Arts & Entertainment Editor
Milo Yiannopoulos, a senior editor for Breitbart news from the United Kingdom, was scheduled to speak about cultural appropriation at the University of California in Berkeley to mark the end of his tour called “Dangerous.”
His speeches have faced political backlash before, but he had not anticipated that a protest at Berkeley, the birthplace of the free speech movement, would turn into a full-on riot.
Violence towards Yiannopoulos, his security detail, and other police personnel was instigated by students, faculty and Antifa, short for antifascism, a group that identifies themselves as a resistance organization against fascism, according to a self-description on their WordPress blog NYC Antifa
The violence was legitimized towards him by propagating him as an “extremist” and member of the alt-right, according to CNN; a white nationalist, according to Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin; and many mainstream media outlets likening him to a neo-nazi by associating him with the alt-right movement.
Protesters held up signs that read, “Free speech is not hate speech.”
Ironically, protestors denied him the right to speak based on the premise that his ideas are, in fact, “dangerous.”
Yiannopoulos’ tour emboldening conservatives in college, according to Yiannopoulos during an interview on Tucker Carlson Tonight, elicited the heart of the problem at American universities, which is that faux progressivism is exalted while conservatism is diminished and silenced.
The “silent majority” that voted for Trump in America is alive and well, of course, evidenced in his election.
However, they are discouraged from speaking out, especially in institutions of higher learning. If they do, they are met with liberal-based McCarthyism and are attacked with shrewd buzz words like racist and fascist, among many others.
A noticeable spike in liberalism at Universities has been documented in survey data by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at UCLA, which shows that 60% of professors across the country identified as liberal or far left, while only about 13% identified as conservative in 2014.
To clarify this stigma against the right, Yiannopoulos is a white gay Catholic man from the United Kingdom with Jewish descent, who holds mostly libertarian political views sprinkled with conservativism.
He uses his platform of political incorrectness and dramatized satire to put forth a message of praising traditional American values, saluting constitutionally granted freedoms, and emphasizing the importance of national security.
He spends most of his air-time, however, dismissing the legitimacy of leftist movements and ideologies such as feminism, Black Lives Matter, the cultural embrace of Islam, LGBTQ+ rights, political correctness and to decry the institution of Planned Parenthood.
In fact, at his talk at Cal Poly State University, he likened Planned Parenthood to eugenics, citing the amount of black babies aborted every year.
“Other national data from the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform asserts that black women are 3 times more likely to have an abortion than white women,” he concluded. “So isn’t it fascinating that intersectional third-wave feminists fighting for abortion are so often arm-in-arm with Black Lives Matter? To any BLM members tucked away in the audience, I can conclusively say that feminists are one group that do not believe black lives matter at all.”
The nomenclatures and innuendoes donned on Yiannopolous by the political left and supposedly unbiased news organizations, such as “extremist” and “neo-nazi,” are not substantiated with any sound fact. In fact, he regularly and consistently refutes these baseless allegations by condemning white nationalism.
He has forced many magazines and news agencies to retract fruitless attacks on his identity, gaining exaltation by his fans for the media’s reprehensions.
Nevertheless, the hyperbolic political climate has a strong hold, leading society to believe that those who think differently are the enemy who must be overthrown.
The regressive left, feeding off this sort of collective effervescence of emotion and indignation, have pronounced the candid right the enemy and adorned themselves the angst-driven knights of the marginalized.
The majority of faculty in higher education, those who have likened progressivism to individual intellect (and conservatism, antiquated), and impressionable millennials, who call for safe spaces and tougher anti-bullying measures, have fed off this heightened intensity.
These Antifa activists or sympathizers have contributed to an anarchical atmosphere intent on dismantling the lynch-pin of American democracy: the first amendment.
As a student, this is discouraging that our college campuses are more concerned with diversity for the sake of diversity and public contempt for anything less, instead of diversity of thought: a standard essential to a truly progressive society.
To move forward, we must be willing to listen, understand and meditate different viewpoints. To grow, we mustn’t let political gambits cattle-drive us into a bubble based on our religion, gender, race or ethnic background.
Like Yiannopolous, we must become independent thinkers, molded by our own intellect, not the insistence of the overwhelming political climate.
To further satirize political correctness, Yiannopolous is currently accepting applications for $2,500 scholarships on his website, which reads, “The Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant is exclusively available to white men who wish to pursue their post-secondary education on equal footing with their female, queer and ethnic minority classmates.”