Archive for the ‘Milo Yiannopoulos’ Category

Penn State President Claims MILO Creating ‘Anti-Free Speech Movement’

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The President of Pennsylvania State University, Eric Barron, claimed that Breitbart’s MILO is creating an “anti-free speech movement,” adding that the university “dodged a serious bullet” when they canceled his talk.

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Jamila Bey: ‘Milo Has Made Millions’ ‘Bringing Violence and Bringing Terror’

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On Friday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “O’Reilly Factor,” radio host Jamila Bey argued, “Milo has made millions of dollars on going and bringing violence and bringing terror to individuals he doesn’t like.”

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MILO: Dear Netflix People, Stop Race-Baiting

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The entertainment industry, the media and the academy won’t give up their addiction to race-baiting without a fight.

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Civilities: Why Milo Yiannopoulos is a man to be feared. (It’s not why you think.) – Washington Post

Breitbart editor and alt-right darling Milo Yiannopoulos is a fearsome creature indeed he has been called the Internets biggest troll and was permanently banned from Twitter for inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. That was even before his talk at the University of California at Berkeley last week was canceled after a peaceful protest turned violent, thanks to outside agitators who some suspect may have been called in by the provocateur himself. Yiannopoulos is one hateful fellow who is rightly called out as a misogynist, racist, transphobic and oh yes a self-loathing homosexual, and the alt-right is a small, far-right movement that seeks a whites-only state. But none of these things are why Im afraid of him, and why you should be, too.

No, the reason to pay attention to the 33-year-old Breitbart editor lies in his ability to provoke otherwise decent citizens to put profits and publicity before civil discourse, and in how his hateful speech incites many to clamp down on the free speech that is a fundamental right in this country. Thats what we most have to fear from him: that well lose ourselves and our values in this mud-wrestling contest.

Before his Berkeley appearance was nixed but after he incited his Twitter followers to torment Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones last summer, igniting another firestorm Yiannopoulos caused a flap in the LGBT community with an interview he gave to Out magazine last fall. Critics rightly called the story a puff piece eight pages featuring photos of him in drag and dressed as a Harlequin clown. By glamorizing Yiannopoulos, the magazine clearly sought to drive newsstand sales and online clicks, as well as generate PR for itself.

Yiannopoulos told Out that he considers himself one of the primary engines of change in American culture because Im demonstrating that someone sassy and silly and gay and flamboyant who loves Ru Pauls Drag Race … doesnt have to vote Democrat. Criticisms about his foul spewings are met with accusations of political correctness and the killing of free speech for conservatives. In the world according to Yiannopoulos, only liberals enjoy free speech, which they quash in those who dont agree with them.

As troubling as I found the profile, I was more distressed by the response. Many of the biggest names in the LGBT media penned a public letter to the magazines editor in chief, Aaron Hicklin, making the specious argument that Yiannopouloss brand of hate speech should preclude him from coverage. They called the story a serious problem, saying that it negligently perpetuates harm against the LGBT community. They continued, His attacks against women, people of color, Muslims, transgender people … are as malicious as they come, and he catalyzes his many alt-right followers to turn on any target he deems worthy of abuse.

How is a thinking person to reconcile the shameless profiteering of a magazine that supposedly serves the LGBT community with the knee-jerk reaction to suppress this admittedly outrageous voice?

The flame wars will no doubt start again next month, when Yiannopouloss new book, Dangerous, is published by Threshold Editions, the conservative imprint of Simon and Schuster. When the book was announced in December, Simon and Schuster found itself unsurprisingly on the defensive. Trying to dodge a bullet, a company statement said, We do not and never have condoned discrimination or hate speech in any form.

Lets be honest: Simon and Schuster reckoned that theres gold in them thar hills and decided to mine it. Carolyn Reidy, the companys president and chief executive, has a right to publish and profit from Yiannopoulos, but she made a choice, just like Outs editors: to profit from hate.

