did I mention that Shut Up is never a good argument? Why yes, I did.
I don’t like xenophobia or nativism or know nothingism any better than anybody else, but there are much better arguments to make against it than “shut up.” Welcome to the free exchange of ideas on the modern college campus. I love the look of academic freedom we have now. Gorgeous.
Hundreds of protesters converged on Bingham Hall, shouting profanities and accusations of racism while Tancredo and the student who introduced him tried to speak. Minutes into the speech, a protester pounded a window of the classroom until the glass shattered, prompting Tancredo to flee and campus police to shut down the event.
Two women stretched out another banner, first along one of the aisles and then right in front of Tancredo. Tancredo grabbed the middle of the banner and tried to pull it away from one of the girls. “You don’t want to hear what I have to say because you don’t agree with me,” he said.
The sound of breaking glass from behind a window shade interrupted the tug-of-war.
Tancredo was escorted from the room by campus police.
About 200 protesters reconvened outside the building. “We shut him down; no racists in our town,” they shouted. “Yes, racists, we will fight, we know where you sleep at night!”
“Fascists are fascists,” Tancredo said. “Their actions were probably the best speech I could ever give. They are what’s wrong with America today. … When all you can do is yell epithets, that means you are intellectually bankrupt.”
UNC graduate student Tyler Oakley, who had organized the protest, said he regretted the broken window but not silencing Tancredo. “He was not able to practice his hate speech,” said Oakley. “You have to respect the right of people to assemble and collectively speak.”
Lopez said she had mixed emotions about how the event ended.
“We were more interested in an intellectual conversation instead of a shouting match,” she said. “Ironically, the people that are trying to get our voices heard silenced us.”
emphasis added. (parenthetically, what does it mean to “collectively speak”? is that somehow an improvement over the individual speech that they just shut down? huh?)
Isn’t that a neat trick? Free speech was saved by shutting down speech with which they disagreed. Beautifully Orwellian. welcome to our fascist future. If you haven’t done so yet, you really should read the book.