Letter: Milo Yiannopoulos should not be allowed to speak on campus
The following letter is written by David Douglass of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and the Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary, BAMN.
It is signed on by Students for Justice in Palestine MSU, Students Organize for Syria at MSU, Asian Pacific American Student Organization MSU and Which Side MSU?
MSU plans to host an event by Milo Yiannopoulos, a demagogue whose speaking tour, the “Dangerous Faggot Tour,” has incited a rash of hate crimes and physical confrontations at numerous universities. Many campuses in the U.S. have canceled his engagements as well as the University of Manchester in Britain.
Yiannopoulos notoriously riles up a lynch mob mentality in his audiences, promoting violence, rape, harassment and repression against minorities, women and immigrants. His “speeches” are a bombast of racial and sexual slurs, provocations and curse-laden threats. His various YouTube videos are a catalogue of hate and bigotry: “…why black lives don’t matter…,” “10 things I hate about Islam,” “Feminism is Cancer for Men..and Women…,” etc.
The Yiannopoulos persona is a twisted, idiosyncratic brand of sociopathology, sporting a “fashy” (fascist-like) hairstyle, the maniacal humor of those who laugh while watching others burn and suffer, and the spiteful angst of a mass shooter— a mash-up of Hitler, the Joker and an adolescent internet troll. Now an editor for Breitbart, his career and infamy began through his internet harassment campaign against women and led to his prominence as an “alt-right” personality, news editor and Trump ally.
The Milo Yiannopoulos tour represents an imminent, physical threat to the students and faculty of MSU. By hosting the event, the MSU administration would be giving direct license to the incitement of hate and terror across the campus. Hate speech is not free speech — a primary aim of demagogues like Yiannopoulos is to repress and silence the speech of minorities and women, to eradicate from all social life everything that Yiannopoulos labels as “political correctness.” His aim is to create a hostile climate in which free speech becomes impossible, in which the rights and obligations of civil discourse can no longer be upheld because civil discourse itself will cease to exist.
MSU should follow the example of other campuses that have canceled the tour engagements of Milo Yiannopoulos: NYU, University of Miami, Florida Atlantic University, Villanova University and the University of Maryland. The alternative is the prospect of clashes between white and minority students, as occurred at places like DePaul University, the University of California, Irvine and Rutgers University. Yiannopoulos incited, escalated and promoted the confrontations, as his audiences chanted “grab her by the pussy!” and other hate speech.
If our campus does not take a clear stand to shut him this racist, racist movement then these clashes will become increasingly violent and the threat of attacks on minorities will escalate and increase. This is not an event that any college campus should condone — it is a threat to the safety and wellbeing of the students and faculty, and a threat to the academic mission to promote learning and leadership. The confrontations will not be confined to the time and place of the event; hate crimes will escalate, and innocent people will suffer verbal or physical abuses. This is the established pattern of the Milo Yiannopoulos tour — that hateful pattern must be broken at MSU.
Students and faculty must also stand up against the proliferation of hate and the prospect of a lynch-mob, race-riot mentality spreading across campus. The instigator of this phenomenon must be stopped. Milo Yiannopoulos intends to speak at Conrad Hall on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. This event must not go forward on this campus. MSU is a diverse, international community, with students of many nationalities, ethnicities, religions and cultures. We must defend the very best of that tradition now, against the threat that Yiannopoulos or other demagogues may seize upon the current political climate to build a fascist youth movement in America. The threat is real. Our stand must be clear: no racist, sexist hate at MSU.