“Another far-right speaker is coming to UC Davis. How should the community respond?” read the headline on a March 14 Sacramento Bee opinion piece by the Bee’s “opinion assistant” Hannah Holzer, a UC Davis graduate.
The speaker is a “vocal transphobe and Donald Trump fanatic,” Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA (TPUSA). Kirk’s visit is “upsetting and unwelcome, especially in light of nationwide attacks on the transgender community and on broader LGBTQ+ rights.” In addition, UC Davis has an “abysmal history” of public events that have gone wrong.
In 2011, cops were “pepper spraying students” but Holzer fails to recall that those students were protesting tuition hikes by University of California bosses. Holzer quotes UC Davis English professor Joshua Clover, who has “been targeted by TPUSA, in a recent op-ed for the university’s newspaper.” The Sacramento Bee opinion assistant fails to provide the back story.
In 2019, convicted criminal Kevin Limbaugh gunned down Natalie Corona, 22, a rising star in the Davis police department. The community hailed Corona as a hero and thousands of people, including police officers from across the country, attended a memorial service for the slain officer.
A photo of Corona holding the “thin blue line” flag went viral on social media. The UC Davis campus Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission proclaimed, “this flag represents an attempt by law enforcement to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Professor Clover, who moonlights as Communist poet, was “thankful that every living cop will one day be dead, some by their own hand, some by others, too many of old age.” In addition “it’s easier to shoot cops when their backs are turned, no?” but there was still more to it. “People think that cops need to be reformed. They need to be killed.”
UC Davis condemned Clover’s statement while upholding his right to free speech. With Charlie Kirk at the ready, Holzer accuses the campus of “shilling for unequivocal freedom of speech” and seeks “a more proactive approach,” such as cancelation of Kirk’s speaking engagement, but there’s a problem.
“Even calling for legal reform to curb the trend of fascists speaking on campus,” Holzer writes, “opens the door to First Amendment restrictions that could have huge, unintended ramifications.”
An earlier version of Holzer’s column “included a reference to trans people that Charlie Kirk has strongly denied.” That was the claim that that Kirk has called for the “lynching of trans people,” and should therefore be canceled from speaking at UC Davis.
Charlie Kirk never said any such thing. Campus officials’ acknowledged Kirk’s right to speak and on Tuesday allowed the event to proceed, with protesters on hand.
As the Davis Enterprise reported, protesters chanted, “Queer lives matter,” “Love is love,” “Fuck all fascists,” “Fuck Chuck,” “Trans rights are human rights,” and so forth. The story quotes a passerby who said “they’re yelling at an empty street.”
Protesters clashed with police, smashed windows and blocked people from entering the building where the event was held. “Not a peaceful protest at all,” tweeted Elon Musk and there were at least two arrests, one for threats on a police officer. No word whether Communist poet Joshua Clover had inspired the protester. Even without the professor’s presence, the event did prove educational.
The true fascists, as Charlie Kirk has noted, are the leftists who seek to prevent others from speaking. The fascists indulge violence because they are afraid of debate and hostile to the First Amendment.
If anyone has a problem with a man’s claim to be a woman, a woman’s claim to be a man, that does not mean that the claimant is therefore oppressed. That is something the “alphabet people,” as Dave Chappelle calls the LGBTQ crowd, need to understand. An ongoing jihad against reality does not confer accredited victim status. Nobody has a special right to silence comedians, conservative activists, and radio hosts.
Hannah Holzer fails to understand that newspapers have no constitutional right to publish falsehoods. Charlie Kirk did not call for “trans people” to be lynched. That was “defamation and libel,” Kirk told reporters, and unless corrected, “We will sue unless it is corrected. Left-wing rags like the SacBee are allowed to platform lies against conservatives and get away with it. Time for lawfare.”
In similar style, UC Davis chancellor Gary May charged that Kirk had “advocated for violence against transgender individuals.” Kirk responded, “I’ve never done that. That is a lie. We might sue you for that.” As Trump likes to say, we’ll have to see what happens.
Professor Clover, meanwhile, appears to have no second thoughts about the need to kill police officers. The author of Red Epic, and director of the Marxist Institute for Research, Clover remains on the UC Davis faculty in the departments of English and Comparative Literature.