YWC, like BSM and CHISPA, is misguided to promote the finding of identity in inherent characteristics
Today, the Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) student group brought Tom Tancredo, former Republican congressman and anti-legal immigration protectionist, to Chapel Hill.
Tancredo’s proposed cap on legal immigration will to artificially boost wages of domestic workers at the expense of American consumers, who will bear the costs of more-expensive labor.
According to the national YWC web site, the group wants to “inspire Western youth to organize on the basis of identity, with pride in their heritage and their history.” The misguided notion that our inherent characteristics should define who we are is exactly the fault that we conservatives have long pointed out in other campus groups that seek to promote cultural identity. Examples of these other misguided groups include Black Student Movement, CHISPA, and other race and culture-based movements that seek to highlight our differences and divide us along arbitrary and insignificant lines instead of recognizing that all people have equal inherent worth.
Having stated our opposition to YWC policy proposals, it is now time to defend free speech against intolerant protesters who transformed an opportunity for dialogue into an anti-capitalist hate fest. Several of us at Carolina Review observed a protest today against Tom Tancredo’s speech, which was supposed to occur in Bingham Hall.
Protesters even more wrong
Protesters crowd around the door to the room where Mr. Tancredo was speaking. They shouted “no space for hate” and “sexists, racists, anti-gay, white supremacists, go away!” while their cohorts outside handed out a flier condemning free speech:
Hate speech is silencing. Hate speech can silence the people and groups in targets. It can make them feel they do not have the right to stand up for themselves. It can make them scared to speak out.
Before the president of the UNC chapter of YWC, Riley Matheson, was even able to introduce Mr. Tancredo – just when “hate speech” should have been silencing the protesters – their screams became louder. Police officers on the scene had just used pepper spray and a taser arc to ward off the unruly mob.
The crowd moved outside while spoiled college kids hurled shouts of “shame on you!” at the police officers attempting to control the situation.
The clueless anti-capitalists smoked cigarettes created by capitalism and shouted “Western civilization killed my ancestors!”
Several protesters moved around to the back of the Bingham building and used a brick to smash a window. The flying glass nearly injured a professor who was standing next to the window. I doubt that the protesters thought about the low-income janitors who would have to expend their time and effort cleaning up the byproducts of the kids’ socialist mob.
After watching the protesters destroy University property, we went back around to the front of Bingham, next to the quad. I listened to a very excited radical howl at the police. She screamed at officers through a megaphone: “why are you defending [Tom Tancredo and the YWC] when you should be defending us against that violence?”
Considering that they had just smashed a window into a professor and silenced dissent by repeatedly interjecting vile words while Tancredo was trying to present his opinion in a civil manner, I felt that the protesters had no basis for claiming that the anti-legal immigration speaker, however misguided he may have been, was causing violence.
I read a bit more of the flyer that I had been handed.
We choose to silence Tom Tancredo and the Youth for Western Civilization tonight the same way this type of speech silences people every day.
It was now obvious that the protesters did not desire a dialogue with the immigration-cap proponents. They just wanted to silence dissent with physical force. This is exactly why government exists: to protect the freedom of one party from positive compulsion by another party. The police fulfilled the primary responsibility of government. But the protesters tried to compel dissidents, via force, to comply with their views that we should celebrate our differences, ignore our similarities and turn the civilized world into a socialist hellhole. The protesters failed to contribute to the intellectual debate and instead detracted from the stability of civil society.
Today, about 100 people should be ashamed to be Tar Heels. The anti-speech haters who acted like spoiled, rotten children in and near Bingham today should apologize in writing to Riley Matheson, Tom Tancredo, and University administrators. Then these radical socialists should invite all three to a civil dialogue about immigration issues and racial reconciliation.
A fellow who had been puffing an unidentified substance for a bit interrupted my thought process. “Death to Western civilization! Death to the fascist insect!” While I tried to comprehend that one, another kid screamed “enjoy the lawsuit, officers – there were witnesses.” When I thought that was all, a shrill voice hiding behind the megaphone made me feel queasy:
“We know where you sleep at night!”
But since the campus radicals are afraid of dissent, they will not dialogue. They will not confront the false ideals of Tancredo and the questionable intentions of the heads of the national organization of YWC. They are too afraid of these ideas. They will only smash windows and threaten speakers and harass individuals with whom they disagree.
Tancredo left without speaking. But these protesters did not teach anyone anything tonight; they did not debate or discourse; they did not teach tolerance for others’ views. Instead, they extolled intolerance and violence. They marched away in exuberant triumph – but over what did they triumph? They defeated free speech, love for other human beings, the presumption of innocence, and civil discourse.
Note: The protesters are also totally unaware of Carolina Review’s relaxing, reasonable ideas. We believe that in order to reduce poverty and encourage prosperity for all people, the federal government should dismantle the welfare state, open the borders to legal immigration, and eliminate all trade barriers.