In the storm of criticism that ensued, comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted: The guy has freedom of speech but to fund him & give him a platform tells me a LOT about @simonschuster YUCK AND BOO AND GROSS. Lambda Literary, a foundation whose mission is to promote LGBT writers, responded similarly: While publishers undeniably have the right to acquire and profit from any book they wish, they also bear an essential responsibility to promote civil discourse and reject hate speech that is often a precursor to violence. In other words, Yiannopoulos has a right to be heard, but Carolyn Reidy did not have to offer up her platform to accommodate him.

And so we come up against the great conundrum: Do we silence outrageous, hateful voices or let them have their say in the name of free speech? The American Civil Liberties Unions Lee Rowland told me that much of what Yiannopoulos says is absolutely hateful and despicable but those adjectives dont remove his speech from the Constitutions protection.

To the contrary, she added, its easy to protect speech we agree with, but more important to protect speech we abhor, lest the First Amendment simply become a popularity contest.

Im reminded of what the great U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, which is that the remedy for hateful speech is not enforced silence, but more speech. As much as I deplore what Yiannopoulos says and the greed that gives him a platform, we should not silence his offensive words. We can only face them with our ongoing message of inclusion and respect, drowning out his message of hate.

PS: If youre unhappy with Simon and Schusters decision to publish Dangerous, dont buy it.

Agree or disagree with my perspective? Let me know in the comments section below.

Email questions to Civilities at stevenpetrow@gmail.com (unfortunately not all questions can be answered). You can reach him on Facebook at facebook.com/stevenpetrow and on Twitter @stevenpetrow. Join him for a chat online at washingtonpost.com on Feb. 21 at 1 p.m.

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Civilities: Why Milo Yiannopoulos is a man to be feared. (It’s not why you think.) – Washington Post

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THE MILO YIANNOPOULOS THAT EVEN CNN CAN’T FAKE – Jerusalem Post Israel News (blog)

On February 2, 2017, Dan Lieberman (pictured left) published an article at CNN, titled Milo Yiannopoulus is trying to convince colleges that hate speech is cool. He also tweeted the article on the same day, stating Milo Yiannopoulus is trying to convince colleges that hate speech is cool we got the interview. But does Lieberman have the interview and is Yiannopoulus (pictured right) trying to convince colleges that hate speech is cool?

The article features a video that can hardly be described as an interview. The nine-minute video is rather a compilation comprised of highly edited segments of an interview between Lieberman and Yiannopoulos that took place sometime in January this year; various out of context statements made by Yiannopoulos during some his speeches on college campuses; short clips of interviews with U.C. Davis faculty and students; and, of course, a clip of a reporter claiming Yiannopoulos encouraged his followers to harass Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones (A claim Yiannopoulos refuted on Liebermans own network in an interview with Alison Kosik).

Rather than interview Yiannopoulos, Lieberman does his best to paint Yiannopoulos in a false light as being no better than some of the students protesting him. The video cuts to a clip of Yiannopoulos, telling Lieberman “I just want to burn it down, which is immediately followed by another clip of ” Yiannopoulos, telling Lieberman, I dont want to throw the inhabitants out and move in; I just want to knock it down and see want else springs up in its place. Whether Yiannopoulos was referring to progressive ideas or college campuses, we cannot be certain, because Lieberman has never aired the entire interview. Yet, it is certain that, less than a month later, U.C. Berkley protestors actually did set fires outside Yiannopouloss speech, an event that, like U.C. Davis, was also shutdown by students.

Another certainty was Lieberman still needed to substantiate his claim about Yiannopoulos trying to convince colleges that hate speech is cool. Undeterred by his inability to demonstrate Yiannopoulos either directly using or encouraging hate speech aside from a well deserved F-you to Lieberman during part of the enigmatic interview, Lieberman persisted in substantiating his claim by arguing Yiannopouloss campus speeches encouraged White Nationalists like Richard Spencer and Nathan Damigo to start recruiting students and speaking on college campuses. However, the popularity of Yiannopoulos and the success of his speeches cannot be attributed to the content of Spencer and Damigos’s speeches any more than it can be attributed to the content of speeches by radical professors like Natalia Deeb-Sossa, who popularizes critical race theory at U.C. Davis.

