It is unethical to make students or their parents pay obscene amounts of money to be rendered incompetent and dysfunctional for the life challenges that face them. Based on this bizarre incident at Rutgers—tuition about $25,000 per year, per student—that is exactly what that esteemed institution is doing. How many others are doing the same?
Journalist Milo Yiannopoulos—that’s being generous: I’d call him a professional troll, or a white, gay Ann Coulter—kicked off his “Dangerous Faggot” tour at Rutgers. He’s an in-your-face, liberal shibboleth-shattering, intentionally provocative rabble-rouser of the hard right, famously banned by Twitter, which now appears to be sucking up to Social Justice Warriors. Milo, who is one of the ugly, culture-scarring mutants created by the radiation emanating from the hyper-partisan environment encouraged by the Obama Administration, expounded on gender wage gap myths, feminism, the “rape culture” and Black Lives Matters in as offensive a manner as he could, and he is talented at being offensive. Some 50 students in the audience who were there to bury Milo, not to praise him, stood up and smeared fake blood on their faces to signal their opposition. Ten protesters left, forty stayed.
Then they had a collective breakdown, or something. The Daily Targum, Rutgers newspaper, reported that following Yiannopoulos’ appearance, students and faculty gathered in the Paul Robeson Cultural Center to discuss their trauma at his words and the reaction to it from students in the audience. “We are here to show support,” was the mantra repeated by nearly every person in the crowd as they introduced themselves, as if voluntarily listening to a hard-right, politically incorrect conservative provocateur was the equivalent of experiencing sexual assault or the death of a child.
Incredibly—be still, my explosive head!—Rutgers had representatives from the University Police Department, the Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance, Counseling, Alcohol and other Drug Assistance Program and Psychiatric Services and the Bias Prevention and Education Committee attend, like the expression of unpopular view was a cataclysm. .Members from the Black Student Union, the Asian American Cultural Center, Center for Latino Arts and Culture, College Student Affairs and many more groups also attended, as “students and community members participated by sharing their personal experiences from the event and by looking for resolutions.”
Resolutions? What resolutions? Censoring speech? Mandatory re-education centers for non-conforming students? Lobotomies? The man spoke. He has opinions. People listened. This isn’t a tragedy or a crime. So why is a university not only allowing students to think it is, but encouraging that delusion?
Students described feeling scared, hurt and discriminated against following Yiannopoulos’s visit. Well, a website editor expressing his views in colorful ways don’t justify any of those feelings. First, the students who didn’t like his speech were free to leave. Second, this representation of mere opinions and words as physically and psychically harmful is a ploy that the school, if administrators had a spine and a sense of their responsibilities as educators, would immediately condemn as destructive to both character and free speech. The goal, of course, is that by acting as if words were deadly arrows and pathogens, speech can be restricted, banned and punished as actually harmful.
It is one of the jobs of universities to make students smarter, tougher, and more open-minded than that. What is Rutgers doing, sending its Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance to care for students who can’t listen to opinions they don’t agree with without having an emotional breakdown? The school’s chancellor should have come and said simply, “Grow up. The antidote to words you don’t agree with are more persuasive words that counter them. You came here to learn that skill. Weakness, intolerance for dissent and cowardice are not virtues, and we’re not going to nurture them at Rutgers.’
Melissa James, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, told the empathy brigade that she broke down crying after the event, because of what Mean Milo said about the rape culture not being real. “How can you say that is not violent? Maybe they did not hit me, but that took such a big toll on me emotionally,” she said. How? So violence is no longer defined by what someone does, but how some sensitive plant reacts to it, is that what Rutgers teaches now?
Boy, I wish I had known that after Bucky Dent’s home run in the Red Sox-Yankees play-off game sent me into a cosmic depression in October of 1978. I could have had the little bastard arrested!
James also said she was scared to walk around campus the next day, and many others agreed, saying that they felt “unsafe at the event” and around campus afterward. Where are the Rutgers faculty members who are obligated to remind these self-handicapped victims that in a democracy you cannot be “safe” from conflicting views and opinions, and a college campus is stealing their money if it is “safe” from discomforting words and views?
Dianne Techwei, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences sophomore, said people were clapping about things that are not true!
Because she knows all about what is true, right now. Why is she even in college, then?
Not to learn what free speech is, that’s for sure. Nyuma Waggeh, a School of Arts and Sciences junior said she believes Yiannopoulos’s comments cross the line between hate speech and free speech. The Daily Targum wrote that questions remaining unresolved after the pity party include the line between hate speech and freedom of speech.
Hey! I can resolve that question! There is no line! There is no such thing as hate speech, and there is no exception to free speech that encompasses any definition of “hate speech” as these pathetic weenies think they understand it. Do I get my $25,000 now? Why haven’t Rutgers students learned that yet? Rutgers, what good are you?
“Our universities are creating adults who are wholly dependent on authority to shield them from alien ideas. This is exactly the opposite of what the college experience is supposed to be. Instead of graduating confident, clear-thinking, tolerant adults capable of functioning in almost any work environment, the modern university is sending out into the world whiny, weak, intellectually vapid, intolerant fascists.”