enemies of the Revolution.

  • Apparently the only race that has thick enough skin to not whine like a bunch of little bitches about every damn thing they see or hear are white folks.

  • P. Douglas

    Any other ‘pride’ os okay? Screw that. Either racism is good or it’s bad. It’s not good for some and bad for others.

  • Bob

    American universities no longer believe in free speech.

  • fistdeyuma

    Sadly the Left seem to believe a lot of very racist things. Such as;. Stand up for yourself is racists; because only white people stand up for themselves. Self control is racists because only white people have self control. Being color blind is racists because only whites want a color blind society. Success by hard work is racist because only whites are capable of working hard to succeed. There are a lot of racist things the left believes but they don’t see them as racist. As someone pointed out. Hate speech is any speech not in support of SJW group think.

    • Tatiana Covington

      All of those supposed traits add up to White superiority.

  • magic1114

    Has there been any comment from rapper Imanenema?

  • azgirl

    If “White Pride” is racist, then so is “Black Pride”, right?

  • Steve G

    Snowflake alert !

  • Kamano1955

    Blacks may not like it but whites ARE proud! Why shouldn’t we be?

    Only when blacks go into detail of the reasons why we shouldn’t be proud do we discover that blacks are racist, bigots and ignorant.