Update: Welcome, Steve Sailer (The Unz Review) readers!
Update 2 (Feb. 3): Welcome, Last Refuge readers!
“Trump should offer him a National Guard escort. And publicly compare it to the Little Rock Nine.” This is America. Despite the Black Bloc fascists standing in the Berkeley schoolhouse door, a proud gay man will be allowed inside!
Update 4 (Feb. 5): In ensuring that Milo’s next visit to UC-Berkeley does not end up in a violent riot, local and state authorities (and President Trump, if necessary) can learn from how then-Governor Ronald Reagan handled the UC-Berkeley riots in 1969 — with firmness:
See also this comment.
* * * * *
In the weeks leading up to a planned Feb. 1 speech by Milo Yiannopoulos at UC-Berkeley, approximately 100 Berkeley professors urged the school’s chancellor to cancel the speech, citing Milo’s habit of mercilessly mocking leftists for their intolerance toward normal people holding traditional values, and for their “snowflake” sensitivities (in particular, their constant demands for a “safe space” insulating them from the rough and tumble of the real world).
The school’s chancellor rebuffed these leftist professors, vowing that Milo’s speech would proceed as scheduled. But ultimately, through terroristic violence carried out by masked anarchists, the leftist professors and their allies got their way.
Rather than require that those protesting Milo hold their own event (at a different place, perhaps on a different day), the school allowed 1,500 protesters to congregate in the vicinity of Milo’s event. Amidst the confusion created by the massive crowd, dozens of people (many, apparently, students) then carried out a “heckler’s veto” of Milo’s speech.
Wearing masks (like their Portland comrades), these cowardly anarchists blocked the doors of the event, to prevent anyone from entering, and then targeted Milo and his supporters with violence so extreme that Milo, even though protected by former Navy SEALs, was forced to cancel the event and flee for his life.
A day earlier, Democrat Senator Tim Kaine had implored leftists to “fight in the streets,” and that’s just what the Berkeley anarchists did, assaulting women, beating at least one Trump supporter unconscious, and destroying private property.
All reasonable people recoil from this in horror. But leftists are not reasonable people. Not even this gives them pause. Senator Tim Kaine, for example, has tweeted six times since the anarchy erupted in Berkeley, but has not condemned it. Sadly, it seems that Milo is almost surely correct in his prediction that “not a single prominent left-wing figure will denounce” the Berkeley riot. Indeed, one leading Hollywood producer cheered on the Berkeley anarchists, vowing: “This is just the beginning.”
As Milo wrote shortly after his speech was shut down by anarchists: “One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.”
In the past, when leftists have physically attacked conservatives simply for being conservatives, leading Republican officeholders have stood mute.
No more. As President Trump promised in his inaugural address: “Now arrives the hour of action.” Upon awakening to the news of the anarchy in Berkeley which shut down Milo’s speech, President Trump suggested that in light of UC-Berkeley’s failure to ensure that Milo was allowed to speak, perhaps its federal funding should be cut (more than half the budget of UC-Berkeley is covered from federal funds).
Milo concurs: “UC Berkeley should have all federal funding cut until it can demonstrate its commitment to the First Amendment and guarantee the safety of libertarian and conservative speakers on campus — and the safety of their audiences. Nothing less will do.” Ben Shapiro, who among his many other qualifications is a Harvard lawyer, agrees that it is “perfectly appropriate” to withdraw federal funding if UC-Berkeley “can’t maintain free speech principles.”
Although serious thought should be given to reducing federal funding of universities which fail to protect diversity of thought on campus, that seems at best a medium-term solution to the Left’s efforts to shut down conservative speech. As Walter Olson has observed, it may well difficult “to use direct executive orders to cut off funds to universities that tolerate disruption of speech or exclude speakers based on the content of their speech.” Administrative action by the Department of Education, and perhaps legislative action by Congress, may be necessary to fully protect conservative speech on campus.
In the meantime, President Trump should exercise his undoubted authority to act unilaterally, under existing statutes, to protect the right of conservatives to speak on university campuses — starting with the right of Milo Yiannopoulos to speak in the near future at UC-Berkeley, and the concomitant right of his audience to see him speak there.
To combat these Democrat agitators intent on defeating the constitutional right of conservatives to access public universities as forums for their speech, President Trump should invoke the same statutory authority used by President Eisenhower 60 years ago to combat the Democrat agitators who sought to defeat the constitutional right of African-American children to access integrated public schools.
The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it—
(1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection . . . .
. . . In any situation covered by clause (1), the State shall be considered to have denied the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution.
This was the authority invoked by President Eisenhower to integrate the public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, after Democrat officials in the state had made clear they did not intend to enforce the right of African-American children to attend integrated schools.
Ultimately President Eisenhower found it necessary to federalize the Arkansas National Guard in order to stop the agitation against African-American children orchestrated by Democrats, which was impairing their constitutional right to attended an integrated school. In his address to the nation, he explained that he was acting with “firmness” to prevent “anarchy,” given the “demagogic extremists” leading “disorderly mobs” who were imperiling the exercise of constitutional rights — and he noted that the “overwhelming majority of our people . . . deplore the call of extremists to violence.”
Hopefully it will not be necessary for President Trump to federalize the California National Guard in order to stop the Democrat-led agitation against Milo Yiannopoulos and other conservatives, which is impairing their constitutional right to speak at public universities in California.
But President Trump should take this occasion to make clear that, if push comes to shove, he will use his authority under federal law to ensure that not just liberals, but conservatives too, will enjoy the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution, and that where state and local authorities are unable or unwilling to protect that right, federal authorities will step in to protect it.
10 U.S.C. 334 requires that the President, prior to sending in federal authorities, give fair warning of his intent, and “shall, by proclamation, immediately order the insurgents to disperse and retire peaceably to their abodes within a limited time.” Just as President Eisenhower did prior to projecting federal authority into Arkansas to protect African-American children in 1957, President Trump should issue a proclamation making clear that unless state authorities commit to employing sufficient resources (including, if necessary, the California National Guard) to ensure that Milo Yiannopoulos can safely speak at UC-Berkeley, he will federalize the California National Guard to enforce the right of Milo to speak, and to send a clear message that any future efforts by leftist anarchists to prevent conservatives from exercising their constitutional rights will be treated with firmness by the federal government.