It’s no secret the loudest voices on the Left regarding free speech and ‘tolerance’ often don’t demonstrate such towards opposing viewpoints. Recent example:
Feminist studies Professor Mireille Miller-Young is facing vandalism, battery, and robbery charges after an incident in the Arbor last Tuesday, March 4, in which she took and destroyed a poster depicting graphic images of aborted fetuses displayed by members of Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, a Riverside-based pro-life group.
While walking from class to her office in South Hall with some of her students at around 11 a.m., Miller-Young saw the graphic posters and confronted the protesters, arguing with them and drawing in a crowd of surrounding onlookers. After a heated argument, Miller-Young took the poster and began taking it to her office, followed by two pro-life protesters, 21-year-old Joan Short and her 16-year-old sister Thrin. After entering the elevator in South Hall, Miller-Young attempted to stop the girls from following and, as shown in a video taken by one of the protesters, appears to have pushed them away. According to a UCSB Police Department crime report, once in her office, Miller-Young used scissors to destroy the poster, which she found offensive as a pregnant woman who teaches about women’s “reproductive rights.”
“Miller-Young went on to say that because the poster was upsetting to her and her students, she felt that the activists did not have a right to be there,” the crime report states.
We’ll pause there for a moment to consider. I’m a Christian, which means a lot of current public discussion has the potential to offend me and those with similar viewpoints. Is this professor really trying to assert that if a group of individuals is ‘upset’ enough over the expression of a particular viewpoint, it’s OK to intervene physically and destroy the materials involved? Is that really a standard she would accept coming from a different direction?
The later police report reveals additional, um, thought, on the part of this esteemed (re)educator:
When asked by police if there had been a struggle between her and the activists when she took the poster, Miller-Young responded, “I’m stronger, so I was able to take the poster.”
Again, is this a standard she and others of who share her viewpoints are willing to apply to others? I think not. As the Instapundit sometimes says, “nice incentive system you’re creating, there…”
This is the ugly reality behind much of the Gramscian Left. Over the last four or five decades, while it was weak and a fringe perspective, it demanded tolerance, acceptance, even affirmation as it wormed its way into the mainstream. Now that it has achieved a certain level of influence, though, it is unwilling to extend the same civility to opposing viewpoints. This is because it was never about “rights” or “principles” in the first place. It was about power. Now that these formerly radical outcasts have it, they mean to exercise it. And while our system may still have some checks and consequences for people like the professor who get a little too visceral with their newfound ‘strength,’ I’m not confident that will long remain the case.
Let future generations take note of the lesson. When you tolerate an opponent whose goal is to subvert your civilization, you are enabling them eventually to try to become your oppressor.