Sadly, Liebermans guilt by association tactic only demonstrates Liebermans lack of journalistic integrity. Real journalism is about twisting the narrative to fit the facts and not vice versa. Lieberman is not the first journalist to paint Yiannopoulos in a false light and he will likely not be the last. Yet, Yiannopoulos will persist in his efforts to debunk false narratives by using facts, a category of information that John Adams once described as stubborn things, and professional provocateurs like Lieberman will only serve to embolden Yiannopoulos.

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THE MILO YIANNOPOULOS THAT EVEN CNN CAN’T FAKE – Jerusalem Post Israel News (blog)

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COMMENTARY: What Milo Yiannopoulos and Elizabeth Warren have in common – Monitor

What’s the best way to make sure a message gets heard? Try to muzzle it.

Both liberals and conservatives are newly rediscovering the political power of this phenomenon, known as the Streisand Effect.

The term refers to what happens when an attempt to censor information backfires and instead unintentionally draws more attention to the censorship target. Its namesake is Barbra Streisand, who in 2003 sued a photographer for including a photograph of her Malibu home among a series of 12,000 aerial images documenting California coastal erosion. Thanks to the lawsuit, which was unsuccessful, this previously little-seen photo soon received enormous publicity and hundreds of thousands of views.

Plenty of other celebrities, companies and government agencies have come to rue the times they inadvertently publicized things they were trying to smother. Meanwhile, provocateurs and activists have learned how to weaponize the Streisand Effect, using censorship attempts to amplify their own voices.

After all, suppression of speech not only generates more public interest, as bystanders scramble to learn what all the fuss is about; it can also win the speaker sympathy and the moral high ground.

So far this month, there have been two major — and, in different ways, instructive — examples of political speech being amplified by censorship.

On Tuesday, during Senate debate over the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general, Sen.?Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) began reading a 1986 letter from civil rights icon Coretta Scott King. King had opposed Sessions’s nomination to a federal judgeship, on grounds that he had used his position as a federal prosecutor to suppress black votes.

As she read King’s letter, Warren was stopped, scolded and formally silenced by Republican senators. The reason? She had apparently violated Senate Rule 19, which bars the impugning of motives and conduct of a colleague.

These senatorial snowflakes, it seems, were more interested in silencing speech they disliked than rebutting it.

Never mind that Rule 19 is rarely invoked, or that it seems particularly wrongheaded to shut down criticism of a senator when the subject of debate is precisely that senator’s character, conduct and suitability for another office. Whatever Republicans thought they were achieving, the primary consequences were to energize the left and make King’s once-obscure letter go viral.

Warren has not indicated that she was trying to goad her colleagues into silencing her. But she could have hardly conceived of a better way to magnify her message, or her own stature.

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared, in phrasing that seems perfectly scripted for a 2020 presidential campaign ad.

A week earlier, on the opposite coast, a completely different kind of character from the other side of the political spectrum appeared to leverage the Streisand Effect for less noble purposes.

Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart writer and sleazy professional troll, has built a career out of stoking Pavlovian outrage and censorship attempts from the left in order to build his audience on the right. He has mocked Jews, Muslims, African Americans, feminists, people who are overweight and the LGBT community (though he himself is gay), among others.

Clearly, the goal is to bait his intellectual opponents (not all of whom are liberal, mind you) into trying to forcibly silence him.

Sometimes you’re not trying to score. Sometimes you’re just trying to draw a foul.

