Question: so just how pathetic are liberals? Answer: even more pathetic than whatever you’d assume them to be.
Don’t believe me? You will after reading this story. The Daily Signal reports that the University of California, Berkeley has finally agreed to allow conservative commentator Ben Shapiro to deliver a speech on campus, an event currently slated for next Thursday…but Berkeley being Berkeley, they couldn’t let the occasion pass without the most preposterous stunt imaginable to register their real feelings about him.
You see, Berkeley executive vice chancellor and provost Paul Alivisatos felt the need to issue a memo on how to navigate the strange and frightening situation of being in the general vicinity of someone with whom one disagrees. Among the mundane details of event logistics and security are the following highlights:
Our commitment to free speech, as well as to the law, mandates that the students who invited Shapiro be able to host their event for those who wish to hear him speak.
Sure…after they tried to stonewall Ben by refusing to release tickets for the speech, charging event sponsors $15 grand for security, and mandating that half the hall’s seating be left empty.
Our commitment to the principles of community mandates that all students, faculty and staff be able to be present on campus, engaging in their regular academic activities without fear. Achieving this poses unusual challenges for us; this memo lays out the arrangements that we are putting in place.
“Unusual”? What’s unusual about going to school while knowing that competing ideas are being expressed on campus? Isn’t this basically an admission that philosophical competition is not, in fact, the norm at Berkeley, despite one of a university’s classical purposes being rigorous intellectual refinement?
We are deeply concerned about the impact some speakers may have on individuals’ sense of safety and belonging. No one should be made to feel threatened or harassed simply because of who they are or for what they believe. For that reason, the following support services are being offered and encouraged:
A conservative challenging somebody’s worldview is a threat to their “sense of safety and belonging”? Students might need counseling to handle the trauma of hosting a Ben Shapiro speech nobody has to attend? Hell, faculty and staff might need counseling too?
The Daily Signal’s Katrina Trinko contacted Berkeley about all this, and the school’s Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications and Public Affairs, Dan Mogulof, responded insisting that last highlight wasn’t meant to be Shapiro-specific. Further:
In the 13 years I have been here we have not seen on this campus any violence or mayhem in support of, or opposition to any speakers other than Mr. [Milo] Yiannopoulos last February… and that, to tell you the truth, was a first for us. So, this sort of communication has not been needed previously. However, the sentence you cite was specifically formulated to address the expressed concerns of all students, including our conservative students who have told us they are worried not about the speakers headed our way but, rather, by the possibility that members of the antifa paramilitary group will return to the campus. I can assure you that if, in the future, we hear concerns in advance of ANY other speaker coming our way we will issue a similar communication. We care for our students without regard for their beliefs.
You buy that? We don’t, and neither did Trinko:
Why is there such fear from students about people on the right speaking?
And it’s a little hard to swallow that it’s conservative students seeking counseling over Antifa. Given Antifa’s propensity for violence, it seems more likely a student would want protection, not counseling. And as far as Antifa goes … Well, let’s hope if they create violence and destruction again, UC Berkeley’s police department manages to make more than two arrests as they did after the violence in February.
An ideology that has a meltdown over dissenters being listened to is not one confident in its positions; in fact, it’s one consumed by the suspicion, buried deep down, that it can’t withstand scrutiny after all. And it’s most definitely not an ideology that should be allowed within 500 feet of any government office.