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  • wait.

  • Hello again and welcome back to freedom matters.

  • I'm your host, Mark McIntyre, at a meeting regular meeting of the board of trustees for Santa Barbara City College, January 24th 2000 and 19.

  • My guest today, former English professor Celeste Barbara faced a hostile crowd when she bravely trying to reinstate the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag to open all of the Board of Trustees meetings.

  • The official trustee video that you're about to see shows what happened to Professor Barber as she began reciting the pledge herself during the public comment section of the meeting.

  • The screams, the shouts of mocking derision and the stopping a feat that you will hear in the background of this video came from faculty, staff and students demonstrators in an orchestrated attempt to disrupt the business of the college.

  • At that meeting, the video ladies and gentlemen, last about seven minutes.

  • Please stay with it, especially at the end.

  • You will be very happy you did after the video.

  • I'll be happy to formally introduce my friend and my guest Professor Celeste.

  • Barbara.

  • Okay.

  • Please roll the video.

  • I am here to speak against the board President's decision to discontinue the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

  • A trustee's public meetings At my request, the trustees reinstated the pledge last summer.

  • I am asking that board President Miller rescind his decision.

  • First, you are an elected bodies serving at a public institution.

  • Ah, community college.

  • When you recite the Pledge of Allegiance, you are You're right.

  • May I continue?

  • Let's please allow the speaker to continue at my request, the trustees reinstated the pledge last summer.

  • I am.

  • Please stop the class.

  • Please stop the clock until I can speak.

  • Sir, at my request, the trustees reinstated the pledge last summer.

  • I am asking that board President Miller rescind his decision first, you aren't elected bodies serving at a public institution, a community college.

  • When you recite the Pledge of Allegiance, you are recommitting your oath to uphold and defend our country's constitution.

  • No, For the record, I want the record to, uh, state that I am being interrupted.

  • I am not being permitted to speak.

  • I would ask that everybody, please allow each speaker toe.

  • Have their say.

  • Please continue.

  • When you recite the Pledge of Allegiance, you are recommitting your oath to uphold and defend our country's constitution.

  • Secondly, no slayers.

  • May I continue?

  • Please continue.

  • Secondly, no one is compelled to recite the pledge, nor they forced to stand here when those words air recited by the body.

  • I have never chastised anyone for that.

  • Nor have I witnessed anyone else do so for that matter.

  • I don't like it, but that's one's constitutional right, isn't it?

  • Point of order.

  • Please allow the speaker to continue.

  • No, Trustee Miller.

  • I'm making you first.

  • Excuse them, Miss.

  • I'm sorry, Trust.

  • Learn to concentrate on water speakers saying I move that until order could be established that this meeting be adjourned.

  • Think disorder.

  • Second, every meeting.

  • We're gonna be here.

  • Trista Miller.

  • We can just re Sosa's well for a couple minutes.

  • Any discussion about the motion trusting Miller?

  • Another option would be to clear the room and allow only the media to stay.

  • Look, that's addressed.

  • Emotion is already your disruptive discussion on the motion.

  • You working Dusty Miller?

  • I rest trust.

  • Guess perhaps we recess for a few minutes and perhaps come back.

  • I would like to see.

  • I'd like to see I'd like to see if we can get through, uh, some more speakers before we have to, er recess.

  • But I would I would just speak in opposition to a journey.

  • I don't think we need to adjourn.

  • As I said earlier, I wanted to get through everybody's comments, and I'm asking for everybody in the audience to help us to help us do that.

  • Is there any other discussion about the motion?

  • All those in filler?

  • All right, all those opposed?

  • No, no, no.

  • Okay, I would just like to state that I'm not saying anything inflammatory.

  • By the same token, in removing the pledge from the agenda, this board is denying me and others our right to speak aloud and collectively, those profound words, I pledge allegiance.

  • Each of us has our personal reasons for cherishing the Pledge of Allegiance.

  • Here are two of mine.

  • First, in 1988 my late husband was awarded a Fulbright teaching scholarship to Humboldt University, East Berlin.

  • We lived months behind the wall.

  • It was the most profound experience of my life to date, as it was for Frank and for our son, Eric, who continues to grow.

  • From that time, we served as goodwill ambassadors to our country behind the Soviet bloc, often I would walk along Unter den Linden, the main boulevard on the eastern side, and then I would turn my head down a side street and I would see our consulate there.

  • I would see our flag flying outside the building, and immediately my heart was stirred with pride.

  • Pride for the Marines, standing guard outside.

  • They're protecting the consulate, protecting my family in a place that represented the center of the Cold War.

  • Our flag was more than a symbol for me on every such moment.

  • When I walked along that street, that bit of cloth represented home in a faraway place.

  • Second reason for May.

  • This is a photograph of my father, Carmelo Pernik own.

  • In late December 1944 he took a German bullet in his lung.

  • He lost two ribs.

  • As a consequence and very nearly his life.

  • He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, receiving a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for meritorious achievement.

  • After the war, my father studied to become an engineer in optics.

  • Although his career was primarily in defense and aerospace satellites, he also designed the camera scope that is today used in colonoscopies.

  • 30 seconds remaining.

  • That's because I've had timed it.

  • At four minutes, I was forced to start, I think Way.

  • Stop the clock.

  • No, you timed it at home.

  • It was four minutes.

  • Please continue.

  • I'm almost done.

  • He designed the Collins colonoscopy scope.

  • He was willing, at age 20 to sacrifice his own life for country.

  • And he would later invented device that it's now saved thousands of lives.

  • Those are two reasons why I recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

  • I am going to recite it now because the flag is because the flag is I'm holding up a flag.

  • I would ask anyone who would like to stand with me.

  • I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands.

  • One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice.

  • Predicted show.

  • That was disturbing.

  • I've seen it about seven times.

  • Um, and my guests just tried to look at it several times, and you can imagine it is disturbing to her as well.

  • But now we shift gears and we want to formally welcome my dear friend, my fellow classmate of 1995.

  • Uh, we joined the faculty at Santa Barbara City college together.

  • During this period of time, Professor Barbara has been an exceptional teacher, influencing thousands of lives and teaching them some of the fundamental values and principles of freedom that we cherished today.

  • So let's I wanna welcome you to the show.

  • It's so good to see you.

  • I'm sorry to put you through that again, but I really wanted the audience to see the cost of freedom.

  • When people stand.

  • I agree.

  • I agree.

  • Um, let's start with that.

  • Let's start with that.

  • We try to start each show with asking the guest two share with our audience, your fundamental principles and values of freedom.

  • It's all yours.

  • Well, thinking about freedom over the years, I think I'm like most Americans.

  • I've always taken our freedoms for granted, and by that I mean that I've never I've never really been consciously aware of it in the way that we're not consciously aware of breathing.

  • It's that natural toe Americans in a way that it's not natural to anybody else on the planet who lives outside this country.

  • And it's it's kind of like when you begin to think about it in that way.

  • But think about when you're conscious of your breathing.

  • If something traumatic happens, For example, take a gondola to the top of the Rocky Mountains and jump out, as I did one time and run up the steps, and suddenly you can't breathe, your heart's pounding and then you're aware of your breasts trying to breathe again.

  • And that experience of freedom first happened to me in 1988 when my family and I traveled to West but East Berlin, East Berlin, behind the wall.

  • And I came to understand what freedom meant for Mia's American because I could experience it inside a communist country.

  • For us, freedom is the freedom to the freedom to fail, freedom to read whatever we choose to freedom to freedom, to sit here in this studio and speak with you.

  • Whereas in East Germany, German Democratic Republic, its freedom from freedom from homelessness, freedom from hunger, freedom from being confronted with ideas that the government is uncomfortable with that sort of thing.

  • So I've always since that time since 1988 big conscious of how special freedom is.

  • Until four years ago, when I had that breathless feeling again of, you know, stepping out of the gondola and I can't breathe.

  • And that happened on our campus.

  • You were there four years ago in spring, when the art department created a teepee, a wooden, a colorful wouldn T p they erected on West campus, and I saw it on Friday when it was erected.

  • It was lovely.

  • It was all wooden.

  • It had colorful panels, was beautiful.

  • And I remember thinking, Oh, I'm gonna bring Henry and Charlie here next week.

  • My grandson.

  • By Sunday, the college pipeline email was a Twitter before Twitter, I suppose about this teepee.

  • And then it was either Sunday night or Monday.

  • Then college president Laurie Gaskin issued a profuse apology about the teepee and what's going on here.

  • And I came back to school and the teepee was gone, and we all know what that was about.

  • Your viewers may not be, but one person who claimed to be Native American was offended by it.

  • He got together a group of his supporters, including faculty.

  • They met over the weekend with students and their art teacher, who, by the way, had erected this in mid semester.

  • Lost in all of this was the reason for it.

  • It was designed to stay up for three weeks during midterms as a place of respite, where students who were experiencing the stress of midterm exams going relax.

  • It was a gift to the students.