Sure enough, Yiannopoulos’s opponents happily oblige, with heckles, threats and sometimes even violence — such as the riots that erupted at the University of California at Berkeley this month, which led to the cancellation of his talk and his evacuation from campus.

The riots didn’t silence Yiannopoulos, however; instead, the resulting coverage megaphoned his ugly message to a much broader audience and will help him sell more books, schedule more lucrative speaking gigs and receive more sympathetic tweets from our sitting president. (President Trump, under the guidance of former Breitbart publisher Stephen K. Bannon, has also proved especially adept at alchemizing liberal indignation into self-aggrandizing news coverage.)

There are many compelling arguments for why protecting free speech, including speech you disagree with or even abhor, is important. It’s enshrined in our Constitution; it is among the sacred liberal values we promote throughout the world; free and open dialogue helps advance scientific inquiry; and so on.

But one underappreciated argument is self-interest. Forcibly silencing and thereby martyring your opponents — rather than employing counter-speech to expose them as wrong or, better yet, ridiculous — may be exactly what they want you to do.

Catherine Rampell’s email address is crampell@washpost.com. Follow her on Twitter, @crampell.

Catherine Rampell is a columnist for The Washington Post Writers Group.

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COMMENTARY: What Milo Yiannopoulos and Elizabeth Warren have in common – Monitor

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Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos inspires Tennessee ‘free speech …

USA Today Network Adam Tamburin, The Tennessean 8:22 p.m. ET Feb. 9, 2017

Milo Yiannopoulos holds a sign as he speaks at the University of Colorado in 2017.(Photo: Jeremy Papasso/file/AP)

NASHVILLE Inspired by a Breitbart News editor whose speeches have spurred protests at colleges across the country, state lawmakers on Thursday touted abill that they said would protect free speechon Tennessee campuses.

While discussing the bill in a news conference, sponsors Rep. Martin Daniel and Sen. Joey Hensley referenced the protests against controversial conservativeMilo Yiannopoulos, who is a senior editor at Breitbart.Violence eruptedat a protest against a plannedYiannopoulos speech at the University of California, Berkeley, prompting officials there to cancel the speech.The lawmakers indicated that the violence had hampered the expression of conservative ideas at Berkeley. Similar issues have cropped up in Tennessee, they said.

Daniel, R-Knoxville, called his legislation “the Milo bill,” and said it was “designed to implement oversight of administrators’ handling of free speech issues.”

USA TODAY COLLEGE

Violence and chaos erupt at UC-Berkeley in protest against Milo Yiannopoulos

Hensley, R-Hohenwald, said the bill was specifically tailored to defend students with conservative views that he said had been silenced in the past.

“We’ve heard stories from many students that are honestly on the conservative side that have those issues stifled in the classroom,”Hensley said.”We just want to ensure our public universities allow all types of speech.”

The bill said public universities”have abdicated their responsibility to uphold free speech principles, and these failures make it appropriate for all state institutions of higher education to restate and confirm their commitment in this regard.”

Daniel and Hensley sponsored similar legislation last year which sought to make it easier for students to advocate for various causes on campus.He notably saidthe Islamic State, the terrorist organization,should be allowed to recruit on college campuses in Tennessee.

The lawmakers referenced the University of Tennessee’s flagship campus in Knoxville while promoting the bill. UT said in a statement that free speech is encouraged and protected on campus.

USA TODAY

What we know (and don’t) about Milo Yiannopoulos’ ‘Dangerous’ book

“The constitutional right of free speech is a fundamental principle that underlies the mission of the University of Tennessee,” Gina Stafford, spokeswoman for the UT system, said in an email.”The University has a long and established record of vigorously defending and upholdingall students right to free speech.

To pass, the bill would likely needto win approval from lawmakers who regularly take issue with socially liberal speech on campus, from events during UT’s annual Sex Week toposts on the UT websiteabout gender-neutral pronouns and holiday parties.

