2017-02-02

Stupid hippies

Milo Yiannopoulos is not a name I've ever written here before.  Basically, he's a right wing piece of shit who trolls college campuses with hate speech for the purpose of characterizing the resulting outrage as "censorship."  It boggles the mind that campuses actually provide platforms for this asshat to execute his MO.

But now there's this.  How does this read?
Berkeley police canceled the speech by Yiannopoulos after, they said, "an apparently organized violent attack and destruction of property" forced them to evacuate Yiannopoulos to protect him and the hundreds of protesters and audience members. The Berkeley statement blamed the violence -- which included fires, the throwing of Molotov cocktails, and fireworks thrown at officers -- on a "group of about 150 masked agitators who came onto campus and interrupted an otherwise non-violent protest."

The much larger group of non-violent protesters appeared to include many students and faculty members. But it was the outside protesters who led to the event being called off. Authorities said that those protesters set fires, threw rocks and fireworks at police officers, and "attacked" some members of the crowd, who were then rescued by police officers.

So violent provocateurs attacked a crowd of non-violent protesters.  Seems to me like the pro-Yiannopoulos were the violent ones. Not sure why "attacked" is in scare quotes in the original though.

But the real problem is this:
In a message to the campus last week, Chancellor Nicholas Dirks rejected the idea that Yiannopoulos was promoting serious political debate. "In our view, Mr. Yiannopoulos is a troll and provocateur who uses odious behavior in part to 'entertain,' but also to deflect any serious engagement with ideas. He has been widely and rightly condemned for engaging in hate speech directed at a wide range of groups and individuals, as well as for disparaging and ridiculing individual audience members, particularly members of the LGBTQ community."

But Dirks also said that Berkeley would be wrong to bar Yiannopoulos from campus. "Consistent with the dictates of the First Amendment as uniformly and decisively interpreted by the courts, the university cannot censor or prohibit events, or charge differential fees. Some have asked us whether attacks on individuals are also protected. In fact, critical statements and even the demeaning ridicule of individuals are largely protected by the Constitution; in this case, Yiannopoulos’s past words and deeds do not justify prior restraint on his freedom of expression or the cancelation of the event."

Despite understanding exactly what Yiannopoulos's MO is, he was still given a platform.  Hopefully now that violent thugs have started showing up to attack the peaceful crowds protesting the university's implicit endorsement of hate speech*, universities will stop providing Yiannopoulos platforms.

*regardless of how strongly-worded a condemnation of the rhetoric a speaker employs a university issues, providing a platform for the same can only be construed as a tacit endorsement.

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