By Ruth Shaw, Communications Director
Last night, Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos attempted to speak at the University of California, Berkeley campus. The event was protested by left-wing student activists who disagree with Yiannopoulous’s ideas and his support for President Trump.
Most of the violence that occurred are not unique, unfortunately. Some students who fundamentally believe that certain ideas should no longer be shared, even in a university setting, will do whatever it takes to make sure their ideas go unchallenged and remain the status quo. It is best, perhaps, that we no longer pretend it is any different, because they are no longer pretending either. Their new motto clearly states as such: By any means necessary.
There are two things that are worth noting about the riot at UC Berkeley.
Firstly, BAMN. The new movement whose goal is to win by any means necessary.
In this article, a student member of BAMN states: “We are willing to resist by any means necessary.” Further, protestor Lana Wachowski is quoted in the article defending the use of extreme tactics to deny Yiannopolous a platform. “The moral imperative is to win,” Wachowski says, “There’s something to be said for fighting according to a code, but if you lose, people are going to die.”
Lastly, Wachowski says: “It’s absolutely acceptable to use violence. They are 100% certain to use it against us.”
I didn’t even know winning could be a moral imperative. Saving lives, yes. Changing the culture, yes. Stopping violence or bullying against others, yes. Giving someone shelter, yes. I don’t know about you guys, but I have never heard someone say this so overtly. Violence to win. Violence by any means necessary. Winning by any means necessary.
It is a bit unnerving to think you live in a world where people want to become experts in violence. As Gregg Cunningham, a leading anti-abortion activist in the United States once said, “there is blood shed to heal, and there is blood shed to kill.” These are the same young people who advocate for the killing of innocent children; it should not surprise us that they have now taken their intrinsically violent worldview applied them to born people. I wish we could rejoice that at least they are being consistent.
Another interesting point worthy of note is Wachowski’s comment that if she doesn’t use violence, certainly violence will be used against her.
I would challenge her and ask: where is the proof of this?
This past week in the United States, two stunningly massive marches were held: The Women’s March on Washington and the 2017 March for Life in Washington. A quick YouTube search gives evidence to many, many acts of violence by left-wing activists at the Women’s March, including this one of someone setting a girl’s hair on fire. Not to mention Madonna’s speech in which she talked about bombing the White House…
In stark contrast, at the March for Life there were no such instances of violence or encouragement of violent behavior. Certainly, there have been some activists in the past who have resorted to violence in order to stop abortions from happening. These acts of violence are wrong, condemned by pro-life leaders, and have not happened in a very long time. So again, I would ask Lana: where is her proof?
Secondly, the irony of BAMN protests..
The students at Berkeley shut down, rioted against, and harmed individuals in order to shut down a conversation that they didn’t want to hear. All of these things occured outside Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building. Can you say ironic?
This riot was the antithesis of the kind of protesting that MLK stood for. BAMN continuously refers to MLK JR in their promotional material, as though they are following in his footsteps. This is indicative of a generation that does not know their history. It is a fact that MLK JR stood for the exact opposite of what this radical group stands for.Why? Because he understood that using violence in order to be heard or to create change ultimately only produces more violence and isolation in a culture that desperately needs healing, unity and love.
Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love… Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding.
– Martin Luther King Jr. [source link]
Win his friendship and understanding. Powerful. THAT is real winning. THAT is real activism.
Unfortunately, as BAMN has proved they are not interested in winning friendships or understanding. They are only interested in one thing: winning power. This attitude will only lead to more violence and solidifies to youth around the world that violence paves the way to change. Indeed it does change something, but nothing good. Nothing beautiful. Nothing that adds value to one’s life. We need to be the kind of activists that seek to heal the culture, not tear it apart. We have to always remember that PEOPLE are affected, PEOPLE are torn apart, PEOPLE die, PEOPLE are shamed, PEOPLE are destroyed.
Student activists on campuses have a responsibility to be leaders in good revolution. You are setting an example for your peers, for high school students who follow you, and those who are looking to you to set standards and goals for future generations to follow you. If you do not show respect for people you disagree with, you have little hope of changing anything, except to harden the person you are talking to against your belief system. Student activists have a responsibility to engage constructively with differing ideologies and constructs. You are actively changing the world for better or for worse every time you engage with ideas different than your own. OWN that.