“Liberalism Is White Supremacy!”: Black Lives Matter Protesters Block Speech By ACLU Head At William and Mary

 

screen-shot-2017-10-05-at-11-50-22-am.pngdownloadI recently wrote how Antifa and other college protesters are increasingly denouncing free speech and the foundations for liberal democracies.  That troubling trend was evident last week with a protest at William & Mary College in Virginia  when protesters from Black Lives Matter stopped a discussion with Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia.  Protesters screamed “Liberalism is white supremacy!” the protesters shouted, and “ACLU, you protect Hitler too!”  It was an all-too-common sight and universities have done little to address students who believe that they have a right to prevent others from hearing opposing views.

The protesters livestreamed the demonstration on Facebook as they chanted “The oppressed are not impressed!,” “Blood on your hands!,” and “The revolution will not uphold the Constitution!”

 

Gastañaga was left sidelined as protesters refused to let her speak. She was there to discuss free speech and can be heard initially saying that this is the issue that brought her to campus and “Good, I like this.”  She added “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.”

The BLM protesters denounced free speech as a tool of oppression. One organizer declared:

“When is the free speech of the oppressed protected? We know from personal experience that rights granted to wealthy, white, cis, male, straight bodies do not trickle down to marginalized groups. We face greater barriers and consequences for speaking.”

What also concerns me is that fact that these students claimed the right to prevent other students from participating in classes or events — a similar complaint raised against the recent protests against James Comey at Howard University.  The students interrupted a lecture and were reportedly screaming at other students who actually wanted to learn.  I have taken a harsh line on such disruptions of classrooms like a recent incident at Northwestern University.  This violates a core defining values of our academic institutions and such students should be suspended for such conduct.  There is a difference between voicing your views and preventing others from speaking, particularly inside of a classroom. When you claim the right to prevent others from hearing opposing views or speakers, you are at odds with the academic mission of these universities.

William & Mary should suspend students who prevent classes or public events.  Period. Either students come to a school to be exposed to different views and to express their views, or they have no place in an institution of higher learning.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the protesters are easily identifiable on tape, William & Mary College President Taylor Reveley issued a statement that said nothing of disciplining, let alone suspending, the students:

 

“This stifles debate and prevents those who’ve come to hear a speaker, our students in particular, from asking questions, often hard questions, and from engaging in debate where the strength of ideas, not the power of shouting, is the currency.  William & Mary must be a campus that welcomes difficult conversations, honest debate and civil dialogue.”

That is the right sentiment but the question is whether Reveley is prepared to protect those values with concrete action.

82 thoughts on ““Liberalism Is White Supremacy!”: Black Lives Matter Protesters Block Speech By ACLU Head At William and Mary

  1. […] UC Berkeley Professor Harley Shaiken probably did not expect to be denounced as a tool of the racist establishment when he came to class recently.  After all, he was simply giving a midterm exam when protesters appeared to demand that he checked his “privilege” and cancel his exam due to the stress that it was causing for students.  Instead, the students demanded that he assign a “take-home essay with significant time to prepare.”  The scene was truly Felliniesque but whatever humor might be found in the moment was lost by the fact that this is not an isolated occurrence on our campuses, as we have previously discussed. […]

  2. […] UC Berkeley Professor Harley Shaiken  probably did not expect to be denounced as a tool of the racist establishment when he came to class recently.  After all, he was simply giving a midterm exam when protesters appeared to demand that he checked his “privilege” and cancel his exam due to the stress that it was causing for students.  Instead, the students demanded that he assign a “take-home essay with significant time to prepare.”  The scene was truly Felliniesque but whatever humor might be found in the moment was lost by the fact that this is not an isolated occurrence on our campuses, as we have previously discussed. […]

  3. Faculty are most persistent at making life disagreeable for administrators when their own oxen are gored. What’s notable here is that faculty qua faculty do not conceive of their own interests as injured by this sort of thing. To object to this sort of thing and complain of administrative non-feasance is status lowering among faculty – a pathologically other-directed group. The administrators are careerists who defer to faculty, or are ideologues who despise public discussions which violate their perimeters, and are, in any case, responsive to what’s status-lowering among their professional peers.

