Republicans frequently cite the Constitution as their lodestar, but what about that pesky First Amendment? The one about freedom of speech? They don’t seem as attached to that one, as evidenced by the recent attack on UNC professor Gene Nichol.
Nichol’s poverty center received no funding from UNC or the state, so why was it even reviewed? The $120,000 budget for the center is the cost for one staffer of our new Speaker of the House, and those private funds will now be lost to the university.
Some have made the argument that this was not a personal attack and that everyone knows closing the center will not silence Nichol. Perhaps, but others may be intimidated into silence knowing their job might be next. This was a witch hunt, pure and simple. The legislature has populated the board with people who share its views, and now they are targeting people who don’t share those views.
If there are really specific items where the center “failed its review,” as panel member Doyle Parrish claimed, then document them publicly. Otherwise, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I think it’s a duck.