DePaul University -- the largest Catholic institution of higher learning in the United States -- has prohibited a group of pro-life students from using posters reading “Unborn Lives Matter” because they might enrage the leftist Black Lives Matter movement. Writing to the College Republicans on campus, DePaul University president Rev. Dennis Holtschneider wrote a letter
saying that the posters exemplified “bigotry” veiled “under the cover of free speech.”
The priest wrote, “By our nature, we are committed to developing arguments and exploring important issues that can be steeped in controversy and, oftentimes, emotion.” Rev. Holtschneider added, “Yet there will be times when some forms of speech challenge our grounding in Catholic and Vincentian values. When that happens, you will see us refuse to allow members of our community be subjected to bigotry that occurs under the cover of free speech.” Rev. Holtschneider is a member an order of Catholic priests that traces itself to St. Vincent DePaul, a French priest of the 1700s who was notable for his charity.
"In fact, you have seen this in past months, as we have declined to host a proposed speaker and asked students to redesign a banner that provokes the Black Lives Matter movement," Rev. Holtschneider wrote. Following up with this veiled reference to the proposed "Unborn Lives Matter" poster, he argued against the idea that the prohibition is a stance that “unfairly silences speech to appease a crowd." He claimed that "it's not difficult to agree that there is a difference between a thoughtful discussion about immigration and a profane remark about Mexicans scrawled in the Quad; or between a panel on racial climate and a noose — a powerful symbol of violence and hatred — outside a residence hall." He was referring to a graffito that was scrawled on campus that read “F--k Mexico.”
Rev. Holtschneider, ostensibly basing himself on the university’s Guiding Principles on Speech and Expression, said the poster “provokes the Black Lives Matter movement” and thus should be redesigned. This is not the first time that the Chicago institution has shut down speech that opposes Democrats, progressives, and leftists. In August, the local branch of Young Americans for Freedom was prohibited from inviting Daily Wire editor Ben Shapiro to speak on campus. The university cited security concerns. Earlier this year, protesters stormed the stage to shut down a speech by controversialist Milo Yiannopoulos of Breitbart News. He was told he could not return to DePaul for a follow-up performance in June. Rev. Holtschneider opined that Yiannopoulos is a “self-serving provocateur”and “unworthy” of a university appearance.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.