DePaul President Rev. Dennis Holtschneider is just fine with Milo Yiannopoulos having his talk shut down by a few, or one, Black Lives Matter activists at the campus auditorium on the DePaul campus May 24.
That’s because in real life he must think he is playing Rolf in the musical, The Sound of Music, where he sings to Liesl, “You are Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” a sweet song between two young lovers.
He is the elder, though a young soldier. He will take care of the emotional needs of his girlfriend. But in this case, it’s Holtschneider who wants to so endearingly take care of the DePaul students, and protect them from speakers like Milo Yiannopoulos.
Or perhaps his role is more insidious: maybe he is playing the role of the Nazi SS, shutting down speech he deems inappropriate.
Instead of embarrassment as a result of the event being shut down, Holtschneider saw fit to debate Yiannopoulos via email. Sent from France, his email was reported on by the campus newspaper, the DePaulia, more than whatever Yiannopoulos was allowed to say before being interrupted.
A little over ten minutes into the event, Ed Ward, a DePaul student and black man, rushed the stage, grabbed a microphone and interrupted Milo's talk. He brought with him a whistle, which he used often, disrespectfully shutting down all communication. Evidently Ward founded Men of Vision and Empowerment, a group designed specifically for black men. For him, it must be empowering to threaten people he disagrees with. He says the speakers views on race and feminism are to blame for the Charleston shootings, and has vowed to continue to shut down what he calls hate speech. Actually, it ’s not likely that the Charleston shooter knew anything about Yiannopoulos or the other way around.
Another girl, black and angry, wearing a Straight Outta Chicago T-shirt acted like she was going to punch Yiannopoulos while he was sitting down. She attempted and barely missed.
Straight Outta Chicago is a copy of the offensive rap group Straight Outta Compton. The lyrics of the groups songs include one that says, “Fuck the police.” The lyrics made the group famous or notorious, and a de facto enemy of police that had to deal with the verbal assault on their dignity.
The protesters refused to leave the stage. Oddly enough, both Ward and his accomplice sat down on the small tables between the two speakers; it made for in interesting display.
Ward also claims to be a church minister. If so, perhaps he attends the same church as the one that Pres. Obama attended when he lived in Chicago. The one where Rev. Jeremiah Wright preached his "God Damn America" sermon.
Other mostly black women, sat on the edge of the stage, during the disruption that had obviously been planned in advance.
Yiannopoulos tried to maintain his cool, and did a commendable job, under the circumstances.
In fact Y rarely mentions blacks or the Black Lives Matter movement during his Dangerous Faggot tour, except to dismiss them. In this case, he did insult the people who interrupted his event, with a couple of references to black stereotypes, like the possibility that the protesters would increase the black incarceration rate. He also called Ward a cunt, which he did not like.
The entire time on stage, Ward was pacing back and forth, as though stewing or angry about something - one would assume, the speaker. But it was not clear. On the other hand, if this were a black audience, with a white man interrupting the speaker, the blacks would no doubt have attacked the protester. Such is the restraint of whites, in this case.
The most noteworthy, and disturbing part of the event was not so much the protest, it was the fact that the police stood there and did nothing about the protesters. A few of those in attendance could have taken out Ward, but the emcee, a woman in a white dress seemed not to understand the threat that Yiannopoulos posed for liberals, leftists, etc., on campus. She played a recording of Republican Candidate Donald Trump giving a talk about a story of a snake or a viper or something. When the protesters started, instead of asking them to leave, she told those in attendance to sit down, as though by standing up, they would be arrested by the police.
Some of this is completely out of their control. But in general, protesting is not something that Republicans do, or seem to understand. Since Breitbart paid the school $1,000 for security at the event, they could easily have asked those lining up, whether they intended to protest or disrupt the event. At least then, they would have had to lie to get in. Obviously, they did not do this. Protesters have attempted to disrupt every campus where Yiannopoulos (or Trump) has spoken.
