The President of the University of Nevada, Reno had this to say about not taking action against a student who marched with far right-wing hate groups in Charlottesville last weekend. Despite a call from some that action be taken against the student by the University, the University President, Marc Johnson had this to say,
“What he did was to go to Charlottesville, participate in a rally: which is under the constitutional right to assembly. And he spoke out, which is his right to free speech.” “The university does not necessarily — well, we definitely do not — support the content of his message,” Johnson said. “But we have no constitutional or legal right to fire him from his job or expel him from the university.”
The article in the Reno Gazette-Journal in which Johnson is quoted also references the ACLU’s defense of the student’s first amendment rights.
“Officials from UNR and the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada referenced the First Amendment in defending Peter Cytanovic, a 20-year-old history and political science major.”
Cytanovic’s beliefs are odious but he does have a right to speak his beliefs and the right to speech needs to be understood and defended. Thanks Marc Johnson and thanks to the ACLU for upholding the Constitution!