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Jim Gilchrist can’t Paahhk His Caahh in Harhvahd Yahd; Harvard Pulls Minuteman’s Speaking Invitation

In the cradle of the traditional Minuteman, Camrbidge, Mass., the smart folks at Harvard University have uninvited anti-immigration advocate Jim Gilchrist’s invitation to speak at the prestigious Ivy League School.  And the person who led the charge — a migrant workers rights advocate.

Kyle de Beausset, an undergraduate student and migrant advocate, told the Globe that Gilchrist’s removal would allow discussions to move toward policy, rather than animosity.  “It’s a victory for people who are trying to get hate out of the immigration debate,’’ he said. “There’s a difference between having views, and hate speech.’’

Beausset said the arrest of a woman who has ties to the Minuteman Project last June helped drive the protest of Gilchrist’s appearance at Harvard.  The woman, Shawna Ford, and two others, are accused of shooting and killing a father and son, and wounding the mother during a robbery Beausset described as designed to “finance her nativist activism.’’

From the Boston Globe story:

Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, which sends armed civilians to patrol the Mexican border for illegal immigrants crossing into the United States, was scheduled to speak during a public interest and law conference hosted by the Harvard Undergraduate Legal Committee.

Gilchrist was slated to appear on a panel that discussed “Immigration and Its Future in America.’’

But student protests, emboldened since Gilchrist spoke at a Harvard Law School event in February, led to the cancellation of his invitation.

The Undergraduate Legal Committee released a statement that read, “Mr. Gilchrist’s participation in the conference on the behalf of the Minutemen Project was not compatible with providing an environment for civil, educational, and productive discourse on immigration, and we cannot host him at this time.’’

Gilchirst issued a statement on his website, saying: “That future graduates of the most renowned university in the world are literally afraid to support the very cornerstone of the foundation of our nation, namely ‘free speech,’ ought to frighten anyone looking to America as the beacon of liberty, freedom, and justice for all.” 

The Globe reported that Gilchrist was raising funds so he could come to Harvard to speak; guess the anti-immigration movement doesn’t pay so well.