November 10, 2017
Carol L. Folt
Chancellor of the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dear Chancellor Folt,
We would like to request the immediate cancellation of the UNC College Republicans upcoming event at UNC-Chapel Hill at 6 p.m. on November 13, 2017 with headlining speaker Sebastian Gorka, who is a racist and fascist that formerly served as a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump.
In light of the continued rise in hate crimes against minorities in the United States and the Islamophobic rhetoric of the current administration, we believe that it would be patently irresponsible to allow Mr. Gorka to be given a platform to spew his hateful ideologies and racist viewpoints at a higher educational institution such as UNC-Chapel Hill.
To go forward with this event raises serious concerns in regards to campus safety and we worry that Mr. Gorka’s presence might increase the potential risk for violence from the alt-right or other groups, which we’ve seen in other recent incidents in Charlottesville, VA as only one example of many.
Mr. Gorka’s racist views are well-known and readily available online. In a recent interview with the Breitbart News Daily radio show Mr. Gorka was asked to discuss Muslim related issues as a “real” threat to the United States. He said, “It’s this constant, ‘Oh, it’s the white man. It’s the white supremacists. That’s the problem.’ Go to Sinjar. Go to the Middle East, and tell me what the real problem is today. Go to Manchester.”
The first amendment, in no way, stipulates that an educational institution should risk possible violence to students or others by giving a well-known hatemonger an open platform to further marginalize and ostracize minority members of our communities. Further, even though this is an event organized by members of the student body, it is our hope that you will look towards the precedents that have already been set by educational institutions like UC Berkeley who this past September cancelled the student-organized “Free Speech Week” as it featured Milo Yiannopoulos as its main speaker. Like Gorka, Yiannopoulos engages in hateful rhetoric and holds racist viewpoints that have no place in America.
We ask you to withdraw the invitation to Sebastian Gorka for the UNC-Chapel Hill event on November 13, 2017. We ask your educational institution to show support for minorities and to quiet those voices that seek to sow hatred and discord amongst us all.
It is a privilege for anyone to speak at UNC-Chapel Hill and Sebastian Gorka does not deserve such an opportunity to further spread his message of hate.
Faisal R. Khan
Director, Carolina Peace Center
Other Concerned Citizens of North Carolina
Congressman Price Press Release
Washington, DC – This afternoon, Congressman David Price (NC-04) announced that he will host Faisal Khan, a Muslim-American peace activist from Morrisville, at this evening’s address by President Trump to a Joint Session of Congress. Mr. Khan has been a tireless advocate for immigrants and refugees in the Triangle. He has led interfaith dialogue between leaders of diverse communities of faith, work for which he was awarded CAIR’s 2007 Courage Award. Mr. Khan also founded the Carolina Peace Center to advocate for tolerance in North Carolina, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Peace with Justice, an organization that promotes a just and sustainable peace between Israel and Palestine.
“I am pleased to welcome Faisal to Washington,” said Congressman Price. “I have been honored to work closely with him on behalf of refugee and immigrant families in the Fourth District, and I have long admired his advocacy for tolerance and peace. In the face of the President’s continuing attacks on immigrants and refugees, I am particularly pleased to welcome Faisal Khan, a courageous voice for our national values of acceptance and equality.”