    The faculty and administration own this situation. They’ll never own up to anything, which is why things they value must be taken away from them and why they must be punished.

  4. Where’s the controversy? This is an easy call; suspend the students who interfered with the program presentation, they return on probation, and expel any student who used physical violence.

  5. Let me see if I’ve got this right: the demonstrators insist they “face greater barriers and consequences for speaking,” while conveniently ignoring a simple truth. Mobs of the perpetually angry have organized on social media and shut down several events, from CSULA to Middlebury to William & Mary, yet none faced so much as a reprimand from college administrators. That’s a pretty odd definition of “barriers and consequences.”

      • That was not free speech; a professor wouldn’t go along with the “Day of Absence,” so 200 students took over classrooms and the university president’s office and shouted at the professor. This case seems unusual because school officials did what they should have.

  6. “All men are created equal and endowed…” is a liberal statement. As a contrast the Russian Federation is said to be an illiberal democracy although I opine that it has fascist elements. The People’s Republic of China is an outright totalitarian fascist state.

    • They will not say ‘all lives matter’ because it’s their view that what’s wrong with the world is that blacks are not receiving the deference they are due. For police officers, courts, school deans, and prison guards to impose sanctions on blacks for bad behavior or performance deficits is a violation of their sense of proper social hierarchy.

  7. “When is the free speech of the oppressed protected?” – Ummm, the First Amendment?

    Once one group of protestors is granted the de facto right to obstruct students from attending classes or conservative speakers from speaking, then it’s a precedent.

    Let’s see, in the matrix of victim profiteering on the oppressed scale of personal validation, we have BLM here believing that they trump that Liberal bastion, the ACLU. If transgender trump cis gendered gay men, then where would a white transgender woman fall with a black gay man? What about with a black Lesbian? They need to put out a trading card game, like Pokemon, so we can practice, because it’s hard to say which protest group should be allowed to disrupt the Constitutional rights of the other.

    It really is too bad that they couldn’t just support the Constitution, which supports all of our individual rights. But, you know, that’s white cis male oppression from slave owners, so it’s got to go, I guess.

    Forgive the schadenfreude, but I’m quite enjoying this. At what point do the students stand up and say, you know, I can be an activist on my own time. Why don’t I just get the undisturbed classes that I paid for so that I can graduate and get a job?

    • Karen – with this new setback to white liberalism, I think it is only fair someone comes out with a chart telling us who trumps (like in bridge) who at the protest. If BLM and Antifa both show up, now we know BLM gets the front seats, because we all know at heart Antifa is white liberals pretending to be anarchists and down with their black brothers. Well, no more, homie.

      This is probably sending cold chills down the spine of every white liberal in America. Couldn’t happen to a nicer group of village idiots.

        • If Antifa are not liberal, pray tell, then why do Jesus Obama, Peeelosi, and Shurmer approve of Antifa actions (silence means they approve, obviously)?

          If you think Americans shall believe your nonsense if you keep saying enough, keep dreaming.

    • Karen,
      If I recall, you homeschool, too. Do you use The Story of the World volumes by Susan Wise Bauer? I ask because she teaches at William & Mary. I would love to hear her perspective on this protest.

    • A welcome first step yet I expect a resurgence of these shenanigans as soon as the controversy is no longer in the news.

      With the McCleary decision the state should just cut its losses and close Evergreen.

      The college is the worst performing four year institute in the state as measured at least by earning power of graduates. The millions of dollars saved per year could go a long way toward fully funding primary education. Unfortunately it is a darling among left-wing politicians so it will fester for decades to come.

    • Autumn,
      Joe Rogan had a great podcast with Bret Weinstein of Evergreen State and Jordan Petersen who is speaking out against the enforced gender pronoun nonsense up in Canada.

      • I double-checked the podcast list. There is also a podcast just with Bret Weinstein. I haven’t listened to it yet, but all the other Joe Rogan podcasts I’ve heard are very good.

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