Where leftists can learn a lesson on protecting free speech from terrorist mayhem.
To save the University of California, Berkeley, move the school from its liberal paradise home to that sanctuary of free speech, Garland, Texas.
Fascist rioters recently prevented Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking at Berkeley. Despite having plenty of warning that his talk would draw violent protests the town and University of Berkeley did nothing to stop rioters from smashing windows, burning buildings, and injuring onlookers. Milo’s security team forced him to flee, although he has promised to return.
A few hours before the riots, Berkeley’s mayor tweeted his opposition to Milo’s right to speak saying “Using speech to silence marginalized communities and promote bigotry is unacceptable. Hate speech isn’t welcome in our community.” The fascists clearly and correctly felt that Berkeley would be a safe space for their anti-freedom mayhem.
After the riots occurred, the Berkeley student newspaper published five Op-Eds supporting the fascist rioters who are ironically named AntiFas. Here are some choice excerpts from the articles:
“My campus did nothing to stand between my undocumented community and the hateful hands of radicalized white men — the AntiFas did. A peaceful protest was not going to cancel that event, just like numerous letters from faculty, staff, Free Speech Movement veterans and even donors did not cancel the event. Only the destruction of glass and shooting of fireworks did that.”
“To Milo: I’m sorry that you were too scared to stand your ground during a routine Berkeley protest. Hopefully, you’ll think twice now about recruiting at my alma mater, where hate speech may be allowed a platform by the administration but will never be tolerated by the student body. Here’s a big fuck you from the descendants of people who survived genocides by killing Nazis and people just like them.”
“And to Yiannopoulos and all your friends who invited you and hosted you and defended your ‘right’ to speak: I recommend you learn your lesson.”
“These so-called militants are campus students, Berkeley residents and Bay Area locals; teachers, journalists, musicians, parents and athletes, united by love and concern for their peers.”
A great university needs an environment of free speech to flourish. Milo being, in the language of the left, “no platformed” is a message to Berkeley students to shut up when their women’s studies professor insists that gender is a social construct, or when their socialist instructor tells them that capitalism is based on the exploitation of poor people. Because Berkeley values have proved inconsistent with free speech, I propose moving the University to the safest place in the world for freedom of expression: Garland, Texas.
French magazine Charlie Hebdo suffered a terrorist attack after printing cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. When reporting on the incident newspapers feared reprinting pictures of the offending cartoons. Garland decided to take a stand for freedom by hosting a Muhammad drawing contest. Terrorists, of course, showed up to kill Garland’s freedom drawers, but it didn’t go so well for the bad guys because of the vital tool nearly everyone who showed up to the contest brought. Garland deserves to be rewarded for their bravery by having a world class university move to their town, and Berkeley needs a freedom loving locale like Garland to sustain them. I have no doubt that if AntiFas tried to use violence to disrupt a Milo talk at a University of Berkeley at Garland, the AntiFas would quickly give up and devote themselves to repealing the Second Amendment.
The people who would most oppose moving Berkeley to Garland would be Trump’s political advisors, since nothing will help our President’s reelection chances as much as pictures of leftists showing their violent hatred for people who think they actually have the right to free speech at publicly funded colleges. But I urge our president to put higher education and academic freedom above politics and to refuse to let Berkeley receive any more federal funding until it relocates to Garland.
James D. Miller is an associate professor of economics at Smith College.