A liberal professor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) recently wrote an essay in support of “destructive demonstrations.” According to him, they’re useful because they help get national attention.
Specifically, Stefan Bradley, a professor of African American studies and Chairman of Loyola Marymount’s African American studies department, published an essay earlier this week, titled “Civil Debate Is Fine. Protest Is Even Better,” in “The Chronicle of Higher Education.” It’s a newspaper and website that “presents news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty and Student Affairs professionals,” justifying the left’s use of violence and destruction.
“Today, pundits and scholars are calling on students to employ the tactics of moral suasion — that is, appealing to the sympathies of opponents and decision-makers to change policies they disagree with. Moral suasion is rooted, partly, in the philosopher John Stuart Mill’s call to allow good ideas to defeat bad ones via civil discourse,” began Bradley.
“[But] moral suasion works only when the opposing party is sympathetic and willing to act upon that which is just. Where civil dialogue failed, it took activism and agitation to create the positions in African-American studies [for people like] Professor West,” he added, unconvinced that moral suasion will be effective.
“To be sure, disruption should not be mistaken for violence, and inflicting physical harm (not counting self-defense) on opponents and property often derails a just cause,” clarified Bradley, who went on to then justify destructive demonstrations. “At times…it is the violent or destructive demonstrations that draw the attention of the wider public and motivates decision makers to act,” he stated, noting, “the response of the institution to nonviolent disruption often determines the reaction of agitators. Some will quibble about what constitutes self-defense or even violence, but America’s past has proved that the powers of persuasion do not often yield just results.”
Later in the essay, Bradley wrote that “activists in the Movement for Black Lives and their peers have come to understand that they will never be able to convince some people of their humanity, and that even if they could, those who hold the keys to the gates of power would not necessarily feel inclined to yield to their demands.”
By saying this, Bradley is essentially claiming that African Americans are incapable being effective persuaders, and as a result, must resort to violence instead, which is completely absurd. African Americans live in one of the freest countries in the world. If they want to enact change, there are a plethora of ways for them to do so, like participating in the political process.
Not only is this absolutely ridiculous, it’s also a form of bigotry based on low expectations. This is because Bradley is basically suggesting that African Americans who are equipped with strong arguments lack the ability to be effective persuaders despite the fact that there have been numerous African Americans who have brought about change using speech and nonviolence.
However, to Bradley, civility and speech have perpetuated racial bigotry. Specifically, he stated, “authorities want students to confront issues of racism and imperialism using civil methods and “proper” forms of communication. But civility and speaking quietly allowed racial bigotry to rule for decades in these spaces.”
Sadly, Bradley isn’t the only liberal professor to recently come out in support of violence and destruction. April Hitchcock, a former corporate litigator and current Scholarly Communications Librarian at NYU, also wrote an essay, titled “On Antifa and Social Justice Struggle,” justifying far-left political violence.
“The anti-fascist resistance groups that have been fighting the public displays of hate and oppression of white supremacists and other Trumpsters have been declared ‘domestic terrorists.’ Apparently, some of their tactics have involved violence,” began Hitchcock in her essay.
“I don’t know. I haven’t been keeping tabs on all their actions. But I have seen all the finger-wagging hot-take think pieces from both sides of the political divide,” she continued, noting, “and to be quite honest, I just don’t care.” To clarify, she stated, “I don’t care what or how Antifa is fighting oppression. I’m more interested in the age-old narrative emerging here in which the oppressed are only allowed to fight oppression in ways deemed acceptable by the oppressor.”
Bradley’s essay underscores the importance of opposing the violent authoritarianism of the far-left. This is because, if they get their way, then anyone who thinks differently than they do would be in grave danger.