Liberals—listen up! I count myself pretty solidly among your flock. I am a true blue Democrat and proud of it. However, recently, I have been ashamed by some tactics used in the name of promoting our values.
On a slate of different college campuses, protesters have shut down speakers who had contentious viewpoints with violent, riotous behavior. For example , this past Thursday (March 2) a mob-like group shouted over controversial speaker Charles Murray, to the point where the confrontation became violent. A professor who was escorting Murray to an administrator’s vehicle was injured in the incident.
I do not support Charles Murray’s views. He has been deemed a “white nationalist” who uses “racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He has argued that certain races were genetically more intelligent or superior than others. It is a ridiculous viewpoint that his tainted by racism and bigotry. I wouldn’t actively promote him to speak on my campus, nor would I probably want to get dinner with the man.
However, preventing him from espousing his viewpoint is a clear violation of some of the core principles this country has been built upon, namely the freedom of speech. As an American, he is granted the right to hold whatever odious opinion he so chooses, and has the freedom to shout it from the mountain tops. Nobody was forcing these students to listen or believe him. The idea that liberal groups, normally champions of the First Amendment, would silence any speaker by any means, particularly through violence, is apprehensible and hypocritical.
This has not been the only time of late such an incident has occurred. Similar events took place at UC Davis when hateful troll Milo Yiannopoulos tried to speak, among other examples.
I am not condemning anyone’s right to protest. Go ahead and demonstrate peacefully. However, by preventing speakers from orating, and by resorting to violence, we liberals only damage our cause. We anger our opponents, and also give them permission to retaliate in a similar fashion. And anger certainly does not change anyone’s opinion to your viewpoint.
This is exactly why I feel that this blog needs to exist. We all need a comfortable place to express ourselves and to disagree with one another in a calm, mature way. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Everyone is entitled to argue. Everyone is entitled to disagree with as much vehemence as they so choose. But when we resort to violence or rely on emotional responses, nobody benefits. Instead, the cacophony of indiscernible shouting pollutes the political environment, and Lady Liberty gets another stab in the gut.