“This War Can’t Be Civil”: Berkeley Columnist Calls For “Violent Resistance”

Seal_of_University_of_California,_Berkeley.svgtestified in the Senate about the erosion of free speech and rise of violence on our campuses and in our streets. Antifa and related groups have succeeded in advancing anti-free-speech agendas as students and faculty justify attacks on those with opposing views. An example of the growing intolerance can be found in an editorial at the Daily California by staff writer Khaled Alqahtani. The August 12th column calls for violent resistance and denounced notions of civility in the public debate over racial and economic justice.
In his column entitled “This War Can’t Be Civil,” Alqahtani mocks those who seek non-violent change and while “quoting Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. about peaceful protest and resistance.” He declared “‘Radical love’ my ass. It disgusts me that the oppressors’ emotions and well-being (in all contexts, from institutions to individuals) are the first to be considered and accommodated whenever people question the validity of armed or violent resistance.”Alqahtani is willing to accept a role for peaceful protests but insists that people need to give violence a chance: “I’m not dismissing the power or impact of peaceful resistance. You may want to lead a silent march instead of setting a police station on fire. Sometimes, that may work best. What I’m criticizing is the constant rejection of violent resistance on grounds of respectability.”As will hardly come as a surprise to many on this blog, I believe that Alqahtani should have a protected right to espouse such obnoxious views. Of course, I strongly disagree with him and violent groups like Antifa who seek to intimidate or silence those with opposing views.  I have previously stated, including in my recent testimony, that I believe students or faculty who engage in violence should be expelled or fired. Yet, free speech often means defending those who least deserve it but most need it. Alqahtani is one of those people.It is important to note however that conservative students have been punished for language viewed as threatening by others. We recently discussed a Stockton student who was charged after simply using a Trump background for a Zoom class and a comment left by a third party on his Facebook site.  In this case, a student columnist directly called for violence but it was treated as protected speech. Likewise, Syracuse editors removed a columnist becauseshe questioned claims of “institutional racism” in another publication.

I agree with the decision here but the greater concern is sense of a double standard applied to conservative, libertarian or contrarian students. Universities have shown strikingly different levels of tolerance for controversial statements or images from the left as opposed to the right.

Alqahtani embodies the rising intolerance for opposing views and embracing of violence as a form a political expression. Tellingly, the Antifa Handbook starts with the following quote from Buenaventura Durruti: “fascism is not to be debated, it is to be destroyed.” These extremists simply define fascism in encompassing an ever-expanding range of views from capitalism to patriarchy to police.

We defeat hateful and violent views like Alqahtani by maintaining the principles that define us — and distinguish us from those who would embrace mob rule.

 

227 thoughts on ““This War Can’t Be Civil”: Berkeley Columnist Calls For “Violent Resistance””

  1. This kid never explains the specifics of how employing “violent resistance” in the US will result in the changes, that he also never elucidates.

    Much less the potential blowback of employing violent protest, as opposed to peaceful protest.

    As in living by the sword, results in dying by the sword. Especially if you are out manned and out gunned.

    Which is why Gandhi and MLK chose peaceful means over violent means.

    1. He’s living in Beverly Hills compared to the rest of the world so he can get away with being a wafflehead. Try writing something like this in Iran or China. Hong Kong just all lost all speech protections–notably not much “protest” from the academic leftists, hmm? (if that’s not too redundant).

      There were significant student-aged uprisings in Iran and Iraq in the last year or so. Both were crushed with brutality far exceeding anything anyone could cite used by the authorities during recent US domestic violence. I didn’t hear a peep from “The Squad”. You can only afford peaceful resistance when you are operating within a reasonably civil society to begin with. He writes about “decolonization” but probably has no clue the most aggressive colonizing force in the world today is, arguably, China. I wonder how “free trade” fits into Mr. Alquhtani’s world view? I’ll bet he could not live without his Iphone.

      Worth a look as few know of it but one of the 20th Century’s true American leaders, Sen. Eugene McCarthy, wrote his last book in 1995–it was called “A Colony of the World”. Prophetic I would say.

