College Republicans demand security for Milo event after protest threats
Students at the University of California, Irvine are calling on their school’s administration to provide security personnel for an upcoming Milo Yiannopoulos appearance in the wake of combative threats to shut down conservative events.
UCI’s College Republicans (CR) announced in a press release Friday that at least two opposition protests are scheduled for its June 2 event, noting that the school’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter stood by its hostile disruption of a recent Hillel event, even encouraging further “uncivil” protests.
“We must scrutinize the ideologies of civility if we begin with the understanding that dominant ideology is tied to the interests of the ruling class. ‘Civility’ as an ideology is a pillar of white supremacist imperialism,” SJP wrote in a statement on its Facebook. “Civility reveals itself to be wholly irrational—the only rational response to calls for civility may be to become willfully uncivil. To act out. To disrupt and disorient.”
To ensure its event runs as planned, the CRs are asking the university to provide proper security for Yiannopoulos, whose paid DePaul University security guards failed to control a mob of Black Lives Matter protesters at an event last week, prompting Yiannopoulos to ask for his money back.
Although UCI has not yet responded to the request, several state lawmakers have stepped up to defend the CRs, saying the school has an obligation to protect all forms of speech.
“It has been a shame that one university administration after another has been crumbling to the pressure of the ‘cry bully’ social justice warriors on their campuses, effectively silencing debate and the free discussion of diverse ideas, which is what higher education was designed to encourage,” said Orange County GOP Central Committeeman Mike Munzing. “To protect and defend the safe exchange of ideas I ask that UCI’s administration ensure that the Milo Yiannopoulos event at UCI, on June 2nd, is properly secured, especially in light of the recent and well publicized violence at DePaul University, which was the result of ineffective security and the administration’s orders for law enforcement to ‘stand down.’”
Fred Whitaker, chairman of Orange County’s Republican Party, echoed Munzing, saying the suppression of free speech on college campuses will ultimately lead to “academic totalitarianism,” where unpopular or alternative views are routinely shut down.
“The extreme form of political correctness on college campuses isn’t just silly it’s a real threat to American principles,” Whitaker remarked. “Free speech is how we avoid totalitarianism. I may not like what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Instead, political correctness mandates ‘safe spaces’ and alternative points of view are shut down. Instead of Academic Freedom, you now have Academic Totalitarianism.”
Whitaker added that instead of learning how to build a “free and open society,” today’s students are “being taught to use the force of institutions or government to shut down their opponents.”
Others condemned UCI Vice Provost Douglas Haynes’ recent recommendation to students that they participate in a “Safe Zone Training” to combat the “offensive language” used in Yiannopoulos’ talks.
“It would probably be less expensive for taxpayers if the university distributes pacifiers and binky blankets to any student whose feelings get hurt by an opposing view then to fund group therapy in safe spaces,” said Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel. “Either one is a racket but at least someone in the private sector would make money off the pacifiers rather than a campus employee sucking up tax dollars mollycoddling young men and women.”
UCI senior director of media relations, Cathy Lawhon, told Campus Reform that her school is aware of the request and UCI police officers will be meeting with the CRs Tuesday afternoon, saying “UCIPD will be prepared to keep the peace at the event.”
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