In case you missed the news last night, Milo Yiannopoulous was set to speak at UC Berkeley about the seemingly inane subject of cultural appropriation (you know, like The Matrix appropriating Jewish messianic themes). His talk was cancelled once riots broke out on campus and masked “antifa” protestors charged the hall he was to speak at. You can watch his response on Youtube.
Now people have been focusing mainly on the violence that has erupted, and whether our universities are still safe havens for divergence of opinion. But as I’ve said in previous articles, before the violence come the lies. And the lies about Milo and many others have come hard and strong, from both our elected leaders and the mainstream media. He’s been repeatedly smeared as a hate speaker, a white supremacist, Alt-Right.
Just Google him if you want more links, there’s too many to count. I’ve been following Milo now for over a year. He’s been none of these things. Milo has frequently rejected association with the Alt-Right or Richard Spencer. He’s consistently said we should take pride in our Western values, not our ethnicity, and this is what brought him from the UK to the US, a modern day Tocqueville.
I will tell you what I do know about Milo, based on what I’ve seen of him:
First off, he is a professional provocateur. In that he says things that are knowingly outrageous, yet true and funny, as a sort of rebellion against PC rules of what people can and can’t say that people believe have gone too far. His rule is “be twice as funny as you are offensive.”
One of his main forums of speech is feminism. And he distinguishes between classical feminism, the idea that women have equal rights as men, and modern “third wave” feminism which he sees as a serious decay of it.
He’s also spoken out against victim culture and grievance culture, and says they are the logical result of identity politics. Which I’m inclined to agree with. Identity politics requires a permanent grievance which can never go away. I pointed out before, as a country we need to stick to grievances themselves, and to values to unite or distinguish ourselves.
He’s also spoken out against Islam. I saw him become really politicized after the Orlando shooting which targeted a gay nightclub. He questions whether our issue is radical Islam, or whether Islam in its current condition is really compatible with Western values.
I could go on, but the gay issue is an interesting point that takes us back to UC Berkeley. Free speech isn’t just a right not to be oppressed by the government for one’s opinions. It’s the right to speak without fear of violence from society at large. Last night was a failure, by a major University of all institutions, to provide that assurance. Much like France has failed the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists’ safety from Muslim terrorists.
In fact, our leaders seem to be on the other side of this fight for Western values. I actually haven’t heard of Richard Spencer’s association with the term Alt-Right until Hillary Clinton made this fringe figure a household name. Until then I defined it much more broadly as an internet-fueled popular reaction to establishment leftist orthodoxy. But this nebulous meaning of the word allowed her and the mainstream media to smear as many people as possible by association with him.
They’ve taken these several layers of separation from one Richard Spencer and turned it into a way to smear every one who undermines the Democrat platform as a Nazi. Which only proves Milo’s point, that we have no honest discussion right now. Hearing him called a white supremacist or a hate speaker would be laughable to anyone who’s actually heard him speak. But it gets disturbing once you realize nobody on the left is interested in hearing him speak, or even talking to him.
They are only interested in getting him out of the way, by any anti-democratic means necessary.
Our leaders are lying to people. The mainstream media is lying to people. They are feeding people with false information, and anyone who dissents is branded a Nazi. This is what causes the violence. This is what needs to be put out of business or voted out of office if we are to have an honest discussion again. And we need an honest discussion if we’re going to have any reconciliation as a country.