While the group of blacks succeeded in shutting down Yiannopoulos, they really failed, since they were unable to mount any kind of verbal defense or opposition to his talk. It really represents a failure for young blacks growing up, as well as those attending college, since they seem unwilling to challenge ideas they don’t agree with. Or, in growing up black, they are unable to process disagreement, since so much disagreement in black communities results in murder. Many of them grew up under the premier race-baiter, President Obama, who uses race as a divider at every opportunity. This proves Yiannopoulos accurate when he says that liberalism has failed to provide a reasonable defense for why it exists.
(The words faggot, as well as cunt, are more offensive in America than England. People are regularly called cunt in England. In the U.S., it is a derogatory word that is considered worse or the same as calling someone a whore).
The campus president Holtschneider both opined on Yiannopoulos and apologized in the same email response. He was in Normandy France when he responded. Why he is in France is not clear.
What we do know is that it is not his place, a president of the college, to express disagreement with a speaker like Yiannopoulos, if a legitimate campus organization invites him to speak, and the college agreed to it. It would be like someone disagreeing with Joyce Kearns Goodwin about how she wrote about Abraham Lincoln, or how long her books are, or whether they are interesting enough or too dense.
It’s beneath a campus leader to outright disagree with any campus speaker. But that’s probably the point. They did not want him there in the first place. The police allowed the disruption to take place, and allowed it to continue. It also shows that the campus police lack character. Why would they would take orders from campus administrators about whether they should protect the free speech rights of a speaker? Because they stood there doing nothing, the students shouted at them "do your job, do your job," which was appropriate. Evidently these campus police value their jobs more than the Bill of Rights.
This is how Holtschneider responded in this email:
“Generally, I do not respond to speakers of Mr. Yiannopoulos’ ilk, as I believe they are more entertainers and self-serving provocateurs than the public intellectuals they purport to be.”
But he is responding, is he not? He is weighing in, labeling the speaker. If Yiannopoulos is an entertainer, why should the campus allow any comedian on campus? Most are offensive; the whole point is to provoke. What about Jon Stewart or John Oliver? They provoke and make fun of conservatives, to the mirth of young wacko liberals, leftists, who live in New York City, who think they are being cool by attending. They take them seriously; they get their news from him. But Oliver, and most of his writers, is obviously biased.
While Holtschneider's language style and choice of words shows that he is a learned man, he does not know a lot about the basic rights of speech and assembly. This is exactly the problem with liberalism. They do not appreciate disagreement. Not really. They don’t want debate. They want agreement, like Black Lives Matter activists. He worries about the inflammatory language. There is all kinds of inflammatory language in the local, state, federal, international political scene. Most of the inflammatory language comes from Bernie Sanders supporters, and activists who show up at Trump rallies.
“Their shtick is to shock and incite a strong emotional response they can then use to discredit the moral high ground claimed by their opponents. This is unworthy of university discourse, but not unfamiliar across American higher education. There will always be speakers who exploit the differences within our human community to their own benefit, blissfully unconcerned with the damage they leave behind.”
Evidently Holtschneider is an expert on modern political discourse and the emotional reaction from such speech. Evidently leftists claim a moral high ground that Yiannopoulos cannot claim. Such disagreements are not worthy of a college campus. Political discourse was actually as much if not much more inflammatory during the time of the American Revolution. Should we have shut down discourse then, claiming one opinion more moral than another? The truth is that this kind of discourse is generally not allowed on college campuses in the U.S.
It’s the job of a college president to treat college students as adults, not children who have to be protected from harmful speech. That’s the whole point of attending college, isn’t it. It’s just a matter of which speech is allowed.
While the article in the DePaulia was mostly accurate in covering the event, there were some areas where it definitely was not. Their claim that Yiannopoulos says Black Lives Matter are sensitive is either entirely accurate, or entirely inaccurate. He mostly says that the BLM group contributed to violence against police, and the burning and destruction of cities like Baltimore. This is an accurate summary of the movement.
