Before my time, the rule on most university campuses was that you were not allowed to say what you wanted. Your political views as a student were not allowed. You were allowed only the party line. And many of the more liberal students felt as though they were not allowed to express themselves.
This led to protests and at UC Berkley a movement called the Free Speech Movement. This movement is seen by some to be the beginning of the student activism that defined the 1960’s. The movement only sought to enable students the liberty to exercise their right to free speech, to express their political concerns on campus.
Now, some fifty-three years later we can wonder if the culture has gone back to its former self? Is the Free Speech Movement dead?
A scheduled speech by controversial Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley led to violent protests that caused the event to be called off, the university said.
The university said fires were set, including one caused by a firebomb that ignited a generator-powered spotlight, and commercial-grade fireworks were thrown at police. NBC Bay Area showed a group of people grab a metal barricade and smash it against a door.
“The violence was instigated by a group of about 150 masked agitators who came onto campus and interrupted an otherwise non-violent protest,” UC Berkeley said in a statement. Some people were attacked and police treated six people for injuries, the university said.
What this means is that we are seeing Leftist tactics take full bloom in these violent protests. We can sit and banter over the views of the speaker. We can mull the effects of what he might have said. We can even wonder why any would want to listen to his comments. But what we cannot do is prevent him from speaking.
In a society that allows people to be silenced just because their words are perceived as hurtful, there is no hope of real freedom. This gives encouragement to any group to use the same tactics or worse to silence those they cannot intellectually defeat.
But, these are the tactic of the communist. Silence all opposition. If this is the new American, then yes, free speech is dead.