You may remember from history class the famous Winston Churchill quote, “The fascists of the future will be the anti-fascists.” Well, we have reached the future, folks. Now gangs of violent youth in black balaclavas throwing Molotov cocktails, attacking innocent bystanders, burning buildings, and smashing windows are the ones setting the terms of debate on the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) campus.
Their violence was so destructive to the campus and community when then Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos came to speak in February that it overshadowed a later speaking invitation to right-wing author and proud Trump supporter Ann Coulter by the Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation. However, UC Berkeley cited “security concerns”. The university and the city police could not protect the students and the campus community from the protestors (who would be incited by Coulter’s “hate” speech.) Apparently, Coulter was only going to speak on the fact that the laws on the books for immigration should be enforced. Enforcing the rule of law is seen as incendiary hate speech these days.
Coulter consequently was cancelled from the university that in the 1960s famously claimed to be the defenders of the mantra, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” In other words – the mob won.
Treating Coulter as someone who was to preach jihad on their campus, no –wait – they do allow jihadists to speak on their campus, shows that the ‘liberals’ just don’t allow conservatives to speak. UC Berkeley has not only shut down Coulter’s First Amendment right to free speech, but also diversity of thought and debate for their student body. Most importantly, it has allowed the anarchists to dictate the education that the taxpayer-funded university is supposed to provide to its student body.
The school faculty counters that this is not the case at all, but I want to know where are all the pussy-hat wearing feminists? Where are the leftists coming to the defence of a woman who has clearly been silenced due to having a vagina, strong opinions and thinking for herself? Oh wait…she defends a misogynistic President Trump, but did not support the serial womaniser President Bill Clinton. It all makes sense now. I forget that she is not fully a woman or truly part of the sisterhood, because she is not a progressive woman. Silly me. I mean the hypocrisy just amazing, is it not?
Labelling conservative speech as hate speech is the new trend on university campuses, and UC Berkeley is just keeping up with the Joneses. In March, esteemed, right-of-centre academic Dr Charles Murray was physically attacked before he even spoke at Middlebury College in Vermont. Wellesley College, where Hillary Clinton attended, had an op-ed in their school newspaper espousing that “If people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted.” (my emphasis added). That statement should help recruit students, huh?
And don’t think for a minute that this aggressive tone cannot be applied to Democrats. The former Democratic Senator from Virginia and former Secretary of the Navy Jim Webb was pressured to not receive the Naval Academy’s most distinguished award, the Distinguished Graduate Award, because back in the 1970s he said, “[t]here is a place for women in our military, but not in combat.” Due to the threats of protests, he backed down from receiving the award so as not to cause a distraction, which of course only reinforces protests and the left-wing agenda. It doesn’t matter which party you belong to – if you step out of the leftist line you must be bullied and muzzled. If that isn’t fascist then I don’t know what is.
The foundation of democracy is freedom of speech, including the right to offend. It is the battle place of ideas, and may the best ones win. When any voice is hushed in debate, society loses. When violence is used to prevent debate, civilisation is lost.
(Image: Annette Bernhardt)