  • It was dismantled.

  • There were apologies given, and then I waited.

  • I waited for someone to come out and say, Wait a minute, First Amendment.

  • This is a violation off the First Amendment on a public college campus in the United States, and nobody said anything.

  • I always wait 24 hours and then I got on pipeline and I e mailed out, and I think I was the only person.

  • There may have been a few others, but I'm pretty sure I was the only person who spoke up for those students there.

  • Professor, an hour right to be creative, to create art and not have it dismantled.

  • And that has stayed with me.

  • I'm still angry about it, and it has stayed with me ever since, and I don't believe I will ever stop being aware of how precious our freedom is.

  • Did you never again?

  • Did you get a sense at that time that it has been a major shift in higher education away from the open freedom to express controversial notions and the power of just a single person claiming to be offended by somebody else's expression of freedom was changing the whole climate.

  • The culture of education was changing.

  • Does this occur to you?

  • Absolutely.

  • I call it the tyranny of the minority voice.

  • I don't mean minority as in minority ethnic group, but the tyranny of a single voice, which seems to turn our bill of rights on its head.

  • Because, of course, the Bill of Rights, those first wonderful 10 amendments were written to protect the individuals citizen from the tyranny of the government.

  • Remember, founders were fearful of government.

  • They didn't really want tohave to create a government.

  • And so that was that was their gift to us to the ordinary people.

  • And now suddenly we have individuals who are seen to be usurping these liberties that we all enjoy, and it's it's not based on law.

  • It's not based on reason.

  • It's based simply on.

  • This is how I feel now.

  • These are students who are invoking the I call it the feeling axiom, um, students.

  • But where these students get this idea, they don't come up with it themselves.

  • I mean, I don't think they don't know.

  • And so where do they get, Where do they get this idea that they have the right to stop?

  • Everybody else is exercise of freedom because they perceive themselves as being offended.

  • Who teaches of this?

  • The teachers are colleagues, but also the parents, right?

  • I mean, you know, I don't know about that.

  • I don't know that I entirely agree with that.

  • Unfortunately, the parents too often their two hands off.

  • I wish that Maura, of our parents of college age Children will understand that they still well, they're not Children, but they're not yet adults.

  • College is supposed to be that sort of transition period between, you know, living at home with mom and Dad and childhood and actually being thrown out of the nest so they aren't entirely free yet.

  • And I wish more parents would be engaged with what's happening with their young people on campus.

  • What kind of course is air you taken taking Visit the campus?

  • Um, look at their silly by, you know, see what?

  • See what they're reading.

  • Question.

  • What's going on there?

  • When you and I first joined the faculty at Santa Barbara City College, she in the department and me in the philosophy department.

  • Um, that's what, 23 years ago going on 24 years ago, when Peter MacDougal and as people come up to me and ask me about my experience, my 23 years and I'm sure it must happen to you, I respond to this parent issue by saying, I think the parents have taken their eye off the ball.

  • I think they were too busy with other things.

  • They we had a marvelous college when it was under the auspices of the direction of the old board of trustees, old in both senses of the word.

  • They were older people, but they were preserving traditional values and principles that everybody could agree on, not just in one side of the other.

  • And Peter MacDougal.

  • I mean, he certainly had his criticisms, but he supervised a very fair and just administration off.

  • Opposing views are welcome, and he made that very clear, very clear, especially after 9 11 when there was a lot of controversy.

  • But over the years, I think that I think our citizens have for gotten the Senate Barbara City College of 23 years ago was not Santa Barbara City College of Today.

  • It's an entirely different No.

  • It has entirely different mission, which has nothing to do with it.

  • Very little to do with education.

  • I want to explore with you.

  • Since you were the creator and the administrator of the great books curriculum, Professor Barber is most famous and most remembered at Santa Barbara City College by people like me and others who remember the great good that this did.

  • She instituted a program called the Great Books Curriculum.

  • It started in Kansas, I believe a couple of Chicago Chicago cancer.

  • I'm gonna let you explain a job.

  • What is the great books?

  • Curriculum?

  • The great books curriculum was designed by a good pal of mine, Bruce Scans, who was an English professor at will but right Junior College Community College in Chicago.

  • Do you know that school Yes, and the students there are.

  • Many of them are first generation, working class minority, and he had been concerned that because of his students backgrounds, that they had not become familiar with the great works of Western and world culture.

  • And he thought that they were missing out on something that these ideas these values are so important.

  • You know, it's part of our DNA.

  • It's what makes us what we are is modern people.

  • And he felt that they were being cheated.