Letters 1/28: On CU’s visiting scholar, and more

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On CU’s visiting scholar

CU Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano cited the First Amendment in his reasoning for not firing John Eastman, the visiting professor who spoke at the rally-turned-violent mob at the Capitol on Jan. 6. 

DiStefano’s argument is gravely flawed in a number of ways, the most obvious being that the First Amendment does not protect against speech that incites violence. Eastman was not speaking to something ideological like economic policy, but rather of a dangerous conspiracy theory of election fraud, dismissed by over 60 judges, to a mob that was already armed with assault rifles. Just like you cannot yell “fire” in a crowded room, you cannot scream “fraud” to a mob of white supremacists. He even sat in on a meeting with Trump, pushing Vice President Pence to overturn Biden’s win. Any credible policy professor should know that the November election was free, fair and democratic, and to say otherwise when no proof has been provided, is to take part in an attempt to overthrow our democracy. The manifestation of that attempt played out in the malicious breaching of our country’s Capitol, an event we now know was intended to end in the assassination of some lawmakers, and in fact did lead to the deaths of five people. 

The facts are clear and simple. John Eastman helped to create an environment that enabled a violent mob to engage in extreme violence at the Capitol and he should be dismissed from CU Boulder by the Chancellor and the Board of Regents at once. Cancelling his classes due to low enrollment does nothing to counter his irresponsible and harmful actions. To let him remain until his term is up in May is to reveal the true character of the university, which is one of cowardice in times of a serious threat to our democracy. 

Sana Sethi/via internet

On cultured meat

Joe Biden’s pick for the next head of the Food and Drug Administration should do everything in his or her power to help the nascent cultured-meat industry. For those who aren’t aware, cultured meat is grown from cells, without slaughtering animals. The FDA will share responsibility for regulating cultured meat with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Singapore recently became the first country in the world to approve the sale of this ground-breaking protein. Hopefully, America will soon follow suit. There is so much to be gained from the widespread adoption of cultured meat. It will benefit human health, the environment and animal welfare. The next head of the FDA should assist the development of this important industry.

Jon Hochschartner/via internet