State News

Second immigration talk meets few problems at UNC

Posted April 22, 2009

— A second speech at the University of North Carolina which featured a vocal opponent of illegal immigration was completed with less disruption than a similar effort a week ago.

Virgil Goode speaks at UNC amid protest Virgil Goode speaks at UNC amid protest

Former Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode appeared at the Frank Porter Graham Student Union Wednesday night. There was some jeering and sarcastic cheering as he began to speak. A school official then told the audience that any student attempting to disrupt the speech would be removed from the auditorium.

"Those that have the enthusiasm to yell and cheer, we will give them an opportunity to ask a question or say something,” Goode said.

Police arrested six people on charges of disorderly conduct, and removed some sort of noise-making device that went off during Goode's remarks.

“The speaker tonight was able to express his views and have a give-and-take with his audience. I regret that six protesters had to be arrested, but they gave us no choice. They ignored our warnings, and their disruptive behavior was completely at odds with what we expect at Carolina," Chancellor Holden Thorp said in a statement.

Last week, protesters disrupted Tom Tancredo's speech by shouting profanities and unfurling banners as the former Colorado congressman tried to address the audience in Bingham Hall. Police eventually halted his speech and had to use pepper spray after demonstrators broke a window.

"I knew we were going to have a little bit of a crowd, but I had no idea it would be shut down completely,” said Riley Matheson, president of the group that invited Tancredo to campus.

This time, the protest outside was more peaceful.

"There are immigrants who struggle everyday,” said Carlyn Cowen, a UNC senior.

While Cowen did not agree with Goode's opinions, she said she felt he had a right to voice them.

"We are absolutely letting him say what he is saying,” Cowen said.

"I feel we should be in there shutting this down,” said Safiyyah Hassan, a UNC freshman.

Hassan called Goode's message a hate speech that should not be tolerated.

"I think we could have stood up and fought more than what we did,” Hassan said.

Goode thanked police for maintaining control during his speech.

"It may not have been 100 percent civil, but order was maintained throughout the evening,” Goode said.

About 150 people attended the lecture, and Goode took questions from audience members for about 90 minutes.


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  • ts807 Apr 23, 2009

    Stupidity is that the media, including WRAL, is focusing on the six students who got arrested as opposed to the peaceful, nonviolent anti-YWC demonstration that happened outside.

  • dogman1973 Apr 23, 2009

    Few problems, WRAL? Wow, 6 people were arrested for disorderly conduct! Gee, what in your mind WRAL would constitute a MAJOR problem? 100 people arrested! I could only imagine what you might have written as a headline if ONE person had been arrested at the local Tea Parties! Unbiased journalism is joke in this country!

  • kebsmom Apr 23, 2009

    All those opposed to sending ILLEGALS back home can take one or more home and support them. I am sick of keeping them up. I go to the doctor I have to pay or have insurance. They go to the doctor or hospital and walk out paying nothing because my tax dollars will pick up the tab. Go home unless you come to this country legally and carry your own weight.

  • Theseus Apr 23, 2009

    It is really refreshing to see, at last, that there is adult supervision at UNC.

  • streetfightinman Apr 23, 2009

    "There are immigrants that struggle everyday" SO DO TAXPAYERS
    and all hard working citizens,stand in line like you should if you want to be in the united states legally ,instead of draining the taxpayers, follow the laws like we all have to,god bless ted nugent

  • TarHeelPeele Apr 23, 2009

    Oobviously I need to be more clear because a couple of you seem to think I'm exonerating UNC on what happened when Tancredo wasn't allowed to speak. Let me be clear, that day I was ASHAMED to be a UNC alum. UNC deserves a TON of criticism for what happened that day. Trust me, how this situation is handled by the UNC administration will affect future monetary contributions I make to my university.

    My 1st post was answering folks grouping all those associated with UNC in with these extremists. I'll admit there is "SOME" truth in the stereotype of "Communist Hill". I knew a few of these types during my years, but I knew more, WAY more normal and extraordinary people. Saying things like "I will never hire a UNC alum" and other sweeping statements like is ridiculous. My point was to get those to think how UNC people affect their life somehow, maybe a doctor, educator...whatever.

  • paulawindley Apr 23, 2009

    I do not understand why everybody keeps wasting time and money over this issue. All these illegal immigrants need TO GO!!! Otherwise, the problems in our country will continue to increase... We need the jobs for us, the citizens that pay taxes, the citizens that care for our country... Everyone else just want to take advantage of the systm. The politicians need to shut up, because they know in the back of their heads that all these "discussions" about the so call "Reform" is nothing but politics!!!

  • Junebug Apr 23, 2009

    "There are immigrants who struggle everyday,” said Carlyn Cowen, a UNC senior."

    The one's I see have big expensive SUV's and eat out every night. I'm the one who is struggling. It is my ancestor's that fought and died for the freedoms we have, and paid hard earned tax dollars to build the roads and other infrastructures we use. And they did it for us, not some criminal border crosser.

  • FairPlay Apr 23, 2009

    TarHeelePeel... I understand just as at my almamater Duke it was afew only who condemned those boys of rape but it still a black mark on wht the University puts up with. Some os us are still ashamed at how Duke reacted. UNC should at least put those students on acedemic probation or suspension or make them take civil rights classes. Most likely will not happen and even though it is only a few it is still a black mark on UNC.

  • josep4567 Apr 23, 2009

    I am a liberal UNC graduate who takes the valid position that ALL immigration should be stopped! Everyone who comes into the country uses our resources. Whether they are an engineer from India, a college basketball player from Slovakia, or a laborer from Peru, they all take our jobs and lower our wages. JUST SAY "NO" TO IMMIGRATION!