Thursday, October 5, 2017

Black Lives Matter Against the ACLU

Fascist thuggery was recently on display at the College of William and Mary. A group of thugs broke up a meeting about the First Amendment featuring a speaker representing the ACLU-- not a notably right-wing organization. The thugs did not just protest or critique the speaker. They simply shut her down, silenced her.

They wanted the world to know that when the Revolution comes, there will be no more free speech or First Amendment protections. Who was this group? You guessed it: Black Lives Matter.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the story, from Reason (via Maggie’s Farm):

Students affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement crashed an event at the College of William & Mary, rushed the stage, and prevented the invited guest—the American Civil Liberties Union's Claire Gastañaga, a W & M alum—from speaking.

Ironically, Gastañaga had intended to speak on the subject, "Students and the First Amendment."

The disruption was livestreamed on BLM at W&M's Facebook page. Students took to the stage just a few moments after Gastañaga began her remarks. At first, she attempted to spin the demonstration as a welcome example of the kind of thing she had come to campus to discuss, commenting "Good, I like this," as they lined up and raised their signs. "I'm going to talk to you about knowing your rights, and protests and demonstrations, which this illustrates very well. Then I'm going to respond to questions from the moderators, and then questions from the audience."

It was the last remark she was able to make before protesters drowned her out with cries of, "ACLU, you protect Hitler, too." They also chanted, "the oppressed are not impressed," "shame, shame, shame, shame," (an ode to the Faith Militant's treatment of Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones, though why anyone would want to be associated with the religious fanatics in that particular conflict is beyond me), "blood on your hands," "the revolution will not uphold the Constitution," and, uh, "liberalism is white supremacy."

This went on for nearly 20 minutes. Eventually, according to the campus's Flat Hat News, one of the college's co-organizers of the event handed a microphone to the protest's leader, who delivered a prepared statement. The disruption was apparently payback for the ACLU's principled First Amendment defense of the Charlottesville alt-right's civil liberties.

Of course, this is not acceptable. It might also be illegal. Apparently, some lawyers in different venues are going to raise the question.

Naturally, we are inexorably led to believe that these college students do not know anything. Products of America’s increasingly lame educational establishment, they probably cannot do college level work. Thus, they do what they are capable of doing: disrupting and deconstructing.

At a time when the nation is engaged in a serious debate over the meaning of the NFL protests against the National Anthem, we might also have a bit of a national conversation about anti-American and unpatriotic disloyalty. After all, that was what the Kaepernick protest was about. And, whether the football players know it or not, their protests express disloyalty. No human being can determine the meaning of his own gestures.

How are we to stop this BLM madness? I have a suggestion. Why not request or demand that African-American leaders, beginning with Barack Obama, speak out and denounce the movement in the most forceful terms?

You might tax me with being young and naïve. You might respond that the Black Lives Movement was supported by the Obama presidency and that it belongs firmly on the list of the Obama administration legacy.

The moral of the story: before we get into high dudgeon over a bunch of fascistic college students, we ought to recognize from whence it all issues.


Ares Olympus said...

Its an interesting strategy to observe if you can avoid taking it personally. When you decide you have the right to silence the opposition, you clearly have to be very sure that all righteousness is on your side, and all vice on the other. That sort of confidence demands a strong echo chamber and closed mind to keep it up day after day.

Psychologist Jordan Peterson recorded gender-bender protesters overwhelming his attempt to speak by chanting at McMaster University last March, pretty entertaining or shameful depending on which side you're on. I'm sure I wouldn't have such patience.

Stuart: How are we to stop this BLM madness? I have a suggestion. Why not request or demand that African-American leaders, beginning with Barack Obama, speak out and denounce the movement in the most forceful terms?

And there have been denunciations, including Bernie Sanders and Keith Ellison:
To me, it’s a sign of intellectual weakness,” he said. “If you can’t ask Ann Coulter in a polite way questions which expose the weakness of her arguments, if all you can do is boo, or shut her down, or prevent her from coming, what does that tell the world?”

“What are you afraid of ― her ideas? Ask her the hard questions,” he concluded. “Confront her intellectually. Booing people down, or intimidating people, or shutting down events, I don’t think that that works in any way.”

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who was also in Omaha to speak at the rally for Mello, expressed similar sentiments, noting that opponents of the black civil rights movement sued protesters and media outlets that reported on them in an effort to restrict their speech.

“Absolutely protest these people you don’t like, absolutely write against them, denounce them,” the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee advised progressives angry at right-wing speakers. “But the solution to bad speech is good speech, the solution to bad speech is more speech. Once you start saying, ‘You can’t talk,’ then whoever’s in power gets to impose that on whoever’s not in power and that’s not good.”

Ares Olympus said...

Here's Obama during the campaign last year, speaking against the illiberal left trying to silence speech of people they disagree with. President Obama on Free Speech on Campus

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Point well taken. I should have said that they need to be out front, condemning BLM clearly and often. If I recall the leaders of the movement were invited to the Obama White House. They should be condemning it as they wanted Trump to condemn the KKK....

Ares Olympus said...

Part of the problem I'm sure is BLM is not a monolithic organization and apparently any individual can declare himself a BLM leader and try to attract a following.

And that's what happened a couple years ago in St Paul with the protestors who chanted "Pigs in a blanket, fry them up like bacon" as police officers escorted them on their illegal march blocking traffic down Snelling Avenue. I found out some of this by emailing the Minneapolis BLM leadership and they said they were a formal chapter, while the St Paul group was basically just one self-declared leader on a powertrip looking for other people who wanted to join up. I know a number of people who walked away from his events, so there is a slow learning curve. And yet, good leaders are reluctant to show division publicly.

Of course all this proves your point - once you give a name to your movement, you have a responsibility to try to set standards of conduct and strategy. And BLM didn't start well with their dishonest "hands up, don't shoot" meme about Michael Brown, reinventing facts to be what they need to believe. Sharpton is clearly unteachable.,_don%27t_shoot
Al Sharpton encouraged demonstrators to use the gesture by saying, "If you're angry, throw your arms up. If you want justice, throw your arms up. Because that's the sign Michael was using. He had a surrender sign. That's the sign you have to deal with. Use the sign he last showed. We want answers why that last sign was not respected."

Sam L. said...

"Hands up; don't shoot." A lie thjat has been told many, many times.

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