And the week brings another story of the distressing state of public higher education….unfortunately, another in an increasingly frequent series of stories where US universities are the site of authoritarian violence.Tuesday, students at the University of California-Berkeley rioted with the purpose being to keep someone from speaking that they disagreed with. Talk about it all we want, that was the bottom line. They didn’t like someone who was scheduled to speak on campus, so the students smashed ATMs, started fires, smashed windows at a Wells Fargo bank and threw a flare inside and then one of the rioters sprayed mace into the face of a supporter of President Trump who was, at the time, being interviewed on local TV.
The students were protesting the appearance of British writer Milo Yiannopoulos. Yiannopoulos is a firebrand who has raised controversy wherever he has gone in his life and most recently has been known for his outspoken support of candidate Donald Trump. The students obviously feel that some people don’t have a right to free speech, don’t have a right to assemble and that they are the ones to decide who does. And if they don’t get their way, they are going to take it out on the evil ATM machines, the dangerous banks and other demonic store windows which, apparently, they feel is at the root of the whole problem.
Let’s call it like it is, and it’s pretty simple: these student nutjobs believe in stark contrast to “the American Way”—the American Way being defined as not some polly anna cliché but as respect for the rights of others generally and the First Amendment specifically. They are against free speech, in favor of violence against anyone who disagrees with them and are authoritarian if not outright totalitarian.
They are dangers to others because of their violent acts against others and they are dangers to society because of their desire for a dictatorial society. They ought to be arrested and faced with the maximum penalties, forced to pay total restitution and not be released from jail until the restitution has been paid in full, and be forever barred from any government financial aid for further collegiate study. Obviously any money spent on their education thus far has been wasted.