Holtschneider defends the wage gap theory for women, whether LGBT people decide to be that way or are born that way, and whether white people have more privileges that black people.
Yiannopoulos is suspect when “white men continue to occupy the vast majority of top positions in nearly every major industry.”
On the other hand, he demonstrates such humility when admitting that those who interrupted the speech were wrong to do so.
“Yesterday’s speaker was invited to speak at DePaul, and those who interrupted the speech were wrong to do so. Universities welcome speakers, give their ideas a respectful hearing, and then respond with additional speech countering the ideas. I was ashamed for DePaul University when I saw a student rip the microphone from the hands of the conference moderator and wave it in the face of our speaker.”
On the one hand, he condemns “Fxxx Mexico” as hate speech, but encourages college liberals and leftists to bully those they disagree with.
Holtschneider praised protesters who were “working to calm each other, and at times, even hold people back from hasty decisions,” and “understood that protests only work when people conduct themselves honorably.”
Seriously? Protesters were yelling at Milo supporters, a mob of unruly students, telling them to get off their campus. It was the same enlightened rhetoric used by angry black women in the auditorium. It’s not the kind of protest that invites civil debate. But evidently civil debate is not allowed at DePaul University. When people were leaving, two black women angrily told Milo supporters to "get out of her house." A Milo supporter yelled back, "You don't have a house."
He has asked Student Affairs to reflect on “how future events should be staff so that they proceed with interruption, how protests are to be more effectively assisted and enabled?
How protests are to be more effectively assisted and enabled? Is he saying that he is going to assist and enable Trump supporters to voice their opinion on campus? In general, Republicans, conservatives don’t protest like liberals and leftists do. They are tolerant people. They demonstrate humor in light of obvious confrontation even at their own events. Trump supporters don’t interrupt Bernie Sanders events. Why would they? They have more important things to do. It’s the wacko leftists who think they are contributing to society by stopping others from speaking.
He wants to explore the underlying differences around race, gender and orientation that were made evident in Yiannopoulos attempt at talking to students. He wants Student Affairs to reach out of students on all side of the issue. Really? Perhaps he can have Milo back and get his act together so that students on all sides of the issue can talk with this brilliant guy from England. The famous Students Affairs will conduct some research on the groups, focus groups, encounter groups to determine what is really going on in the minds of students.
Here are the lyrics from "I am Sixteen Going on Seventeen"
(Rolf becomes Rev. Holtscheider)
You wait, little coed, on an empty stage
For fate to turn the light on
Your life, little student, is an empty page
That Milo will want to write on.
Liesl: To write on..
You are sixteen going on seventeen
Coed, it's time to think
Better beware, be canny and careful
You're on the brink of the Trump.
You are sixteen going on seventeen
Republicans will fall in line
Eager young lads and rogues and cads
Will offer you food and wine.
Totally unprepared are you
To face a world of Milo
Timid and shy and scared are you
Of things beyond your kin.
You need someone older and wiser
Telling you what to do
Holtscheider is older than seventeen or eighteen
He will take care of you.
Liesl :I am sixteen going on seventeen
I know that I'm naive
This Milo I meet may tell me I'm sweet
And willingly I'll believe
I am sixteen going on seventeen
Innocent as a rose
Bachelor dandies, drinkers of brandies
What do I know of communism?
Totally unprepared am I
To face a world of Trump
Timid and shy and scared am I
Of things beyond my kin.
I need someone older and wiser
Telling me what to do
Holtscheider is older than seventeen or eighteen
I will depend on him.
The campus president kisses a coed and she
runs off in excitement about becoming wiser,
learning from Holtscheider about racism and Black Lives Matter,
and the fake wage gap and feminism and cancer and Donald Trump
and Milo Yiannopoulos.
© 2016 Larry Ingram