  2. The US government funds and controls ALL US colleges .
    If the colleges do a thing or teach a thing it is because the US government told them to.

    1. You should have stated “ALMOST all.” Two colleges that I know of — Hillsdale College and Grove City College — do not accept federal funds and so are to a very large extent free of all federal interference.

  3. For the life of me I cannot distinguish, in practice, any difference between “violent resistance” and “armed insurrection.” If you can, please explain. A few examples wouldn’t hurt.

  4. My beloved Rep Alexandria Ocaiso Cortez will speak tonight more than Jesus spoke.
    AOC will blasphemy the lord and I will vote for Berni….I mean Joe Biden.

  5. REGARDING ABOVE:

    Clide Yates is the same creepy loser of a troll who keeps dogging this blog with endless, stupid puppets.

      1. Absurd: Has our troll emboldened you?? Made you feel a little braver?? You and the troll could be kindred spirits. Perhaps you’re a creepy loser like him,? And when he gets active, you feel the urge to jump in.

        Yeah, that’s probably who you are, Absurd. Just a cowardly sack of sh_t following the troll’s lead.

          1. Seth Warner wrote, “Absurd: Drop dead. I’m a creepy loser and so are you. When I get active, anything goes.”

            Thanks for confirming what others have said.

            Troll: Those that post inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.

            You should be banned as many times as it takes to drive the point home that your kind of trolling rhetoric is not welcome.

            Have a nice day.

            Note to everyone else…

          2. Seth Warner wrote, “Absurd: Drop dead. I’m a creepy loser and so are you. When I get active, anything goes.”

            Thanks for confirming what others have said.

            Troll: Those that post inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.

            You should be banned as many times as it takes to drive the point home that your kind of trolling rhetoric is not welcome.

            Have a nice day.

            Note to everyone else…
            https://stevewitherspoonhome.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/dont-feed-the-trolls2.jpg

    1. I’m a double creepy loser of a troll who keeps dogging this blog with endless, stupid puppets. Vote for Biden….Hunter Biden….The dead beat daddy.

  6. Jonathan: Personally, I’m a coward. I oppose violence in any form. But I can understand the dynamic here. No doubt, Khaled Algahtani is an angry young man. From his name and photo I would imagine his heritage is somewhere in the Middle East–a cauldron of political violence against repressive regimes. So I can understand why he might view “violence resistance” as the only option in certain moments of social upheaval when oppressors don’t respond to peaceful protest and resort to brutal violence to repress them. In his op-ed piece in the Daily California Khaled highlights “our tendency to forget who actually initiates the violence–generally, we consider only how the oppressed react. The violence imposed on them is normalized to the extent that it’s not questioned, or worse: Some people expect the reaction of the oppressed to be colorful, poetic and polite” I think Khaled has put his finger on the problem: Here in the US the long legal and extra legal oppression of black people and other minorities has been accepted as “normal”. Police have been expected to use violence to keep the “hood” and the barrio quiet so they don’t disturb the tranquility of white urban neighborhoods. So when George Floyd is murdered by a white police officer and the community erupts with the destruction of property and other violence white people are outraged. They expect black people to be “colorful, poetic and polite”.

    Mr. Algahtani knows something about repressive regimes in the Middle East. He refers in his column to violence by Israel’s IDF “when a Palestinian kid throws a rock…” The IDF shoots the kid dead. When Palestinians peacefully protest they are tear gassed or shot. When they erupt in violence against continued brutal Israeli oppression.in the Gaza strip they are bombed–destroying hospitals, electricity grids and apartments and killing hundreds. That’s normal practice in the Gaza. Israel calls it periodically “mowing the lawn”, Algahtani probably knows all this history. He probably also knows about other repressive regimes-like Saudi Arabia where any “polite” dissent is brutally repressed. Saudi exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi learned this the hard way. He wrote a monthly column in the Washington Post criticizing the policies of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. And what happened to Khashoggi’s right to “free speech”? On October 8, 2018 Khashoggi entered the Saudi embassy in Istanbul and was brutally murdered and his body dismembered by a hit squad sent on the orders of bin Salman. That’s how the Saudi kingdom treats peaceful political dissent.

