Freeloading and Snobbery
Friday Ephemera

Righteousness 101

Further to this sorry episode and others like it in the archives, Clazy steers us to yet another example of campus tolerance:

I didn’t expect them to literally chase him out of the building.

Readers may detect a familiar pattern here. If someone is invited onto campus to discuss a controversial subject – say, illegal immigration – the most righteous response is not to refute that person’s arguments, which would entail some effort and minimal civility. Good lord, no, there’s no time for that. (And why run the risk of hearing new information - and worse, rethinking one’s own position?) Instead, simply ensure the guest cannot air any argument at all. Then there’s not much to refute. One can simply sloganeer triumphantly and, of course, paraphrase. Call what the speaker would have said “hate speech,” then no-one will be curious and people will stay clear. Should the guest dare to invite questions at the end of his speech, this must be taken as an act of provocation and a license for pre-emptive rage. Great effort should be made to intimidate not only the speaker but those who wish to hear him speak and those who allowed him onto your turf. With luck, faculty will join in with the disruption to signal their own credentials. Breaking windows and showering people with glass is also a sign of possessing unassailable convictions. It sends a message, see, and let’s everyone know who’s boss.

Video here and here.


Peter Horne

You might like this

John D

'Scuse my language but fucking hell.

"UNC graduate student Tyler Oakley, who had organized the protest, said he regretted the broken window but not silencing Tancredo. "He was not able to practice his hate speech," said Oakley. "You have to respect the right of people to assemble and collectively speak."

Looks like they only respect "collective" speech - theirs.


“Looks like they only respect ‘collective’ speech - theirs.”

Yes, there’s more than a hint of cognitive dissonance and projection, and the usual contempt for anyone who disagrees. Your speech is “hate speech,” see, so we’ll intimidate everyone in the room and make sure you shut up. It’s our way of showing “respect” for the “right of people to assemble.” At the start of the video one protestor tries to stop the guy filming what’s happening. “Don’t take pictures of racists,” she says, airily. It’s an odd thing to say and she doesn’t explain it. Maybe what she means is “Don’t let them see our methods,” or “Don’t you dare to disagree, even implicitly.”


Like the guy says in the video- if you want to shut people up you just bang on the windows until they smash then security clear everyone out. End of debate. Job done.

"It's social justice, people!"

Best line #2: "He left of his own accord."


I'm going through a similar sort of thing right now on a local newspaper comment thread. A reader has taken my comment down 22 times - I've put it up 23 times. I played this game for three hours last night, and it's started again today. I can carry on playing all day and all tonight too. I'm good at stayawakeathons ... once worked - worked - continuously for 74 hours (military) - sitting here in front of a computer is a piece of cake.


“He left of his own accord.”

Yes, it’s almost funny. Whatever you make of his politics, Tancredo showed remarkable patience and restraint, until people started physically harassing him and holding banners across his face. So much for civility and tolerance. It must be because the protestors are such caring people, purged as they are of hate. And if security costs (and repair bills) keep getting bigger, that may be enough to deter the invitation of other controversial speakers. As you say, job done.

And the “no dialogue with hate” slogan is a great excuse for stupidity. Whatever you don’t like gets called “hate” so you don’t have to think about it seriously or come up with much of an argument. It also helps to scream “racist” at people you disagree with. You won’t be expected to prove this claim and it usually shuts people up anyway. And then you can start chanting, “Yes, racists, we will fight, we know where you sleep at night!”

It’s what education’s all about, opening minds and all that.


If someone's "message" is that differing opinions will be silenced, all counter-messages and counter-arguments are neither here nor there, because what's going on is not a battle of ideas but the wielding of corporeal, realpolitik tactics.

I'm curious about something: in the last twenty or thirty years -- entirely non-rhetorical question here -- have you ever seen a group of non-leftists, or even moderate leftists, or Moslems, or anyone else, shouting down and stopping a thought-crime speech being made by a leftist on the grounds that the ideas being expressed were too left, or too socialist, or radical, or too communist?

I haven't, personally.



Here's the final part of the comment I'm having all the trouble with, as mentioned above:

" Readers have noticed you know - it's not the BNP that wants to stop ordinary people having access to all points of view so they can make their own minds up - it's the BNP's opponents that do that.

They then want all the more to know what WE are saying. They already know what YOU are saying because they've been getting nothing else for years.

Forbidden fruit always tastes sweeter"


Now taken down 23 times - up 24.

John D

"And if security costs (and repair bills) keep getting bigger, that may be enough to deter the invitation of other controversial speakers. As you say, job done."

