Friday, April 14, 2017

Aided and Abetted: Student Brown Shirts and their Administrators - Jack Kerwick

by Jack Kerwick

Campus fascists silence Heather Mac Donald.

Not long ago, I submitted an essay to a think tank that exists for the sake of exposing the problems of contemporary higher education.  In the essay, I drew attention to the phenomenon of intimidation, threats, and overt violence to which both students and faculty alike who are deemed insufficiently “progressive” are increasingly subject. I argued that, for all practical purposes, faculty and administrators are doing little to nothing about it. In fact, in some instances, they are encouraging it.

My submission was rejected on the grounds that, allegedly, I failed to substantiate my thesis.
The person with whom I exchanged emails, a likable guy, passed along this news from his boss, the editor.  I replied that, given the nature of the topic as well as the space constraints (1,000-1,200 words), I presented the only sort of evidence that is forthcoming: anecdotal evidence from colleges small and large, public and private, and from various areas of the country.

Yet I also noted two other considerations that, I believe, should have sufficed to make my point.

First, these attacks continue to happen on a regular basis.

Second, I invited readers to engage in a thought experiment.  I implored them to imagine that it wasn’t (mostly) white, Christian, conservative, Republican, and moderate students who were being assailed but, rather, students who are non-white, non-Christian (particularly Muslim), feminist and female, gay, and/or transgendered.  And I asked them to imagine that their attackers belonged to that group that is currently, in reality, under siege.

Can there be any question in anyone’s mind, I continued, that this phenomenon would be national, possibly international, news?  Is there any doubt that faculty and administrators would cancel classes, hold rallies, conduct marches, i.e. repeatedly shout from the rooftops that they had zero tolerance for these “hate crimes?”

Can there be any doubt that those who they would condemn as “haters” would swiftly be expelled or, at the very least, forced to attend “sensitivity” classes?

These questions are rhetorical, for everyone, and no one more so than the average reader of this publication that rejected my essay, knows that the answers to them are no-brainers.  That, in the real world, we have neither seen nor heard anything remotely resembling these sorts of responses to the demonization of white conservative students is a stone-cold fact that should speak for itself.

For example, Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald, a white woman who has written multiple books on policing, crime, and race, recently had her speech at UCLA disrupted by Black Lives Matter agitators.  Mac Donald had been invited to deliver her speech, “Blue Lives Matter,” by the Bruin Republicans.  However, it wasn’t long after she opened the floor to a question-and-answer session that the organized disruptors became unruly.

According to The College Fix, an attorney who specializes in free speech violations at publically financed colleges and universities, William Becker, recorded the whole event before escorting Mac Donald off of campus. “Many students, including a number of black students, attended solely to disrupt the event,” he said. “A cluster of black students remained seated during the Pledge of Allegiance.  Three students were well prepared to disrupt the event.”

Becker says that not only did he capture the fiasco on video; he has photographs of it as well.
The disruptors chanted: “Black lives—they matter here! Black lives, they matter here!”

They also shouted, “America was never great!”

The disruptors were not interested in dialogue, for they were either unwilling to so much as understand Mac Donald’s comments or incapable of doing so.  Instead, they shouted such pearls of wisdom as: “I don’t trust your numbers!” “Bullshit!” “What about white terrorism?” “You have no right to speak!”

Mac Donald’s “Blue Lives Matter” speech fared much worse at Claremont McKenna College, where some 250 Black Lives Matter thugs practically shut down the event.  To repeat, these were not “protesters” or “demonstrators.”  They were thugs.  What else should we call people who banged on windows; hurled obscenities; shouted, “Shut it down!”; prevented those who were interested in hearing MacDonald from attending the event by blocking entrances; and assaulted attendees and even those who were simply trying to interview the disruptors?

For safety reasons, Mac Donald had to livestream her speech to a mostly empty room. The police urged her to cut her talk short and, when she was finished, multiple officers had to escort her off campus.

Subsequently, the Vice President of Academic Affairs at CMC, Peter Uvin, sent out a school-wide email of the sort that we have come to expect.

First, he qualified his condemnation of the thuggery by claiming that “250 persons” did watch Mac Donald deliver her speech. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant, for even if it was 1,000 people who were able to watch her, they had to do so electronically, via video, and not in person, as they had intended.  They were stopped from seeing her live, as Uvin then acknowledges when he claims that “we are of course disappointed that people could not attend the lecture.”

Yet his inclusion of this proposition further weakens the rest of his statement—which is weak enough as it is.

The actions of the disruptors made “it impossible for her [Mac Donald] to speak, for you to listen, and for all of us to debate.  This we could not accept.”

If you expect for this declaration of Uvin’s to be followed by an announcement of the penalties that the disruptors would now be forced to face, you will be disappointed. Instead, he assures the perpetrators that he understands their pain, for “in a world of unequal power, it is more often than not those who have a history of exclusion who are being hurt by words.” Uvin wants for them to know that he “fully understand[s] that people have strong opinions and different—often painful—experiences with the issues [that] Heather Mac Donald discusses.”

Ask yourselves: If it was, say, black leftist Cornel West who was supposed to give a speech at, say, Hillsdale College, and white conservative students did to West what these BLM thugs did to Mac Donald, is it remotely fathomable that the school would offer the qualified, formulaic reply that Claremont McKenna College delivered?

You know the answer.

And my thesis, that administrators have failed to address the treatment that their conservative students have been made to endure at the hands of leftists, is proven in spades.

Jack Kerwick


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