    In his courses in American history at Cal Berkeley Algahtani also learned that power concedes nothing voluntarily. He learned that the American colonists petitioned their British masters for a redress of their many grievances. Those petitions fell on deaf ears. It took a violent revolution to break free of British colonial oppression.

    I’m sure, Jonathan, the point of Algahtani’s column has been lost on you. That’s because you abhor “mob rule” and “violent resistance” as a threat to the status quo. But when the status quo no longer works, as the continuing protests around the country indicate, your defense of the ancien regime seems seems problematic. . The test will be this November. If Trump loses the election, despite his efforts to sabotage the postal service and other voter suppression tactics, and refuses to give up power voluntarily you will learn the lesson that Algahtani already knows: that an authoritarian never gives up power voluntarily.

    1. From his name and photo I would imagine his heritage is somewhere in the Middle East–a cauldron of political violence against repressive regimes.

      He’s from Saudi Arabia, where there is no political violence. The only place where there’s been ‘a cauldron of violence against a repressive regime’ has been in Syria and (in 2011) Libya. The sources of political violence elsewhere have not been that.

      1. The Kingdom does not take kindly to fighting against the government. MBS allegedly hung a relative from a rack and put his own mother on house arrest in order to consolidate his position as the new heir.

      2. XXii: I normally don’t reply to reader comments. There’s only so much time in the day. But considering the several visceral reactions to my comment, even one threatening me because I admitted I was a coward, I thought a reply was in order. First, thank you for pointing out that Khaled Afgahtani is from Saudi Arabia. I’ll take it on faith. And I agree there is no “political violence” in the Saudi Arabia, at least not on the level we have seen on the streets of US cities. That’s because Saudi Arabia under MBS doesn’t tolerate any dissent. Political dissenters are either thrown into jail, tortured or killed ( see the case of Jamal Khashoggi). That’s why Donald Trump so admires MBS. The Crown Prince knows how to deal with political dissent! But it is not true that violent protests against repressive regimes in the Middle East are confined to Syria and Libya. Just consider that since 2000 alone we have the Iraq war and the insurgency that followed against the US occupation and its crony government. Then we have the Shia insurgency in Yemen, the Iran-PJAK conflict, the Lebanese civil war, the continuing Israel-Palestinian conflict, the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey, just to name a few. Going back to the late 1970s to 2000 there is a long lineage of political violence. See the 1979 Iranian revolution against the Shah who was installed and kept in power by the US. The CIA has spent a lot of US taxpayer money propping up repressive regimes in the Middle East to maintain control over their oil. I suggest you read Robert Fisk’s “The Great War For Civilization, the Conquest of the Middle East” (2005) to see how the West (and particularly the US) has supported the most ruthless leaders in the Middle East and provoked the political violent response by the peoples there.

        1. I suggest you read Robert Fisk’s “The Great War For Civilization, the Conquest of the Middle East” (2005) to see how the West (and particularly the US) has supported the most ruthless leaders in the Middle East and provoked the political violent response by the peoples there.

          I suggest you read astrology books. Their value is about equal to anything produced by opinion journalists.

    2. Dennis McIntyre – George Floyd most likely died of a lethal combination of meth and fentenayl causing a fatal cardiac event.

    3. Huh. I guess it’ll be tit-for-tat when the most oppressed people in the nation, the heterosexual white males who just wantto be left alone and live their lives, cannot bend any further backwards to appease the “oppressed” people with the loudest voices calling for their past, present and futures to be obliterated.

      Keep poking the bear, while turning his cubs into oxen and home into a trash heap, and find out what happens.

      You won’t have to wait much longer.

