Last night, thousands of students, professors and others protested the appearance and organizing rally of Milo Yiannopoulos, a major fascist operative, shutting it down. This was righteous and much more like this is needed.
In response, widespread attacks, distortion and threats are being issued, including from the Fascist-In-Chief Trump himself who threatened to cut off all federal funding to UC Berkeley.
These dangerous threats must be vigorously exposed and opposed.
Lets be clear: Milo Yiannopoulos is not engaging in “free speech.” He is consciously spearheading the Nazification of the American University.
One: In his speeches and writings, Yiannopoulos is not simply voicing opinions – and he is certainly not “courageously challenging political orthodoxy” as he would like people to believe. Rather, he spews forth hateful, crude, unthinking bigotry and low-level insults against marginalized and oppressed people, and he has a documented record of knowingly unleashing campaigns of harassment, stalking, and threats of violence.
Two: Even more fundamentally, Yiannopoulos is a fascist operative with connections to the highest echelons of the Trump-Pence fascist regime. He is a senior editor at Breitbart news, the home of the white supremacist, antisemitic, woman-hating “alt-right” movement whose former head, Steve Bannon, is now a powerful driver of Trump’s fascist regime. In his current tour, Yiannopoulos teamed up with David Horowitz, a man with a decades long record of attacking and working to get fired progressive and radical-minded professors for their political views and for challenging lies used to justify U.S. empire and its role in the world. An explicit mission of their joint effort is to end sanctuary campuses and target undocumented students.
Three: Yiannopoulos’s campus tour is part of a larger rapidly escalating society-wide fascist assault on critical thinking, science, the ability to discover basic truths about objective reality and to challenge fascist lies. The Trump/Pence regime is relentlessly lying, muzzling government agencies, threatening the media, and firing or threatening government officials who stand up to them. This is because their fascist program is violently at odds with both basic facts about the world and what most people think is just. It is part of preparing their fanatical thugs to mindlessly carry out atrocities in service of their program.
In this context, the campuses pose a strategic problem for this fascist regime because they – more than the rest of society – expose students to the broader world, encourage people to think critically and to explore contrary viewpoints. It is for this reason that fascists like Yiannopoulos and Horowitz have so viciously targeted the universities and why Trump himself jumped in so eagerly to give him backing.
For all these reasons what happened at UC Berkeley is part of the kind of broad, powerful and meaningful protest which needs to continue on an unprecedented scale to OUST this regime from power. These protests should be supported and defended by all those who value critical thought, the ability to pursue and debate what is actually true, science and scientific thinking, the space to dissent – and all who oppose this whole fascist direction and reordering of the world with its unparalleled threats to all humanity and the planet itself.