by Ari Lieberman
Campus "social justice warriors" meet their match.
Conservative social commentator and Breitbart technology editor Milo Yiannopoulos is waging an epic battle against the insidious attack on free speech that is occurring across college campuses throughout the United States. The latest spectacle occurred at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), that bastion of a particular brand of progressive fascism characteristic of the new Left. This past week, UCLA’s College Republicans invited Yiannopoulos to give a talk on campus, one of many stops on Yiannopoulos’ “Dangerous Faggot Tour,” which has taken direct aim at university totalitarianism. Yiannopoulos, who is gay, is no stranger to controversy, espousing views that some regard as anti-feminist. This has made him a target of the radical Left, and particularly, of radical feminists who view him as one of their chief antagonists.
When students and the guest speaker arrived at the Broad Art Building where the Yiannopoulos event was to be held, they were greeted by protestors holding pro-feminist signs who physically blocked the entranceway. Campus police were dispatched and ushered guests in through alternative backdoor entrances, but the feminists caught wind of it and attempted to block these entrances as well, causing fights to break out. Once inside, Yiannopoulos’s address was interrupted by radicals who were ultimately removed by police. The event was further marred by anonymous bomb threats forcing police to evacuate the building.
One of the anti-Yiannopoulos protestors, who affixed black duct tape over her mouth, held a sign that read, “When you use your ‘First Amendment Right’ to spread hate and exclusion, you are silencing people and communities, not promoting ‘freedom of speech.’” That sentiment is typical of the mindset of the radical Left who believe that the concept of freedom of speech extends only to speech vetted for use in “safe spaces.” The radical Left has adopted techniques employed by assorted despots and autocrats to silence speech that they disapprove of.
The above incident is not unique and is occurring with alarming frequency. What is even more disconcerting is that on some occasions, student protestors and faculty members are working in tandem to disrupt scheduled events. Perhaps most troubling is that police who are dispatched to the area are often instructed to do nothing resulting in the event’s complete shutdown, thus making the university complicit in the suppression of free speech.
A good illustration of this involves a disturbing incident which occurred at San Francisco State University (SFSU) on April 6. Israel’s mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, was in the midst of addressing an audience when members of the hate group, Students for Justice in Palestine interrupted his talk, spewing guttural anti-Semitic epithets. Police who were dispatched did absolutely nothing and allowed the rabble to continue the disruption forcing Barkat to prematurely terminate his speech and descend from the podium to address the audience in a more informal setting, less susceptible to the raucous caused by the SJP fascists.
UCLA and SFSU are state universities that receive government funding. As such, their noted complicity in suppression of free speech exposes them to meritorious lawsuits. At California State Los Angeles, student provocateurs, instigated by Cal State L.A. faculty, blocked students from attending a speech given by a conservative speaker. Campus police sat idly by and allowed the lunatics to run the asylum. The group that organized the event, Young Americans for Freedom, filed suit alleging that the school denied the plaintiffs’ “fundamental rights to free speech, due process and equal protection of the law.”
In the case of SFSU, students could maintain an additional cause of action for violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color or national origin. SFSU’s original inaction coupled with lack of follow-up action in the form of disciplinary measures against the offending students represents a clear violation of Title VI. Moreover, SFSU officials were well aware of the SJP’s campus antics and consequently were on notice of prior anti-Semitic acts, and the likelihood of future aberrant behavior.
Guidance on how to deal with those who willfully disrupt free speech on campus was provided by the appeals court which upheld the convictions of ten Muslim UC Irvine and UC Riverside students who disrupted a speech given by Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren. In upholding their convictions for disrupting Oren’s Feb. 8, 2010 speech, the court held that one cannot hide behind the banner of free speech while disrupting the rights of others to free speech. Unfortunately, this is a concept that campus totalitarians will never comprehend. It is therefore incumbent on state universities that receive government funding to make them understand.
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.
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