    4. You make the point quite succinctly why most American citizens of all ethnicities are opposed to the continuing importation of individuals raised in “the Middle East–a cauldron of political violence…” or other countries lacking the American tradition of representative government and rule of law. They bring their anger with them, and fail to adopt our American peaceful dispute resolution mechanisms. Your bias and ignorance clearly show in your characterization of George Floyd’s death as a murder, inasmuch as you disregard the American jurisprudential keystone of presumed innocence. Your ignorance of the truth of events in Israel and its efforts to sustain a viable and peaceful nation in the face of relentless attacks against its civilian population is equally revealing of the befouled nest that is your mind. Finally, you appear to think that any “armed violent resistance” as advocated by Mr. Alghatani will take place in a vacuum; to the contrary, it will take place on the ground, fought between armed combatants, with the likely result that you, regardless of your admitted cowardice will become an early casualty. As for me, I am prepared to wage the war and have the means with which to do it, in order to preserve the freedom guaranteed by the Constitution to me and my posterity. As for you and your posterity, should you have any, perhaps not so much.

    5. Dennis:

      The Palestinians don’t peacefully protest. They use terrorist tactics like plowing a van into a bus stop, killing pregnant women. Or they have knife attack sprees, or they set populated hillsides on fire. “Peaceful protest” and terrorist acts are two very different things. Muslim Arabs got the lion’s share of land in the division of the Ottoman Empire – they got Jordan. Palestine was never a country; it was a region. It was so named by the Romans as punishment for the Jews. Arabs did not begin to refer to themselves as “Palestinians” until after they began fighting the existence of Israel. There is no Palestinian culture or language. They are the same Arabs found anywhere else. Israel has offered the Palestinians land over and over again. However, since they will not accept a Jewish country in land the Muslims conquered, they will never accept peace. If the Palestinians laid down their arms, and stopped fighting, there would be peace. If the Israelis laid down their arms, and swore never to fight or defend themselves again, they would be annihilated.

      You assumed, based on his name and photo, that Khaled Alqahtani, has intimate knowledge of the Middle East and repressive regimes. It’s certainly possible. Or he could be a 2nd generation American. Don’t judge based on a name, religion, or photo. You do realize that not all Americans are named Dennis, Bill, or Steve, right? I remember the rude awakening of a girl I know, when she visited her parent’s homeland of Iran for the first time. She was jailed for wearing nail polish and riding in a car with a maternal cousin, who had a different last name than hers. That took the shine off the ME for her, and made her extremely grateful to be an American.

      You said, “Police have been expected to use violence to keep the “hood” and the barrio quiet so they don’t disturb the tranquility of white urban neighborhoods.” Excuse me, what? You think law enforcement is some sort of KKK? The police respond to crimes. If a suspect obeys lawful commands, they are taken into custody without incident. The main threat to black lives is black criminals, mostly gangs. Police risk their lives fighting crime in high crime neighborhoods. BLM has led to the defunding of police, commands for them to stand down, and to the mass exodus of cops. The result is that the same criminals who terrorize innocent black lives have had nearly free rein. This has resulted in skyrocketing murder rates, including that of many innocent children. It is intellectually lazy to make any sort of claim that law enforcement’s job is to keep minorities under control to protect white people. They respond to crimes all day and night, to protect minority victims. They don’t ask the race of the 911 caller. They come when anyone is in trouble. I am curious what sort of pretzel logic you use to convince yourself that black, Latino, and Asian cops are out there oppressing minorities to protect whites.

      Your comment came across as painfully bigoted.

    6. “Here in the US the long legal and extra legal oppression of black people and other minorities has been accepted as ‘normal’.” Mr. McIntyre, you are at best a naïf and at worst a provocateur repeating mindless tropes even the most casual investigation would disclose as false.

  7. Your humor is truly offensive. Why don’t you just use the “n word” and dispense with the “subtleties, Clide.

    1. Oh,

      LAUGH,

      You well know that the liberals with the social media controls in their hands will immediately remove and ban-for-life any American engaging in that free speech, you know, like the forcible, nay, brutal censorship of the Nazis, Bolsheviks and Chicoms.

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