FollowAdam Tamburin on Twitter: @tamburintweets

After a violent protest forces UC Berkeley to cancel a speech by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, students wonder what has become of an institution known as the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement. (Feb. 2) AP

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What Milo Yiannopoulos and Elizabeth Warren have in common – Washington Post

Whats the best way to make sure a message gets heard? Try to muzzle it.

Both liberals and conservatives are newly rediscovering the political power of this phenomenon, known as the Streisand Effect.

The term refers to what happens when an attempt to censor information backfires and instead unintentionally draws more attention to the censorship target. Its namesake is Barbra Streisand, who in 2003 sued a photographer for including a photograph of her Malibu home among a series of 12,000 aerial images documenting California coastal erosion. Thanks to the lawsuit, which was unsuccessful, this previously little-seen photo soon received enormous publicity and hundreds of thousands of views.

Plenty of other celebrities, companies and government agencies have come to rue the times they inadvertently publicized things they were trying to smother. Meanwhile, provocateurs and activists have learned how to weaponize the Streisand Effect, using censorship attempts to amplify their own voices.

After all, suppression of speech not only generates more public interest, as bystanders scramble to learn what all the fuss is about; it can also win the speaker sympathy and the moral high ground.

(Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

So far this month, there have been two major and, in different ways, instructive examples of political speech being amplified by censorship.

On Tuesday, during Senate debate over the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general, Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) began reading a 1986 letter from civil rights icon Coretta Scott King. King had opposed Sessionss nomination to a federal judgeship, on grounds that he had used his position as a federal prosecutor to suppress black votes.

As she read Kings letter, Warren was stopped, scolded and formally silenced by Republican senators. The reason? She had apparently violated Senate Rule 19, which bars the impugning of motives and conduct of a colleague.

These senatorial snowflakes, it seems, were more interested in silencing speech they disliked than rebutting it.

Never mind that Rule 19 is rarely invoked, or that it seems particularly wrongheaded to shut down criticism of a senator when the subject of debate is precisely that senators character, conduct and suitability for another office. Whatever Republicans thought they were achieving, the primary consequences were to energize the left and make Kings once-obscure letter go viral.

Warren has not indicated that she was trying to goad her colleagues into silencing her. But she could have hardly conceived of a better way to magnify her message, or her own stature.

She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared, in phrasing that seems perfectly scripted for a 2020 presidential campaign ad.

A week earlier, on the opposite coast, a completely different kind of character from the other side of the political spectrum appeared to leverage the Streisand Effect for less noble purposes.

Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart writer and sleazy professional troll, has built a career out of stoking Pavlovian outrage and censorship attempts from the left in order to build his audience on the right. He has mocked Jews, Muslims, African Americans, feminists, people who are overweight and the LGBT community (though he himself is gay), among others.

Clearly, the goal is to bait his intellectual opponents (not all of whom are liberal, mind you) into trying to forcibly silence him.

Sometimes youre not trying to score. Sometimes youre just trying to draw a foul.

Sure enough, Yiannopouloss opponents happily oblige, with heckles, threats and sometimes even violence such as the riots that erupted at the University of California at Berkeley this month, which led to the cancellation of his talk and his evacuation from campus.

The riots didnt silence Yiannopoulos, however; instead, the resulting coverage megaphoned his ugly message to a much broader audience and will help him sell more books, schedule more lucrative speaking gigs and receive more sympathetic tweets from our sitting president. (PresidentTrump, under the guidance of former Breitbart publisher Stephen K. Bannon, has also proved especially adept at alchemizing liberal indignation into self-aggrandizing news coverage.)

There are many compelling arguments for why protecting free speech, including speech you disagree with or even abhor, is important. Its enshrined in our Constitution; it is among the sacred liberal values we promote throughout the world; free and open dialogue helps advance scientific inquiry; and so on.

But one underappreciated argument is self-interest. Forcibly silencing and thereby martyring your opponents rather than employing counter-speech to expose them as wrong or, better yet, ridiculous may be exactly what they want you to do.

