Milo Yiannopoulos, tech editor at Breitbart (and all-around flamboyant advocate for free speech), has launched a speaking tour of college campuses, and it’s been an interesting go so far. He spoke at Rutgers on 10 February. Afterward, students were offered therapy to help them recuperate from their trauma.
Breitbart’s Allum Bokhari summarizes reporting from Rutgers’s Daily Targum:
According to the paper, students and faculty members held a wound-licking gathering at a cultural center on campus, where students described “feeling scared, hurt, and discriminated against.”
“A variety of different organizations and departments were present to listen, answer questions and show support” to the apparently weak and vulnerable students, who just a few days prior had disrupted Yiannopoulos’ event by smearing fake blood on their faces and chanting protest slogans.
One student at the event told the Targum that they “broke down crying” after the event, while another reported that he felt “scared to walk around campus the next day.” According to the report, “many others” said they felt “unsafe” at the event and on campus afterwards.
“It is upsetting that my mental health is not cared about by the University,” said one student at the event. “I do not know what else to do for us to be heard for us to be cared about. I deserve an apology, everyone in this room deserves an apology.”
A number of organizations were at the event to offer support to the poor, traumatised students. These included Psychiatric Services, the Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance, and the Rutgers University Police.
What fell communications did slip from Mr. Yiannopoulos’s lips to set this drama in motion?
The Daily Targum reported on the event, apparently before becoming aware of the hysterical reaction brewing.
Yiannopoulos, tech editor at Breitbart.com and an outspoken free-speech advocate, came to the University to speak about how the Progressive Left was destroying higher education in America.
He said the Progressive Left, which includes third-wave intersectional feminism and the Black Lives Matter movement, seeks to crush academic discourse at its root.
“These people do not believe in the free open exchange of ideas. They do not believe in intellectual inquiry, in full open frank discussion of ideas,” he said. “They don’t believe in the basis of classical liberalism, which is one of the founding principles of our civilization.”
Yiannopoulos was trenchant, to be sure.
Yiannopoulos believes that offensive free speech is a driving force for progress.
“Offensive free speech is what gave women the right to vote. Offensive free speech is what Martin Luther King (Jr.) was doing. Offensive free speech got gay marriage,” Yiannopoulos said. “Standing up to the establishment and saying ‘f*** you guys’ has been the primary engine of progressive progress for decades.”
He’s not a fan of safe spaces and trigger warning requirements.
Among Yiannopoulos’s grievances were the spread of trigger warnings and safe spaces on college campuses.
“If you go to university and you want trigger warnings on your texts, and you want safe spaces to protect you from dissenting points of view, you have demonstrated to the world that you are incapable of fulfilling the requirements of your degree,” he said.
Plus, he used the “Overton Window” concept to frame part of his lecture, which the Daily Targum reporter writes as if he hasn’t heard of. Maybe that occult reference in itself was a source of shock and distress for student attendees.
Enough. This rank “crybully” nonsense is what students are being encouraged to, in the academic environment at too many universities. They don’t come up with this stuff themselves. They’re funneled and channeled into it by their “education,” its “therapeutic” probings, and the people who administer them.
The good news is that, according to the Daily Targum, much of the audience for Yiannopoulos’s lecture applauded him (and apparently seemed to survive contact, undismayed, with his shocking discourse).
One assumes that there is some reason Rutgers still manages to play Division I football at a respectable level, even though it keeps beclowning itself on these social and political matters. The presence of at least some students who can sit through a lecture on free speech without collapsing would be part of that reason.
The football boosters at Rutgers are getting their money’s worth. The alumni whose interests are in other aspects of the baccalaureate experience might want to take a hard look at whether they are.