Student thuggery against non-leftist viewpoints is in the news again. Agitators at Claremont McKenna College, Middlebury College, and the University of California’s Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses have used threats, brute force and sometimes criminal violence over the past two months in efforts to prevent Milo Yiannopoulos, Charles Murray, Ann Coulter and me from speaking. As commencement season approaches, expect “traumatized” students to try to disinvite any remotely conservative speaker, an effort already under way at Notre Dame with regard to Vice President Mike Pence.
This soft totalitarianism is routinely misdiagnosed as primarily a psychological disorder. Young “snowflakes,” the thinking goes, have been overprotected by helicopter parents, and now are unprepared for the trivial conflicts of ordinary life.
UB’s Young Americans for Freedom club (YAF) announced on Monday that it will host an event, “Exposing Radical Islam: The dangers of jihad in today’s world” on May 1 featuring guest speaker, Robert Spencer.
Spencer is a self-proclaimed expert on radical Islam and runs a blog called “Jihad Watch.” He is the author of 16 books including The New York Time’s bestsellers, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad.
Just one day after the event was announced, students and faculty started a petition asking Student Association (SA) president Matt Rivera and other SA members to “rescind their explicit sponsorship” for the event by removing the SA logo from all flyers and advertisements and to abide by their anti-discrimination policy when approving club events.
UC Berkeley, birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, has stabbed free speech in the back once again.
Last week it effectively canceled a long planned speech by David Horowitz. Today it canceled a long planned speech by Ann Coulter scheduled for April 27.
As they did with Horowitz, UC officials, citing safety concerns, first tried to bureaucratically shrink the Coulter speech out of existence by informing Young Americans for Freedom, sponsors of the event, that Coulter could speak only in the afternoon when students were in classes; that only students could attend; and, in a Kafkaesque twist, that the location of the speech would be distant from the center of campus and not be announced until just before it occurred.
Progressive college students seem to think violence is okay as long as it’s silencing ‘hate speech.’ Someone should tell them there’s no such thing.
For the sake of campus protestors and their professors across the country, it’s time to make something clear: there’s no such thing as hate speech.
That should go without saying, since freedom of speech and free inquiry is supposed to be what college is all about. But the recent spate of violent student protests, from the University of California at Berkeley to Middlebury College in Vermont, have been met with a collective shrug from an alarming number of college students, professors, and administrators who seem to be under the impression that violence is okay so long as its purpose is to silence “hate speech.”
University of Pittsburgh professor Shanara Reid-Brinkley held a lecture Tuesday where she stated that American democracy was built on “anti-blackness” and that black citizens cannot possibly be free in America.
“I think that we’re all screwed because white people are in charge,” Reid-Brinkley said, speaking at an event at the University of Wisconsin.
She also blamed “global warming, genocide and colonization” on white people.
… In short, violent outbreaks on campus are not the outcome of kids acting out! Quite the contrary, they are the outcome of kids acting out the values that they have been absorbing over the past fifty years from increasingly illiberal teachers.
… Take note that the new approach to intellectual freedom does not permit anyone to just mind their own business. Even silence can be violence…
…One of two things will happen if universities continue to make themselves enemies of intellectual freedom and free speech. Either our intellectual life will rot or it will find a home other than the university. In the age of the internet, many are now exploring alternatives. More.
This is the first of a five-part series.
See also: How did “populism” become such a dirty word? A left-wing journalist offers some thoughts
Do you believe there’s an objective truth? Well, you’re a white supremacist then, at least according to a small number of black Pomona College students.
In a letter that strings together words the students no doubt learned in their Blank-Studies classes in what almost appears to be social justice Mad Libs (the word “marginalized” appears seven times in the one-page document), the students claim inviting a speaker critical of Black Lives Matter and supportive of police amounts to oppression.
Kevin Arriola never thought of himself as an advocate for free speech — but then he found himself waging a court battle over it.
“This really opened my eyes and made me realize that all speech should be protected,” says the Ryerson University political science student who started the Men’s Issues Awareness Society. “Today it’s me that can’t talk about men’s issues and men’s mental health. Tomorrow it might be another group.”
Women actually make up most of the group, which is confined to meeting in a tiny room that’s more like a closet because the student union refused to give the group official status, saying it was anti-feminist and would make female students feel unsafe.
Springtime may be in bloom, but snowflakes never go out of season at America’s most prestigious colleges and universities.
Quivering students at the University of Notre Dame launched a protest last week against the school’s decision to invite Vice President Mike Pence as commencement speaker. Activist Imanne Mondane told the campus newspaper that she and her peers felt “unsafe” and threatened by “someone who openly is offensive but also demeaning of their humanity and of their life and of their identity.”
The uproar over a Fresno State history lecturer’s tweets about assassinating President Trump is understandable, but in the end the outrage is pointless. It’s doubtful the feds will charge the fellow, given how outlandish and obviously hyperbolic the tweets are. Nor is he likely to be fired. All the commotion has accomplished is to turn a nobody into a left-wing martyr persecuted for “speaking truth to power.”
Many have observed a trend on campus toward intolerance for expression and debate. This is not a new phenomenon, nor is it limited to the monomaniacal, semi-professional street performers who dedicate themselves to careers in activism. In recent years, however, those advocating aggression in response to unwanted speech have migrated from the streets onto student-newspaper editorial boards, where they gloss their tyrannical fanaticism with a veneer of false sagacity.