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What Milo Yiannopoulos and Elizabeth Warren have in common – Washington Post

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What Milo Yiannopoulos can teach us about the importance of campus free speech – Quartz

Recent events at the University of California, Berkeley reflect the enormous difficulties that campuses can face when trying to ensure freedom of speech while, at the same time, meeting their duty to ensure an inclusive learning environment and protect everyones safety. Many, including president Donald Trump, spoke out about these events, but with apparently little understanding of what actually occurred or all that the campus did to try and protect speech.

On Feb. 1, Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial speaker who prides himself on being inflammatory, was scheduled to speak at the University of California, Berkeley, at the invitation of the College Republicans student group. A demonstration of approximately 1,500 people developed to protest his presence and to stand against what they considered to be hate speech.

A few hours before the scheduled talk, a group of protesters pulled down police barricades, hurled Molotov cocktails, smashed windows, and threw fireworks and rocks at police, resulting in $100,000 of property damage. According to the university, the violent protesters were 150 masked agitators who had come to campus to disturb an otherwise peaceful protest.

Perceiving a serious threat to public safety, campus officials called off Yiannopoulos talk, while also condemning the violence and reasserting their commitment to free speech principles. As university administrators and professors who teach and write about First Amendment law, we see what happened at Berkeley as enormously important in our current debate over free speech.

Did campus officials infringe Yiannopoulos freedom of speech and the rights of the College Republicans to hear his views?

The event has triggered intense debates about the scope and limits of free speech. However, to understand who did the right thing and who did the wrong thing, you must also understand a few basic First Amendment principles.

First, by law, campuses must allow all views and ideas to be expressed, no matter how offensive. Above all, the First Amendment means that the government cannot prevent or punish speech based on the viewpoint expressed. This also is a crucial aspect of academic freedom.

Even the expression of hate is constitutionally protected; court cases have addressed this very issue on college campuses in the past. Although hate speech unquestionably causes harms, it nonetheless is expression that is covered by the First Amendment. We therefore strongly disagree with those who say that campus officials at Berkeley could keep Yiannopoulos from speaking because of his hateful and offensive message.

Campus officials at Berkeley recognized that Yiannopoulos had a First Amendment right to speak. Berkeley chancellor Nicholas Dirks rightly resisted demands, including from Berkeley faculty, to ban Yiannopoulos appearance.

Second, campuses must do all they can to ensure that audience reactions against a speaker are not allowed to silence the speaker. Free speech can be undermined, not only by official censorship and punishment, but also by individuals who seek to disrupt or shut down others when they attempt to exercise their rights. If officials do not work to prevent or punish disruption then there will be a hecklers veto of all unpopular or controversial speakers, and this is not consistent with free speech principles. Campus officials have a duty to protect the free speech rights of protesters, but they must also protect speakers and prevent heckling. Apparently, this, too, occurred at Berkeley. Staff members spent weeks planning extensive security arrangements, including bringing in dozens of police officers from nine other UC campuses.

Third, there may be situations where controlling the audience proves impossible and there is no choice but to prevent a speakers presence to ensure public safety. This should be a last resort taken only if there is no other way to prevent a serious imminent threat to public safety. This appears to be exactly what occurred at Berkeley, where the riotous demonstrators could not be controlled. In such cases, authorities should do all they can, after the fact, to identify and punish those who used violence and violated the law, and should assess how different security arrangements might be more effective in preventing future disruptions. Campus officials should also do what they can to reschedule the speaker for another time.

A number of commentators were outraged that Yiannopoulos was not able to speak, and claimed that free speech was under attack at Berkeley. But the campus itself consistently reaffirmed his right to speak, resisted calls to cancel the event, and arranged for extraordinary security at great expense. The vast majority of the demonstrators were also merely exercising their free speech rights. Thus, the campus efforts were consistent with free speech principles. If there is blame to be assigned it should focus on the small number of outsiders who were intent on using violent and unlawful means to disrupt the event.

