At the University of Michigan, now home of the ve-xe-ze gender pronoun revolution, a student debate club scheduled a formal debate on the question of whether or not Black Lives Matter is harmful to race relations. The question was affirmatively answered, but not through reasoned debate. It was answered by BLM protesters themselves. Excerpt:
A routine debate on Tuesday hosted by a University of Michigan debate club was effectively shut down after a throng of protesters stormed the event and repeatedly shouted over participants, claiming the topic on whether Black Lives Matter is harmful to racial relations is too racist and bigoted to be discussed.
Holding signs with statements such as “my life is not a debate” and “black lives are not up for debate,” as well as chanting “Black Lives Matter,” hundreds of protesters filed into the room where the Michigan Political Union, a non-partisan parliamentary forum that facilitates discussions about contemporary issues, was just beginning its debate Tuesday night.
Michigan Political Union’s President student Joshua Strup had attempted to hold the door into the venue closed as those at the debate heard the crowd of protestors approaching, as the room was already filled to capacity, but to no avail. The protesters burst through and stood along the room’s four walls as well as the walkways between chairs.
Comments and yelling ensued between the protesters and Strup, as well as student moderator Carlos Owens, both of whom attempted to quiet the crowd. But the protesters would not be silenced. They shouted out a series of chants after they entered the room, including “racists hurt race relations,” “black lives are not up for debate, and neither is mine,” and “if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
After their shouting spree, they laid on the ground to conduct a die-in demonstration. Thereafter, whenever a debate participant tried to speak, they would shout over them. Much of their comments were laced with profanity.
In a video embedded in that news account, we hear a robust young Black Lives Matter scholar hold forth on why the debate club has no moral right to question the effectiveness of BLM. She yells:
…How racist all of the fu–ing systems in America is. How racist all of the housing systems is, how redlining is, how every other fu–ing system is. Even in this school, the fact that I had to fu–ing buy my instrument and basically bullsh-t my way into a top-ass school. All of that shit! Muthaf–ka! …. There are no fu–ing questions to be asked. You know the fu–ing answers. White people know the fu–ing answers. What y’all want to do is traumatize us… What we’re not going to do is to continue to traumatize black people on this white, racist, fu–ing-ass campus.
Read the whole story. The black protesters, which included students from a local high school, shut down the event. Lakyrra Magee, a black student who opposed having the debate, wrote a column in the campus paper, talking about how her pain is the most important thing ever, and how it’s “blatantly racist” to question BLM. Get this: pro-censorship Magee is an intern with the ACLU.
This outrageous event happened on Monday. If any readers know what actions, if any, the university took to punish members of this mob that bullied a debate club into silence, let me know. If nothing was done to them, that tells you a lot about the climate of intellectual intolerance on the University of Michigan campus. Every single student protester who can be identified in video ought to be disciplined, even suspended. You cannot have a university if anyone in the university asserts a right to silence by force other students. You cannot have a university where racist bigots like that BLM ranter are allowed to run roughshod over the right to free expression and inquiry.
If a student cannot come to campus and engage respectfully and rationally in debate, but instead reacts to speech she doesn’t like by screaming and cursing and intimidating the speakers, then she does not belong on a university campus. Period. End of story. She is not ready to be part of an intellectual community.
Going forward, the University of Michigan ought to send campus police to protect events like this. It ought to arrest protesters who try to shut these events down. If it does not, if it allows students who are there to get an education (and going to political debates is part of that education) to suffer at the hands of a racialized mob using fascist tactics to silence them, then the University of Michigan deserves the fate of the University of Missouri when it showed similar cowardice: a collapse in enrollment, as students choose to attend colleges where they can learn, not be bullied by hysterics.
UPDATE: A conservative friend at the University of Michigan writes:
As appalling as the behavior was, it’s worth noting that tensions–and tempers–were already flaring on campus before then. The day before the Political Union debate, a number of “racially charged” (the student paper’s term; I’d go so far as to say blatantly racist) fliers were found around campus, apparently organized (the fliers say so themselves) by the “Alt Right.” (Something called Radix Journal?) I don’t know whether BLM activists had already planned to protest the PU debate (they were, of course, wrong to do so), but the existence of their pissed-ness had cause: the university had just been covered in racist propaganda calling black men low-IQ rapists bent on murdering pretty (blonde) white women. You and I both know just how old that trope is. It’s the American race relations version of the blood libel against Jews.
