UC Berkeley’s assault on free speech continues. The school erected an “empathy tent” on campus in order to give students a place to relax. It didn’t work. Adult college students can’t be manipulated like kindergarteners. Four people were arrested in brawls that erupted inside the tent.
“I guess I came here to vent a little bit, I’m not gonna lie,” liberal activist Aguirre Aguilar told the Los Angeles Times.
“I’m angry about everything that’s going on. Free speech once sought to legitimize the oppressed, and now it has been appropriated to legitimize oppression. The right to free speech is different from the right to having a platform.”
Aguilar is referencing the spectacular free speech failure that hit the campus last week. Conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos’ “Free Speech Week” was canceled before it really began. The school spent nearly $1 million to provide security for what turned out to be a five-minute speech.
College students are too coddled. They’ve been raised to think that insulting speech should be barred from public places. Offending someone is now considered to be the great evil. Yiannopoulos is purposefully incendiary, and it works. Instead of trying to reason against his views, liberals just want to shut him up.
“I shuddered last week when I heard a Cal associate French professor tell…that she was taking her students off campus for classes this week, for their safety,” reads an LA Times opinion piece.
“Good lord, why not teach them the immortal words of Eleanor Roosevelt: ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent’? Or even remind them of the childhood aphorism, ‘Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me?’ How did skin here get so thin?”
Violence is now common at student protests, but it’s mostly just routine hooliganism. Students don’t need to fear for their lives just because a conservative is scheduled to speak on campus. Educators should be teaching their charges how to stand strong, not to cower.
According to the New York Post: “The school has shelled out well over $1 million for such speeches this year, including for events that it still felt obliged to cancel. It cost an estimated $600,000 to secure the recent speech by utterly mainstream conservative Ben Shapiro.”
Immature behavior is common among the left. Those who don’t hide in fear when confronted by new ideas turn to violence. Liberals should be more worried about the Antifa protesters than conservative speakers. Men like Shapiro and Yiannopoulos may have opinions that place them among the minority at Berkeley, but they aren’t dangerous.
The furor around Yiannopoulos’ speech was so pronounced that he was forced to leave after a few minutes. The school is so embarrassed about their handling of the event that their spokesman is trying to shuffle the blame.
“It’s unclear to us why Mr. Yiannopoulos decided to start speaking when he did, and why he decided to end when he did—people were still coming in from the enclosed area,” said Dan Mogulof, UC Berkeley’s spokesman during a press conference.
The school also hasn’t claimed responsibility for the mayhem that erupted inside the empathy tent. The four people who were arrested weren’t even university students. They were attracted to the mayhem and came to make a “statement.”
“Police said Ricky Joseph Monzon, 20, of Las Vegas, was arrested for carrying a banned weapon while Eddy Robinson, 47, of Oakland, was arrested on charges of participating in a riot and resisting arrest,” the Daily Mail reports.
The other two agitators were arrested for assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.