Thanks to the apathy and inaction of public officials, fascists succeeded in shutting down free speech at the University of California at Berkeley this week.
Gay conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at the school but had to cancel after angry masked mobs calling themselves, the “antifa,” (short for “anti-fascist,” ironically) and the “black bloc” descending on the event. Milo was quickly ushered off campus in a bulletproof vest just as the fascists broke through security barriers, smashed shop windows, and threw fire bombs. Videos of the violent attacks circulated, including an unconscious man being beaten with large sticks. Other people were pepper sprayed, shoved, and intimidated.
The UC Berkeley landscape was left in shambles, but the glow from the smoldering fires illuminated their painted message: “KILL TRUMP.”
Was there any condemnation for these criminal actions? Hardly. In fact, it seemed almost encouraged.
Berkeley Mayor Jess Arreguin tweeted, just before the riots, the following: “Using speech to silence marginalized communities and promote bigotry is unacceptable. Hate speech isn’t welcome in our community.” Later, the mayor could only manage this tepid response: “Violence and destruction is not the answer.”
Then there was California’s lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, who more blatantly suggested an uprising before the speech by quoting Frederick Douglass. “Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation,” he tweeted, “are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.”
Newsom said nothing more about the riots.
But can you imagine the outcry if an angry mob of MAGA-hat-wearing Trump supporters fire-bombed a Black Lives Matter speech? There wouldn’t be a single news outlet or Democratic politician calling that a “protest.” It would be the perfect “we told you so” moment they’ve feverishly warned about: the arrival of Trump’s racist America. But as the shoe is on the other foot, the Left is given a free pass to act in a number of violent and aggressive ways toward conservatives as long as they claim to be fighting “hate speech.”
President Trump, in a decisive and immediate response,threatened to pull federal funds.
“If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view — NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” he tweeted.
See, here’s the beauty of free speech: any viewpoint, no matter how correct, wrong, vile, racist, righteous, religious, or ridiculous it may be, is allowed on every street corner in this free nation. We can both be or call out the foolish. But here’s where America must draw the line: no longer will we fund extreme leftist, anti-American values like the ones we’ve had to endure over the last few years. Former Republican senator from South Carolina Jim DeMint said it this way: “The First Amendment gives the City of Berkeley the right to be idiotic, but from now on they should do it with their own money.”
Taxpayers demand nothing less. Federal funds need to be swiftly pulled if they allow this behavior to continue. In the meantime, UC Berkeley should be ashamed that it is both the birthplace and graveyard of the free speech movement.