Should Conservative Speakers Go on a “Free Speech Tour” of University Campuses?

free speech
Screenshot of Berkeley Riot in February via YouTube

Rambling through this morning’s news, I ran across two stories about the free speech controversy at Berkeley and other college campuses. The problem was, neither story had any ideas on how to prevent students who come to those speeches from being attacked by those who come to do violence.

“I’ll bring an army if I have to.”

Reported in the Washington Times, Milo Yiannopolous stated that he was going to do a week long Free Speech event at Berkeley in September.

Milo posted on Facebook:

My proposed Free Speech Week will proceed as planned later this year. I WILL BRING AN ARMY IF I HAVE TO. We will ensure that Ann and others can speak and we will publicly, ritually humiliate UC Berkeley for its failure to meet its legal obligations until conservative speakers no longer fear violent mobs just for exercising their First Amendment rights.

Berkeley is going to become the free speech capital of the United States once again. I will make sure of it.

Big Ideas

Then there was the exchange between Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham when Laura proposed a tour to all the radical campuses with Ann Coulter, Sean, herself, Justice Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin…anyone who could make liberals upset. It’s missing something in the idea, but I’ll hit that later. Here a partial transcript via Breitbart:

Laura Ingraham: “…The Free Speech Movement of the 1960s in Berkeley — you can go back and watch all those old video reels. Harry Reasoner was there covering it, and you know, Bill Buckley did a “Firing Line, famous “Firing Line” show in 1967 about the Free Speech Movement…

Well, you know, I think — I think, Sean, a place we could end the tour would be Brown University, probably the most left-wing of all the Ivies. I love Providence. I grew up in Connecticut. I think Brown is, you know, an incredible place.

But really push the envelope. We’ll go from West Coast and end in the East Coast, OK? So we’ll do all the West Coast colleges, do Berkeley, we’ll do UCLA, USC, US — UCSD. We’ll do the Claremont, Pomona College. Then we’ll move across the country slowly. We’ll do U — Madison, Wisconsin, all the lefties. We’ll — we’ll — you know, we’ll do the — Boulder, Colorado. Then we’ll end up ultimately at Brown University.”

Do you hear it? The idea that “they’re gonna listen to me or else?” In any of the above rhetoric did you see a plan to keep the students who try to attend such meetings safe?

The enemy

On every university campus across the country at this point in time there are leaders, teachers and administrators who advocate disruption and encourage violence to get their way.

Berkeley’s Mayor Jesse Arreguin is a member of BAMN (By Any Means Necessary was on his group list on Facebook. It  has since been deleted, but not before we got a screenshot). He is a screaming liberal activist.

Now you know why the police stood down as violent communists attacked students and Trump supporters at Berkeley. BAMN’s philosophy is summed up in a Fox News interview by Tucker Carlson with their leader Yvette Felarca:

“When someone is trying to speak at a campus or at a rally, they’re doing it not just because they have an opinion. But someone like [Milo] Yiannopoulos or any other alt-right’er or fascist or neo-fascist is doing it to recruit other people. No, we don’t let them recruit. And in fact, when you look back at the Holocaust and the lessons that we draw from that we don’t say, ‘Oh, well, at least we let them voice their opinion.’ We say, ‘Never again.’ Well, again is now, especially under, after Trump.” Yvette Felarca, BAMN on 2-13-2017

NOW do you see the problem of these big Conservative ideas? Do we have to arm the students and perpetuate the war? Or should we just jump in with both feet and start the war, placing our own students, police, and security in danger?

A post by Seattle’s Antifa not only said they were having a class in Krav Maga (the Israeli marital art), but that they were going to use what they called a Northeast Antifa “loaded arm” tactic. That’s where you tape a wrench to your forearm so that you can “protect yourself against police” and punch “Nazis and white supremacists.”

So let’s think about the ideas to send a trove of Conservatives to a “free speech event.” Maybe Milo can bring an army. Maybe the others can hire their own security and bring an army with them. But what about the worst-case-scenario?

H/T Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children


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The Views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Conservative Firing Line

Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. She has been writing at Conservative Firing Line since 2013 as well. She is also a published author.

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