The Name of the Game
I’m not one to advocate for protest, especially protest like that seen on Friday night March 11th. On that date, a bunch of left wing protestors shut down a Donald Trump rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago by trying to take the stage, shouting, confronting his supporters, and basically making it unwise for Trump to take stage. It has been speculated that Trump probably chose this venue because he thought that something like this would happen. That seems possible at this point. This event will give him plenty of media time and will divert some of the negative press he got from the alleged assault by his Campaign Manager, Corey Lewandowski, on Breitbart Reporter Michelle Fields and from an attendant at one of his North Carolina rallies punching a protestor in the face as he was being taken away by police. There is no doubt that Donald is in part responsible for the negative reception his events have gotten all across the country. He has taunted protestors and incited violence towards them, telling his audience that he’ll pay legal feed if someone is charged for assault on people disrupting his events.
Trump mag be nasty, he may be bigoted, he may be even fanning the flames of racial division, but none of those are good reasons for hundreds of people to try to get his event canceled by illegal means. This is only one of many recent examples of right wing speakers being prevented from voicing their views. Anybody familiar with the college scene will know that this in not a recent phenomenon. Just a few weeks ago, Ben Shapiro, a conservative author and commentator, was invited to speak at California State University at Los Angeles. The administration approved his speech there twice before cancelling it because of pressure from students who didn’t like his views on diversity. Ben decided to show up anyway and the administration reversed its previous decision and approved his event on the same day he announced he would show up. He was greeted by hundreds of protesters who decided to block all entrances to the main hall where the speech was supposed to be held. Ben had to enter and exit escorted by police and in secret.
So what can we do? There are two options fro those who think action is necessary. We can either condemn this acts and advocate for authorities to do something about them, or we can try to figuratively punch back (preferably nonviolently). I prefer the latter option. The hard truth is that accountability will be very difficult to come by. Very few college administrations are going to expel or discipline hundreds of its students when they disrupt talks. The police is similarly incapable of ensuring Trump speeches go uninterrupted when a large number of people try to do exactly that. Accountability will only come in limited cases and in small numbers. I think that using the left’s tactics is our best option at this point.
I’m not saying this strategy comes without its flaws. It doesn’t. Protests create mobs, and mobs are likely to be unpleasant to say the least. Nobody wants a bunch of skinheads going to Clinton rallies or Jessica Valenti speeches and shouting them down. That’s a recepy for violence. I also have a problem with violating our own principle of free speech in order to give it to the left. But that doesn’t have to happen. Not at all. I think the right has proven throughout the years that it is more civil and less violent than the other side. Look at the large Tea Party crowds that left the National Mall as clean as they found it when the protests were going on. We’re capable of voicing our opinion without shutting others down. We
I remember when I was a kid and insulted my brother. My dad would then ask me if I liked it when I was insulted, to which the answer was No. This was a good way to make me see the error of my ways. The right should ask the same question of the left when it comes to protesting, and it should ask it forcefully. I don’t know it they’ll see the error in their ways or if they’ll double down, but there is a right way to go on this issue, and it’s not the way we’re going. There are more hateful and bigoted people on the left than on the right, and we should remind people of that by challenging those bigots.
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