A Side Of Anarchy

The “Dangerous Faggot” was to speak at Berkeley, where the free speech movement was born. Whether you like what Milo Yiannopoulos has to say or think he’s the most outrageous, hateful asshole ever doesn’t matter. That’s what free speech is about.

Chancellor [Nicholas] Dirks has just sent a follow-up email, probably prompted by the widespread attention from other blogs that aren’t so off-putting and creepy as this one. From a tipster, here it is:

Every fall for the last many years, we have issued statements concerning the virtue of civility on campus. This principle is one of several that Berkeley staff, students, faculty, and alumni themselves developed and today regard as “fundamental to our mission of teaching, research and public service.” To quote further from our “principles of community”: “We are committed to ensuring freedom of expression and dialogue that elicits the full spectrum of views held by our varied communities. We respect the differences as well as the commonalities that bring us together and call for civility and respect in our personal interactions.”

While Chancellor Dirks’ effort was convoluted but well intended, both extolling free speech while condemning Milo, one might have hoped that the message was clear: Hate Milo all you want. Protest him all you want. But let him speak.

There is always a question about whether such a mixed message sends the wrong signals, even though there is nothing inherently wrong with the message. These aren’t times of appreciating deeply nuanced ideas. Or, perhaps, Chancellor Dirks lacks clout among his students, carries no “moral suasion” to guide their actions. Or perhaps these weren’t Berkeley students, but “outside agitators,” a phrase often used during the Nixon administration.

When the radicalization of emotions is otherwise extolled, who gives a damn what some old man has to say anyway? He’s not the boss of us.

Regardless, Milo was to speak and all hell broke loose.

And, perhaps the most visceral video of all.

There was more, including the ransacking of a Starbucks (which certainly makes sense, given how immoral and hateful Starbucks has been), plus they got free bags of coffee out of the deal.

This comes on the heels of the deeply passionate social justice warriors applauding the sucker punch of some worthless pimple because this nobody said despicable things.

So Milo’s presentation was canceled and the violence won. What does the New York Times have to say about this?

Berkeley Cancels Milo Yiannopoulos Speech, and Donald Trump Tweets Outrage

This would be the headline one would expect of the Onion, but it’s most assuredly not the Onion.

A speech by the divisive right-wing editor Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley, was canceled on Wednesday night after demonstrators set fires and threw objects at buildings to protest his appearance.

The university announced the cancellation on Twitter around 6 p.m. local time, about an hour after a section of the campus erupted in protest.

Want to know more about the “protests,” a curious choice of words but the word used nonetheless? You won’t find it in the Times’ article. What you will find, however, is a detailed description of Milo’s awfulness.

Mr. Yiannopoulos, an editor at Breitbart News, is known for his gleeful attacks on political correctness that can sometimes veer into offensive and racially charged language.

He was barred from Twitter last year for inciting trolls to attack the “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones.

His flamethrower approach has aroused a fierce backlash. His scheduled speech at U.C. Davis last month devolved into a tense standoff between protesters and the police. It was called off before it could begin over security concerns.

And you will also find Trump’s twit.

But the Times provided “balance.”

A bit out of hand, indeed. There may well be good cause to castigate Milo for his inflammatory speech. There may be even better cause to castigate Trump. But there is no cause for what happened at Berkeley.

Many will gush their feelings about the awfulness of people like Milo, about how this is the Holocaust. Bullshit. This is Lord of the Flies wrapped up in the self-righteousness that only the truest and most ignorant believers can muster.

This isn’t about social justice, whatever that means. This isn’t about how much Milo’s words hurt your feelings. This is about how the radicalization of narcissism has removed all inhibitions, rationalized the end of the social contract and empowered the stupid on one side to believe that their violence is somehow better than, and justified by, whatever injustices they feel from the other side.

This is a lie you tell yourselves. You are just as much, if not more, the devil you claim to hate.


28 thoughts on “A Side Of Anarchy

  1. maz

    I know the Mario Savio Memorial Lecture is held in the fall, but perhaps they should do a one-off this spring and invite Yiannopoulos back. The irony, it burns…

  2. Dragoness Eclectic

    You’re “off-putting and creepy”? Huh. I just thought you were a cranky old curmudgeon with a good heart. Where’s the creepy part?

    So UC Berkeley is re-enacting their 1960s anti-war riots? Big surprise, that.

      1. Dragoness Eclectic

        My bad, I missed that that was a quoted block. Ken White is creepy and off-putting? Sure, he has that weird pony obsession, but his ‘lawsplainer’ articles are informative.

  3. tomrkba

    They keep telling us that law abiding people have no need to carry guns on campus. I think the behavior of these Leftists students makes it very clear we should be carrying to protect ourselves for violence.

    1. SHG Post author

      There are two issues, the right to bear arms and the wisdom of arms under certain situations. The only thing that could have made this a bigger disaster would be introducing guns into the chaos.

      1. Hunting Guy

        I’m waiting for the inevitable.

        Someone will throw a brick at a police officer. Their training will kick in and the officer will respond with deadly force.

        It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

  4. Megan

    Reports were that Milo was going to show pictures and release personal information on undocumented students enrolled at Berkeley. I’m a total supporter of free speech, and I certainly wish these protests had been peaceful. It’s a deliberate strategy to inflame the left, and it’s working. I’m disappointed in both sides.

    1. SHG Post author

      Reports were the Japan was going to attack Pearl Harbor, so we nuked Hiroshima the day before. Do you not appreciate how utterly batshit crazy your “reports were” rationalization is?

      Sit down. I have something to tell you and it’s going to make you sad. You are not a “total supporter of free speech.” You are a supporter of prior restraint.

      1. Megan

        That’s a fair point, and I did not phrase what I said clearly. I think he should have been allowed to speak, regardless of what he was or wasn’t going to say.

        1. SHG Post author

          Thank you for clarifying. As you then realize, the problem with “reports” is that until something happens, it hasn’t happened and can’t serve to justify violence to prevent it from happening.

  5. Joseph

    I’m almost surprised that the threat Trump thought of was withdrawing federal funding rather than deploying the National Guard.

    1. Patrick Maupin

      As Scott notes, it’s a don’t care. OTOH, how the heck is it surprising that Trump’s first thought on a subject is about the money?

      1. Nigel Declan

        Trump is merely brandishing the same federal funds cudgel that Obama did to ensure compliance with his administration’s “Dear Colleague” letter. As such, this seems as much a nod to his predecessor as it does something inherently Trumpish. That said, I agree with Scott that the President is unlikely to act on this.

        The more salient question is what the ostensible “grown-ups” at UC Berkeley will do in response to this. Ban all speakers by campus groups, perhaps?

        1. Sacho

          Gavin Newsom has already released a statement, and it seems that you had too high hopes. He’s out to resist racism and misogyny and Trump’s carnage and ain’t nobody gonna stop him.

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