Schapiro’s Un-Safe Zone: Northwestern University Students Attack Police In Defunding Protest

I have long been a critic of Northwestern University and its president Morton Schapiro for policies undermining free speech and academic freedom. In the past, I have contrasted the vastly different approaches of my two alma maters, Northwestern and University of Chicago, the latter taking a courageous stand in favor of free speech rights.  Chicago rejected the premise of safe zones on its campus. Conversely, Schapiro has ridiculed those questioning the need for “safe zones” as “lunatics”  and denounced “absolutist” views of free speech. At the same time, his school has refused to discipline students who prevent professors from teaching objectionable classes.  Now, Northwestern students have moved from attacking classes on campus to assaulting police in downtown Evanston. Schapiro is expressing shock at the conduct despite his controversial history of enabling students who are intolerant of opposing views.

Students were calling for the disbanding of the Northwestern police department and marched into downtown Evanston. They proceeded to hurl “rocks and bricks at police officers,” point lasers at police officers’ eyes to blind them, and damage property.

Schapiro called such acts an “abomination.”

After years of ridiculing free speech advocates, Schapiro found his own home being defaced and picketed. It is a cycle that has become familiar as those who enabled such conduct in the past have found themselves denounced as reactionaries.

Schapiro never supported violence and correctly condemned the recent attacks on businesses and police. However, he has long been one of the most prominent advocates of protections from free speech rather than for free speech on campus. He is viewed by many as yielding to the rising intolerance on campus while treating the exercise free speech as potentially harmful to students.  This includes his advocacy of “safe zones” to protect students from the trauma and harm caused by dissenting views or opposing values.  Under his leadership, Northwestern has been given the lowest rating for the protection of free speech by groups like FIRE. While he later walked back calling free speech advocates “idiots” in a commencement speech, he remains one of most vocal voices against free speech protections.

My principal objection however is to environment that he has created on campus by his failure to lead and to act. I previously discussed the incident involving a Sociology 201 class by Professor Beth Redbird. The class examined “inequality in American society with an emphasis on race, class and gender.”  Redbird came up with an interesting comparison for her students by inviting both an undocumented person and a spokesperson for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to separate classes.  Members of MEChA de Northwestern, Black Lives Matter NU, the Immigrant Justice Project, the Asian Pacific American Coalition, NU Queer Trans Intersex People of Color and Rainbow Alliance organized to stop other students from hearing from the ICE representative.  However, they could not have succeeded without the help of Northwestern administrators (including  Dean of Students Todd Adams).  The protesters were screaming “F**k ICE” outside of the hall.  Adams and the other administrators then said that the protesters screaming profanities would be allowed into the class if they promised not to disrupt the class.  They promised not to disrupt the class.  As soon as the protesters were allowed into the classroom, they prevented the ICE representative from speaking.  The ICE representatives eventually left and Redbird canceled the class to discuss the issue with the protesters that just prevented her students from hearing an opposing view.

The comments of the Northwestern students were predictable after being told by people like Schapiro that some offensive speech should be treated as a form of assault.  SESP sophomore April Navarro rejected that faculty should be allowed to invite such speakers to their classrooms for a “good, nice conversation with ICE.” She insisted such speakers needed to be silenced because they “terrorize communities” and profit from detainee labor. Here is the face of the new generation of censors being shaped by speech-intolerant academics like Schapiro:

“We’re not interested in having those types of conversations that would be like, ‘Oh, let’s listen to their side of it’ because that’s making them passive rule-followers rather than active proponents of violence. We’re not engaging in those kinds of things; it legitimizes ICE’s violence, it makes Northwestern complicit in this. There’s an unequal power balance that happens when you deal with state apparatuses.”

These students were identified in interviews by name. They had no fear of any consequence in stopping a professor from teaching a class at Northwestern. They were right. The official response to students shutting down a class to silence an opposing view resulted in a statement that the actions of the students were “disappointing that the speakers were not allowed to speak.”

The environment on campus has become increasingly confessional and cringing. We recently discussed how the Northwestern Law Dean declared publicly “I am James Speta and I am a racist.” He was followed by Emily Mullin, executive director of major gifts, who said, “I am a racist and a gatekeeper of white supremacy. I will work to be better.”

Yet, it is the disruptions of classes and events that is most unnerving at Northwestern. The University was finally compelled to act when students prevented former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, including forcing their way through windows and doors in a takeover of the event. As we discussed, one of the students declared  “There’s a limitation to free speech. That ends at overtly racist old white dudes.” The response from Northwestern? Small fines. That’s right. So students stop an event with a former cabinet member and, according to a university statement, a “small number of individuals” were each given $125 citations by the department for interfering with certain duties of a police officer.  When students on campus sought to pass a simple resolution over the denial of free speech on campus this year, it was tabled by the student government. When the student newspaper simply covered disruptions of student events by protesters, the editors from The Daily were forced to apologize for their coverage. The objection was that the photos and coverage of students taking over the events were “retraumatizing and intrusive.”

It now appears that Schapiro has moved from the “disappointing” to the “abomination” stage. It only took his own house to be defaced and police to be attacked in the streets of Evanston.