Nonetheless, president Trump tweeted after the event that federal funds might be withheld from Berkeley unless it allowed freedom of speech.

Putting aside that he lacks the legal authority to do this, Trump ignored the fact that freedom of speech never is absolute. Campuses can punish speech that constitutes true threats or harassment or incitement of illegal activity. Campuses also need to act to protect the safety and welfare of all on campus.

Campus officials at Berkeley faced an enormously difficult situation. They were not insensitive to speech and they did not deserve the disapproval of the president. The campus did not keep Yiannopoulos from speaking because of his views, but because public safety at the time necessitated it.

This post originally appeared at The Conversation. Follow @ConversationUS on Twitter. Learn how to write for Quartz Ideas. We welcome your comments at ideas@qz.com.

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Penn State President Claims MILO Creating ‘Anti-Free Speech Movement’

The President of Pennsylvania State University, Eric Barron, claimed that Breitbart’s MILO is creating an “anti-free speech movement,” adding that the university “dodged a serious bullet” when they canceled his talk.

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Jamila Bey: ‘Milo Has Made Millions’ ‘Bringing Violence and Bringing Terror’

On Friday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “O’Reilly Factor,” radio host Jamila Bey argued, “Milo has made millions of dollars on going and bringing violence and bringing terror to individuals he doesn’t like.”

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MILO: Dear Netflix People, Stop Race-Baiting

The entertainment industry, the media and the academy won’t give up their addiction to race-baiting without a fight.

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February 11, 2017   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed

Civilities: Why Milo Yiannopoulos is a man to be feared. (It’s not why you think.) – Washington Post