I say this not to excuse the protestors. They were wrong, they were belligerent, they’re Orwellian in their pursuit of shutting down speech in the name of speech (and rights in the name of rights). But even at a campus as far left as Michigan, where people are proud terror groups like the Weather Underground originated, there is still a radical, fringe right-wing presence. And it’s not blameless, either: this time, at least, the far-right fascists fired the first shot.
To their great credit, I haven’t yet seen any public apology or groveling from the UM Political Union. I suspect all this accomplished was to create a dozen more Jonathan Chait fans. And it’s not worth taking the time to wonder if any students will be punished for shutting down the debate. Of course they won’t. Don’t be silly — this isn’t the University of Chicago! (The administrators, after all, need to keep the protestors from coming after their heads. Why the hell else do you think Jim Harbaugh is endorsing protesting the national anthem if that’s what his players want to do? If someone calls him a racist, only a national championship might save him.)
More and more, it feels like we’re just living through the nation-wide performance of Love in the Ruins. Divisions in the Catholic Church? Check. GOP as Knotheads? Check. Transformation of the Democrats into the party of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, the Pill, Atheism, Pot, Anti-Pollution, Sex, Abortion Now, Euthanasia? Check. Race relations abruptly deterioriating to the point of violence, though no one quite knows why? Check. The only one sane enough to dissent from this state of affairs considered a madman? Probably.
(The University as the only place imaginable where middle-aged Bernie Sanders voters are considered, from the perspective of academic politics, like right-wingers? Check.)
As for me — I’ve taken to pouring out a few fingers of bourbon in the evenings and reading the novel again. It’s all almost enough to want to see Trump elected, just to watch the faces of everyone else in this town. But only almost.
Radix Journal is a white nationalist publication edited by Richard Spencer. This racist provocation got exactly the reaction he wanted from the BLM mob. Dammit. Don’t BLM and its sympathizers understand that by reacting so emotionally and destructively, they’re only strengthening the racist right?
UPDATE.2: A reader writes:
I read your post this morning regarding the BLM protest at the U of M debate club and, let me just say, I am not surprised in the least. I received my MBA from the U of M Ross School of Business relatively recently, and during my time in Ann Arbor I developed a deep attachment to the school and the city. My first daughter was born in Ann Arbor, my time at the school was amazing, and my U of M degree has opened doors to me career-wise that never would have been opened to me otherwise. That being said, I was under no illusions then about what kind of school the undergrad U of M was and what kind of city Ann Arbor is, for all the positives that exist around both.
The campus was constantly full of SJW nonsense, from far-left race based events, to bi-weekly (I’m not exaggerating) LGBTQ-RSTUVWXYZ campus & university sponsored events. The business school was somewhat insulated from it, but not entirely (the “LGBT Allies” held an annual drag show – I did not attend), and from what I hear through the grapevine it is creeping in farther and farther every year.
Since I graduated I’ve always hoped that my kids would be able to attend U of M. It’s a great school in a quintessential college town, with a lot of great academic programs. However, at the rate stories like these pop up about my alma mater, I don’t think that I could in good conscience send my kids there. I refuse to subject them to an environment and culture that is not only at-odds with, but openly hostile to, the upbringing that my wife and I are trying to instill in them.
The more I look around, however, I fail to see any place that is any better, including the Catholic schools! For an example, take a look at the most recent Creighton University alumni magazine, that includes an article by two Creighton professors of Theology, arguing that the Catholic Church should and WILL shift its stance on gay marriage, transgender acceptance, and the whole host sexual revolution issues that come with it (https://www.creighton.edu/creightonmagazine/2016smrfeaturemarriagefamily/). These are professors of Theology at a Catholic university, openly pushing this in a University sanctioned publication!
It’s bad enough when the state schools do this stuff, but it’s become expected there. When a nominally Catholic school in the heartland of the US does this, however, that is crossing a line that I certainly didn’t foresee even 5-10 years ago. To say that it is disheartening is an understatement, but it’s becoming clearer everyday that there is no safe haven left for the conservative, orthodox believer, and that no quarter will be given for our beliefs. I hope that this entire movement burns itself out, and maybe it will, but no without leaving a lot of destruction in its wake.