106 thoughts on “Schapiro’s Un-Safe Zone: Northwestern University Students Attack Police In Defunding Protest”

  1. Every Democrat I know claims this isn’t happening. They think both sides are equally at fault for violence and riots. They deny Democrat support for defunding police, or the anti-police rhetoric. When you bring up that it’s dangerous to wear a MAGA hat, while Democrats can wear clothing emblazoned with mass murderers like Lenin, Mao, and Castro with impunity, they just ignore it.

    It’s willful blindness. They’re supporting tyrannical, dangerous behavior. Similar behavior that led to Leftist dictatorships in the past. But they actually believe they are tolerant, kind, conscientious people.

    They are beyond reason. I don’t think it’s possible to reach them anymore.

    If you provide facts to support your contravening position, be prepared to be met with rage.

    I sadly watch moderate Democrats slip slowing away into the grip of hatred and intolerance. It’s the Pavlovian mob.

    1. Karen. no, the Democrats don’t favor defunding the police. Cut the BS. Biden asks for more funding for COPS programs in the platform – you don’t have one this year because your party is a cult that doesn’t believe in anything unless Trump says it.

      By the way. Travel to the south and see how many blocks you get with a Biden hat in white sections of Biloxi or Jesup. You don;t know what you are talking about. Hell, you can’t drive a bus with Biden stickers on an interstate in Texas without the white trash chasing you down.

      1. Let me explain something to you. Trump supporters are allowed to drive on a freeway. They are allowed to caravan. They are allowed to peacefully follow the Biden Bus, showing the world the tremendous enthusiasm for President Trump and his accomplishments.

        Unfortunately, there was an altercation between cars. Local police viewed footage, and said it appeared the Biden staffer vehicle was at fault, and the Trump vehicle was the victim.

        But that’s not what the Biden campaign is saying. Nope, they claim the peaceful Trump protest tried to crash their bus. Total malarky by the “no malarky” bus.

        Conservatives are so very tired of Liberals lying about them. We are tired of Democrats accusing Republicans of what they are actually guilty of, whether it’s road rage or a quid pro quo with Ukraine.

        If you think defunding the police, one of the main tenets of Black Lives Matter, doesn’t get its support from Democrats, you are either misinformed, not truthful, or in denial.

        Who do you think is behind the defunding wave? Republicans?

      2. “the Democrats don’t favor defunding the police”

        Joe Biden does, Chicom Joe.

        2:30 mark:

        The ONLY reason that Biden’s handlers & the DNC are trying to walk the Defund the Police meme back is because they realized that it was hugely unpopular with everyday honest hard working Americans. Especially black Americans who live in high crime areas, who want more funding for police, not “Defunding the Police”.

        Your Marxist idiot buddies running their Antifa/BLM color revolution overplayed their hand in a huge way. They got so excited and overconfident after seeing wealthy white people kneeling and washing the feet of black people that they jumped the shark.

        “By the way. Travel to the south and see how many blocks you get with a Biden hat in white sections of Biloxi or Jesup.”

        Provide a single video of someone wearing a Biden hat being attacked anywhere in the Southeast. Much less in “Biloxi or Jesup”.

      3. Your flat denial doesn’t make it so. Plenty of Democrats support defunding the police, and the whole “reorient spending” scam is all about taking money away from law enforcement activities.

        As far as calling Republicans a “cult” – you reveal your bigotry, as does the rest of your post.

    1. Informative and entertaining video, Squeeky. In case anyone is wondering what “Gogolesque” meant in Jimmy Dore’s video, it’s an invented word, based on the great 19th Century Russian fiction writer, Nikolai Gogol. Gogol was a versatile writer, both realistic and romantic, but much of his writings had elements of surrealism and the grotesque.

      1. Joe Friday:

        I recommend you read Turley’s blog if you want to know how the Russia gate conspiracy unraveled. There is a search feature at the top left of the page.

      2. ha ha Jimmy Dore is a progressive. He could care less what the Senate Intel jocksniffer comittee says

      3. Apparently ChiCom Joe hasn’t noticed that the ChiCom’s interference has been fully exposed thanks to Hunter Biden forgetting to retrieve and pay for his laptops.

        Pooh Bear should have known better than to trust a lifer coke addict like Hunter Biden to keep things on the down low. But Xi “Winnie the Pooh” Jinping isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, either.

        Stupid is, as stupid does.

  2. So here we are, the eve before Election Day. What is to become of our nation?

    It is hard to focus, it is hard to sleep, we are frightened, we are anxious, we are depressed, we are quite possibly seeing another civil war. At home we have all agreed to say little when out on the streets, and if violence breaks, to stay home, avoid getting into our cars to drive to work or anywhere….Democrats did this just like in the 1860s

    Leftists Plan To ‘Shut Down DC’ After Election To Force Trump From Office
    ‘Bring Washington DC To A Standstill if Trump Refuses To Concede’

    1. Apropos news stories.

      I don’t think there is any way to view the Mohammad episodes of Season 14 of South Park. Both episodes were cut entirely from the DVD.

      The closing monologue applies just as well to Democrats as it did to criticizing Islam. Threatening violence works.

  3. “After years of ridiculing free speech advocates, Schapiro found his own home being defaced and picketed.”
    Summa Comeuppance

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