Because college kids are really big on standing on principle, and because: free speech, campus conservatives at UC Berkeley say that they will, "without qualification," be bringing Milo Yiannopoulos back to speak on campus, "with Alex Jones of InfoWars in tow." No date for this event has been given, and it could be that Yiannopoulos got all the attention he needed from the fracas of two weeks ago and doesn't want to bother with a second round as principled as he claims to be about advocating free speech, something tells me he's only going to take the fight as far as it gets him notoriety and more CNN appearances.
In an op-ed in the campus paper The Daily Californian, Troy Worden and Pieter Sittler, both representatives of the Berkeley College Republicans, write that the narrative of a "peaceful protest" infiltrated by black bloc anarchists is a false one. "They stood idly by as Yiannopoulos fans were pepper-sprayed and beaten," they write. "No — by and large, the student protesters danced as the campus burned, putting the Roman Emperor Nero to shame." (The latter a clear reference to Yiannopoulos's now defunct Twitter handle, @nero, but I thought that was because he fancied himself sitting back and watching America burn?)
They suggest that everyone should be troubled by the use of or threats of violence being used "to obtain power over ideological minorities such as the Berkeley College Republicans," noting that that "is by no means a fringe position here [on campus]." And they excoriate Professor Robert Reich for promoting the notion that Yiannopoulos was somehow behind the black bloc chaos, in order to incite more rage against this enemy of the alt-right, the militant liberals and anarchists they call "antifa."
Taking a defiant tone, the college Republicans say, "The more riots the black bloc incites, the more support we receive from across the United States in opposition to the fascist tactics of self-styled anti-fascists. The more abuse and harassment we suffer, the more controversial speakers we will invite to campus."
It emerged last week that Yiannopoulos was likely to use his platform at UC Berkeley to "out" undocumented students, holding up photos or projecting photos of their faces during his talk, much the way he did at an earlier talk at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in order to ridicule a transgender student. According to a source in the administration, the College Republicans attempted to stop Yiannopoulos from doing this "doxxing," an intimidation tactic that liberals on campus had used against them in the past, but Yiannopoulos's team essentially said he would do what he felt like doing. (Sidebar: Isn't this all the more ironic given that Yiannopoulos isn't even a citizen? I digress.)
Can we all just agree that if they manage to get Yiannopoulos back to campus, student activists need to get smarter about how they show resistance, and how they reject his message? Breaking shit and being the one who out-screams the other person has never been the best way to make a point.
Meanwhile, it's unclear if Berkeley College Republicans intend on participating in this supposed alt-right march by the Proud Boys in Berkeley on March 4, which may be little more than a flyer on Twitter at this point.