Trans Berkeley Student Senator: People’s FEELINGS More Important Than First Amendment Rights


The campus newspaper at the taxpayer-funded University of California, Berkeley has published an op-ed by a student senator declaring that First Amendment rights are “a tactic used by the state” to preserve a “white supremacist, capitalistic and patriarchal” society which has elected “an openly racist, queerphobic, Islamophobic/xenophobic and anti-poverty adminstration[sic].”

The title of the May 1 op-ed in The Daily Californian is: “Campus must prioritize safety of marginalized over free speech.”

Juniperangelica Xiomara Cordova-Goff is the student senator who penned the 811-word jeremiad against free speech.

“Free speech has always been a tactic used by the state to grant the illusion that all voices in this nation are valued, yet there is a reason why Black female senators are discredited and why there is a white supremacist in the Oval Office,” Xiomara Cordova-Goff writes.

“I want to say that I do not feel safe on this campus,” he also declares.

“On the morning students woke up to Sproul Plaza flooded with fully armed police officers last Thursday, I was shocked and traumatized,” the junior says.

The mention of Sproul Plaza is a reference to the latest demonstrations organized by far-left and far-right agitators over a scheduled campus speaker. This time the speaker was going to be Ann Coulter.

Xiomara Cordova-Goff declares that “we cannot let free speech become a tactic that asks oppressed people to tolerate their oppressors in hopes of peaceful compromise.”

He blames the UC Berkeley administration for failing “to understand that this day would be retraumatizing for Black and brown students who are still unpacking a lifetime of state violence.”

“Walking through Sproul reminded me of every bad encounter I’ve had with police,” Xiomara Cordova-Goff writes. “It reminded me off the afternoons I visited my parents in jail.”

“I do not understand how we can fill the streets demanding justice and then magically separate ourselves from the movement to protect conservative voices who want a soapbox and our death certificates,” Xiomara Cordova-Goff also writes. “Am I missing something?”

“I’m not here for free speech. I’m here for Black lives. I’m here for undocumented lives, queer and trans lives, femme lives, incarcerated lives and poor lives. I am here for the lives Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter want dead.”

Xiomara Cordova-Goff then charges that the time has now come for “a decision in terms of liberation.”

“Are we committed to our peer’s [sic] survival, or are we keeping our heads down and continuing the pursuit of a degree? Are we willing to confront our oppressors head on, or do we want to play respectability politics and support university actions that disregard communities?”

Xiomara Cordova-Goff wraps up his 811-word op-ed by disagreeing that “America is great because of our ability to share perspectives and differing opinions.” That’s “bullshit,” he says.

He says he is “scared” because his “life expectancy as a brown trans femme really is only 35 years old.” He cites no source for this statistic.

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In any case, “as long as the University of California refuses to fully dedicate itself to the liberation of the oppressed students on their diversity brochures,” Xiomara Cordova-Goff promises that he “will not rest, will not be silenced, will not put down my lighter fuel.”

Xiomara Cordova-Goff, a transfer student, is majoring in political science and ethnic studies.

The Daily Californian describes him as an organizer at Cal’s Transgender Law Center.

Xiomara Cordova-Goff’s Facebook likes include Black Trans Lives Matter, UC Berkeley’s Chicanx Latinx Task Force, Sonia Sotomayor and, of course, Elizabeth Warren.

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