Home Opinions Milo Yiannopoulos had to be shut down

Milo Yiannopoulos had to be shut down

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Illustration by: Juan Carlos Campos | Staff Illustrator

In early Feburary, Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart senior editor and alt-right darling, was run out of the University of California at Berkeley by a group of students and members of the community who did not want him at the campus, and rightfully so. If Yiannopoulos were to come to Texas State, I hope our students would do the same.

The conversation surrounding the protests has become one of whether violence and the destruction of property is a justifiable form of action against the far right or not. While not all forms of violence are acceptable, self-defense is.

According to Yiannopoulos’ own publication, Breitbart, the goal of his countrywide college tour was to push back against sanctuary campuses that protect undocumented immigrants. Yiannopoulos was to kick off his tour at Berkeley, and prior to the event, university officials warned some students might be targeted by Yiannopoulos and put in danger.

“We are deeply concerned for all students’ safety and ability to pursue their education here at Cal beyond Milo’s speech,” the university’s office of student affairs said in a letter to the school’s College Republicans organization, hosts of the event. “Milo’s event may be used to target individuals, either in the audience or by using their personal information in a way that causes them to become human targets to serve a political agenda.”

At that point, the protest became a matter of defense, and black bloc tactics of violence became justified.

Not only is it likely a peaceful protest would not have stopped the event from happening, it would have been nearly impossible to halt without physical forcefulness. Yiannopoulos’s mind will not be changed with dialogue or love, but his heinous actions may be physically stopped—and they were. Following his stop at Berkeley, the rest of his tour was cancelled when other universities began to withdraw.

To be clear, Yiannopoulos’s first amendment was not violated. The first amendment protects individuals from government retaliation for their speech, but it does not protect them from ordinary citizens shutting down events—and that is the way that it should be.

It would be wrong to expect, or even hope, for our government to infringe on any kind of speech. Rather, it is up to us to push this rhetoric back into the shadows and make it socially unacceptable and dangerous to amplify white-supremacist ideas. The “tolerant left” has never been, or claimed to be, tolerant of bigoted individuals putting people in danger of being deported. In fact, I would ask anyone who claims the label of a “leftist” and finds tolerance for these actions to resign that label altogether.

Luckily, Yiannopoulos’ tour and book deal has been cancelled due to a released video of him condoning pedophilia, and we do not have to worry about his presence on our campus. Yiannopoulos had to be shut down in order to protect the students he was putting in danger, and I hope we as a university care enough about each other to do the same if needed.

– May Olvera is a journalism junior

12 COMMENTS

  1. “The first amendment protects individuals from Government retaliation for their speech, but it does not protect them from ordinary citizens shutting down events”

  2. How is this real!? You would condone the prevention of freedom of speech? You would applaud Texas State students attacking innocent people and destroying property because someone would have an OPINION. Are you a psychopath?!! I think you are genuinely a psychopath for saying something as absurd and sadistic as this!

  3. I do a weekly podcast and I am planning on making fun of this article this week. You are literally condoning violence against anyone who disagrees with your opinions. You are claiming Milo is a safety threat when Democrats are physically attacking people. This level of irony and ignorance is unmatched in the field of journalism and I intent to use this as comedic material.

  4. So you’re against freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Any other natural rights you want to do away with? But I guess this kind of hate filled speech is just fitting in the long tradition of the illiberal authoritarian left — as opposed to the liberal democratic left; yes, there are different movements on both the left and right–, who have never been tolerant of anyone who didn’t think exactly like them and have a history of using violent militias to force their ideas on everyone else (see the various “shirt” movements in interwar Europe). Hopefully someday you will be educated and understand why this is anathema to a free nation, but I won’t hold my breath.

  5. For there to be self-defense, there must be violence. For there to by violence, there must be physical force used against someone. Otherwise, you are just judging/assuming. For example, you walk into the bad part of town, and and see someone who looks dangerous. You don’t get to attack them, just because they MIGHT do something.
    The only violence at Berkeley was committed by the protestors against those who wanted to see a speaker. I will defend you 100% if you defend yourself however you choose when you are attacked. Use a weapon. Use overwhelming force. Do whatever you want if you are attacked. But being mocked and offended by a gay jewish immigrant isn’t the same as having violence used against you. Your self defense for that is to simply not show up/listen. Also, individuals who want to listen are not acting violently by doing so. You don’t get to attack them for wanting to hear something you disagree with. The Berkeley protestors don’t get to claim to be the victims when they are the ones who engaged in violence. I don’t like Milo. I find his act stupid, and childish, and I won’t defend his antics. But the idea that it’s okay to attack people who want to listen to him speak is even worse. That’s not self defense, that’s textbook assault. That’s not even getting into the destruction of property stuff, but since you say that he was ran out of Berkeley, and follow it up with “If Yiannopoulos were to come to Texas State, I hope our students would do the same.” I’m glad you seem to support destruction of campus property.

  6. You “hope our students would do the same”? I can’t even begin to describe how deeply that disturbs me. According to CNN, the group at Mr. Yiannopoulos’ event caused around $100,000 in damage during a violent riot involving six injuries, a woman pepper-sprayed in the face for wearing a hat, and molotov cocktails hurled through the air.

    I certainly hope – pray, even – that our students would do nothing of the sort.

    This entire article boils down to one thesis statement: “Tactics of violence [in this case] were justified”, you say as much in the fifth paragraph.

    Justified, you claim, on the basis that the office of student services said that they thought the event “may” have been used to target individuals (or their personal information). You’ve charged someone guilty of a crime they never committed and may never have intended to, and given a free pass to violent criminals who struck preemptively.

    I’m begging you, if you’ve read this far – then please listen to what I have to say:

    It’s not your sacred duty to destroy right-wing ideology in this country, and it’s not your job to encourage and condone the violent censorship of Yiannopoulos or anyone else. Your job is to convince the every-man – the moderate – the man on the fence -… ME.

    And right now… Where I’m standing, Yiannopoulos doesn’t look like a pro-violence lunatic – you do.
    Right now YOU look like the “mind [that] will not be changed with dialogue” – too convinced of your own righteousness to even think about what you’re saying.

    There are people out there – people like me – who don’t agree with a SINGLE thing Yiannopoulos has to say. We should be natural allies; but as long as you’re spewing this hate-filled madness about the violent suppression of dissenting opinion, we will stay far, far away from you.

  7. What a garbage article. I love how you paint one of your own protesters with an alt-right Nazi arm band. Considering it was the ANTIFAs that you obviously support who were dressed like that. No one on the alt-right was. If the alt-right was even there. I think your alt-right is largely a boogeyman. A straw man argument to keep the left scared and in the fold. If that works, then you obviously know how weak and pathetic your camp really is.

    You took out a rising star you say? At least that is what you hope. I hope he makes a comeback. I will show up to listen to his event. Cause the only fascists I see, are you!

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