"Whether it's Bill Ayers or anti-PLO speakers, CU-Boulder must not charge its students extra for bringing controversial ideas and speakers to campus," Kissel said. "A university should be society's ultimate marketplace of ideas. Pricing some ideas right out of the market with excessive, unconstitutional fees makes a mockery of American freedom."



“…what’s going on is not a battle of ideas but the wielding of corporeal, realpolitik tactics.”

Exactly. There’s no attempt to engage with what’s being said. It simply will not be permitted. Hence the phrase, “mob veto.”

“I haven’t, personally.”

It does seem to be the favoured tactic among “progressive” students. Though there must be some counter examples, surely? I’m trying to imagine what the reaction would be to a lecture at the same university by, say, William Ayers. But the only thing I can think of offhand is a book promotion Ayers and Dohrn did in San Francisco, which was pretty much a love-in. I don’t recall there being much disruption.

Which is quite odd, given Ayers’ past, and that of his equally lovely wife.


These protesters should be thrown out of university, not because of their illegal and unethical behaviour (although that would be reason enough,) but because if they can't craft an argument more powerful than ("UR A RACIST!" or "HATE!") then they aren't of sufficiently high intellectual calibre to be there. If you're too stupid for simple, basic logical argument, you aren't worthy of a spot at a university.

A university is for HIGHER learning, not low-end thuggery. Expel these halfwits.

In fact, more than a few professors deserve to go with them.


If you wish the tell him and his boss what you think of his thuggish tactics, here is his contact information.
The is public information that can looked up on the UNC website Tyler Oakley, Editorial Assistant, Publications Mary J. Jones Administrative Manager, Larry King, Department Chair, Holden Thorpe, Chancellor, UNC.

James S

"UNC-CH geography professor Altha Cravey joined protesters in chanting the names of Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus."

"I went to high school during the 1960s and was influenced by the notion that people can have-and must find ways to have-a positive impact on society. This commitment shapes my professional and personal life, particularly my interest in critical thought. I believe that theorizing society and social change can offer guidance about how social change occurs and how we can best live in the world and contribute to progressive social change."

Well she's setting a great example. Loads of "critical thought" on show there...


“Loads of ‘critical thought’ on show there.”

Yes, her “positive impact” is hard to miss. But she’s down with the kids, fighting the power, giving it to the man, etc. And surely that’s what matters?

It’s hard not to laugh at the CV boilerplate:

“I like to approach [globalisation] from the perspective of… people whose experiences may be less prominent due to gender, race, class, or sexuality differences. I believe these social relationships offer important insights-and opportunities for critical thinking-on globalization.”

Which is all well and good, I’m sure, but it’s rather at odds with helping an intolerant self-satisfied rabble drown out what was supposed to be a civil and serious discussion. Glad to see academia is maintaining those lofty standards we’ve come to know and love.


That's the new young "educated" Left for you. This incident so reminds me of this:


Tancredo has the wrong idea entirely. He should have tried to win over his detractors with the power of song.

James S

Looks like the bad press coverage could pay off:

"On Wednesday, UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp and UNC System President Erskine Bowles both telephoned former Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado to apologize after student protesters shouted Tancredo down as he tried to give a speech. Students smashed a window a few feet from where he stood and blocked his face with a banner that said, "No One Is Illegal." The incident clearly touched a nerve, Thorp said. His phone rang steadily from the early hours Wednesday. None were happy callers. "Some were from alums, and a lot were from all over the country," he said. "We didn't get anything from anybody happy with the way things went. The fact that it got out of hand is embarrassing." Thorp has promised an investigation that might lead to criminal charges or other disciplinary measures. Specifically, students could be punished for vandalism and pushing a police officer, he said. Thorp said he was disappointed the students didn't uphold the university's commitment to free speech and diverse viewpoints."


“Thorp said he was disappointed the students didn’t uphold the university’s commitment to free speech and diverse viewpoints.”

Maybe Mr Thorp will reflect on whether the students’ behaviour has anything to do with those members of staff who saw fit to participate in the disruption. The students banging on walls and smashing windows are probably getting the same tingle of power that entertained other people in history who also shut people up by banging on walls and breaking windows. Of synagogues, churches, things like that. Because for all the blather about “critical thought,” it looks an awful lot like a preference for attitude over knowledge and posturing over reason. The result of which is not so much “critical thought” as a dull, intolerant conformity. And intolerance of dissent suggests some insecurity behind those loud convictions.

La Raza

Shut up, you racist.

Bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang *crash* *tinkle*

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