On Fox's Outnumbered this afternoon, we discussed the disgraceful scene in Berekely, California last night, wherein rioters forced the cancellation of a speech by alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopolous. These outlaws claim to be "protesting" fascism, intolerance, and "dangerous" speech -- yet they're the ones who've embraced openly fascistic tactics. Indeed, what better way to maintain a 'safe space' than, you know, burning things to the ground and smashing windows? In our conversation, I hypothesized what the reaction would look like if the ideological roles were flipped, explained how these people are proving Milo's point about them, and exposed their screaming hypocrisy about the 'F-word:'
As I alluded to in the clip, I'm not exactly a fan of Milo's, but I'll go to bat for his free speech rights -- and the rights of Americans to peaceably assemble -- every day of the week. In the name of combatting fascism, these fascist rioters destroyed private and public property, and even assaulted a pro-Milo attendee with pepper spray during an interview outside the venue. Disgusting:
The university harshly condemned the violence in a statement:
We condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence and unlawful behavior that was on display, and deeply regret that those tactics will now overshadow the efforts to engage in legitimate and lawful protest against the performer’s presence and perspectives. The University and the UCPD went to extraordinary lengths to plan for this event and put the appropriate resources in place in order to maintain security. Officials were in contact with other campuses and paid close attention to lessons learned at the speaker’s prior events. Dozens of additional police officers were on duty. Multiple methods of crowd control were in place. Ultimately and unfortunately, however, it was simply impossible to maintain order given the level of threat, disruption, and violence. We regret that the threats and unlawful actions of a few have interfered with the exercise of First Amendment rights on a campus that is proud of its history and legacy as home of the Free Speech Movement. As Chancellor Dirks made clear in his message to the Berkeley campus community, while Mr. Yiannopoulos views, tactics and rhetoric are profoundly contrary to our own, we are bound by the Constitution, the law, our values, and the campus’s Principles of Community to enable free expression across the full spectrum of opinion and perspective.
Berkeley's mayor, however, took to Twitter to effectively make excuses for the rioters, conflating speech with violence. This is shameful and embarrassing coming from an elected official:
Using speech to silence marginalized communities and promote bigotry is unacceptable. Hate speech isn't welcome in our community.— Jesse Arreguin (@JesseArreguin) February 2, 2017
"Hate speech" is protected speech. Upholding the bedrock value of free speech requires safeguarding unpopular speech; standing up for docile and inoffensive speech is easy, and doesn't test the principle. Also the mayor's notion that speech "silences communities" is preposterously stupid, as were supportive tweets from celebrities cheering on the violent upheaval. All told, this episode represented the End of Discussion mob at its very worst. And the irony is that they're actively hurting their own cause. I'll leave you with this: