Sheriff David Clarke, the well known sheriff of Milwaukee County Wisconsin, has been disinvited from speaking to the University of New Haven on forensics. Sheriff Clarke says he knows why that happened, because he has been such a vocal critic of Black Lives Matter. Why does he believe that 5to be the case? Because that’s the reason the university gave him.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the response from students, alumni, and others who heard about my unfair treatment. A senior at the school, Brian Sharnick, even started a petition demanding that the school bring me in and apologize.”
Here is the statement put out by the university:
The University is aware that some people, including current students and alumni, are upset that Sheriff David Clarke’s invitation to speak at the Markle Symposium was rescinded. As an institution of higher learning, we fully support free speech and value the marketplace of ideas. Unfortunately, circumstances did not permit Sheriff Clarke’s attendance at this year’s symposium, and we respect the resulting divergent reactions among the University community.
That did not please Sheriff Clarke and he posted:
Did you catch that? “Circumstances did not permit” me to come. That’s the kind of shadowy language guilty people use … and believe me, I’ve seen many guilty people over the course of my 38 years of law enforcement.
When the University disinvited me — telling my assistant the reason was because of my stance against #BlackLIESMatter, I was okay with it. I was working this event into an already full schedule. But the cowardly official response from the school is just too much.
Clarke had a personal statement for University President Stephen H Kaplan:
“I understand why you don’t want people to know that a predominantly white college won’t let a black man speak on campus because of your incredible support for minorities. That doesn’t even pass the ‘straight face test.’” He also told the school to “own” its decision rather than saying Clarke was a “victim of circumstances. At least have the courage of your convictions.”
“If you think that the students, faculty, and alumni of your school will believe that ‘circumstances’ conspired to disinvite me — instead of you guys bowing the knee to political correctness — then you really might need to walk over to the forensics department.”
The university just added a new statement in which they now claim he was never really invited in the first place:
We have been following the discussion surrounding Sheriff David Clarke’s invitation to speak at this year’s Markle Symposium.
An invitation was explored but never officially extended. A faculty member began exploratory discussions with Sheriff Clarke. During those conversations, Sheriff Clarke conveyed he would require first-class airfare, a presidential hotel suite, and transportation from the airport in a black SUV. The faculty member engaged in these negotiations told Sheriff Clarke’s assistant on August 3 that we could not meet these requirements. President Steven Kaplan and Dr. Henry C. Lee agree that this was the right thing to do.
The decision to not extend an invitation to Sheriff Clarke was based on these requests, which the University could not accommodate. Should the appropriate occasion arise in the future, we would consider inviting him to campus.
Many students and alumni have joined the conversation on social media expressing their opinions. As always, we will continue to encourage civil discourse and meaningful dialogue around important topics.
“Then why did you initially say that the invitation was rescinded?” Ana Frace commented. “If it was never officially extended, then how did you rescind it? Your choice of words doesn’t make sense. If this is really the case, this statement is what should have been said first, not that an invitation had been given and then taken away.”Chuck Fick wasn’t buying it, either: “Seeing I have personally petitioned and received approval for several thousands of dollars (and it was way more than what Sheriff Clarke was requesting) from different departments across campus just to cover a speaker fee for a person in the sports industry to come speak to students I say this is a cop-out excuse.”