By Alexander Reid Ross (October 23, 2017)
When it comes to shutting down minority protections in the interests of the 37 percent of the country that supports Trump, Republicans seem eager to support a “democratic mandate.” However, when the masses openly repudiate such a loathsome would-be cardboard tyrant as this, the fear of a “tyranny of the majority” is invoked by our benevolent rulers. Hypocrisy is the downfall of education.
The assumption that universities are forced by law to allow anybody who has the support of a small student group to speak under their auspices is both foul and false. Universities regularly reject speakers and have the right to do so based on any number of objections, whether right or wrong. There are engines driving the alt right—for instance, those that surfaced out of the quagmire of Breitbart and neo-reaction in the recent Buzzfeed article. Universities that allow Richard Spencer and his misogynist, racist, odious gang to step foot on their grounds is not only violating the very premises on which they were founded (eg, University of Florida’s mission statement “for economic, cultural and societal benefit”), they are putting their own students at risk of the extreme violence that their followers have carried out.
A state that would call a state of emergency to defend this obnoxious little spectacle only plays into the circus. Intentionality is of less concern in this case than the kind of unprincipled idiocy that it takes to make universities into trojan horses for fascist brutes rather than places of reason and learning. Whoever permits this “speaking tour” charade cosigns the murder of vulnerable people throughout the country.