Breitbart editor and alt-right darling Milo Yiannopoulos is a fearsome creature indeed he has been called the Internets biggest troll and was permanently banned from Twitter for inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. That was even before his talk at the University of California at Berkeley last week was canceled after a peaceful protest turned violent, thanks to outside agitators who some suspect may have been called in by the provocateur himself. Yiannopoulos is one hateful fellow who is rightly called out as a misogynist, racist, transphobic and oh yes a self-loathing homosexual, and the alt-right is a small, far-right movement that seeks a whites-only state. But none of these things are why Im afraid of him, and why you should be, too. No, the reason to pay attention to the 33-year-old Breitbart editor lies in his ability to provoke otherwise decent citizens to put profits and publicity before civil discourse, and in how his hateful speech incites many to clamp down on the free speech that is a fundamental right in this country. Thats what we most have to fear from him: that well lose ourselves and our values in this mud-wrestling contest. Before his Berkeley appearance was nixed but after he incited his Twitter followers to torment Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones last summer, igniting another firestorm Yiannopoulos caused a flap in the LGBT community with an interview he gave to Out magazine last fall. Critics rightly called the story a puff piece eight pages featuring photos of him in drag and dressed as a Harlequin clown. By glamorizing Yiannopoulos, the magazine clearly sought to drive newsstand sales and online clicks, as well as generate PR for itself. Yiannopoulos told Out that he considers himself one of the primary engines of change in American culture because Im demonstrating that someone sassy and silly and gay and flamboyant who loves Ru Pauls Drag Race … doesnt have to vote Democrat. Criticisms about his foul spewings are met with accusations of political correctness and the killing of free speech for conservatives. In the world according to Yiannopoulos, only liberals enjoy free speech, which they quash in those who dont agree with them. As troubling as I found the profile, I was more distressed by the response. Many of the biggest names in the LGBT media penned a public letter to the magazines editor in chief, Aaron Hicklin, making the specious argument that Yiannopouloss brand of hate speech should preclude him from coverage. They called the story a serious problem, saying that it negligently perpetuates harm against the LGBT community. They continued, His attacks against women, people of color, Muslims, transgender people … are as malicious as they come, and he catalyzes his many alt-right followers to turn on any target he deems worthy of abuse. How is a thinking person to reconcile the shameless profiteering of a magazine that supposedly serves the LGBT community with the knee-jerk reaction to suppress this admittedly outrageous voice? The flame wars will no doubt start again next month, when Yiannopouloss new book, Dangerous, is published by Threshold Editions, the conservative imprint of Simon and Schuster. When the book was announced in December, Simon and Schuster found itself unsurprisingly on the defensive. Trying to dodge a bullet, a company statement said, We do not and never have condoned discrimination or hate speech in any form. Lets be honest: Simon and Schuster reckoned that theres gold in them thar hills and decided to mine it. Carolyn Reidy, the companys president and chief executive, has a right to publish and profit from Yiannopoulos, but she made a choice, just like Outs editors: to profit from hate. In the storm of criticism that ensued, comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted: The guy has freedom of speech but to fund him & give him a platform tells me a LOT about @simonschuster YUCK AND BOO AND GROSS. Lambda Literary, a foundation whose mission is to promote LGBT writers, responded similarly: While publishers undeniably have the right to acquire and profit from any book they wish, they also bear an essential responsibility to promote civil discourse and reject hate speech that is often a precursor to violence. In other words, Yiannopoulos has a right to be heard, but Carolyn Reidy did not have to offer up her platform to accommodate him. And so we come up against the great conundrum: Do we silence outrageous, hateful voices or let them have their say in the name of free speech? The American Civil Liberties Unions Lee Rowland told me that much of what Yiannopoulos says is absolutely hateful and despicable but those adjectives dont remove his speech from the Constitutions protection. To the contrary, she added, its easy to protect speech we agree with, but more important to protect speech we abhor, lest the First Amendment simply become a popularity contest. Im reminded of what the great U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, which is that the remedy for hateful speech is not enforced silence, but more speech. As much as I deplore what Yiannopoulos says and the greed that gives him a platform, we should not silence his offensive words. We can only face them with our ongoing message of inclusion and respect, drowning out his message of hate. PS: If youre unhappy with Simon and Schusters decision to publish Dangerous, dont buy it. Agree or disagree with my perspective? Let me know in the comments section below. Email questions to Civilities at stevenpetrow@gmail.com (unfortunately not all questions can be answered). You can reach him on Facebook at facebook.com/stevenpetrow and on Twitter @stevenpetrow. Join him for a chat online at washingtonpost.com on Feb. 21 at 1 p.m.

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February 11, 2017   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed

THE MILO YIANNOPOULOS THAT EVEN CNN CAN’T FAKE – Jerusalem Post Israel News (blog)

On February 2, 2017, Dan Lieberman (pictured left) published an article at CNN, titled Milo Yiannopoulus is trying to convince colleges that hate speech is cool. He also tweeted the article on the same day, stating Milo Yiannopoulus is trying to convince colleges that hate speech is cool we got the interview. But does Lieberman have the interview and is Yiannopoulus (pictured right) trying to convince colleges that hate speech is cool? The article features a video that can hardly be described as an interview. The nine-minute video is rather a compilation comprised of highly edited segments of an interview between Lieberman and Yiannopoulos that took place sometime in January this year; various out of context statements made by Yiannopoulos during some his speeches on college campuses; short clips of interviews with U.C. Davis faculty and students; and, of course, a clip of a reporter claiming Yiannopoulos encouraged his followers to harass Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones (A claim Yiannopoulos refuted on Liebermans own network in an interview with Alison Kosik). Rather than interview Yiannopoulos, Lieberman does his best to paint Yiannopoulos in a false light as being no better than some of the students protesting him. The video cuts to a clip of Yiannopoulos, telling Lieberman “I just want to burn it down, which is immediately followed by another clip of ” Yiannopoulos, telling Lieberman, I dont want to throw the inhabitants out and move in; I just want to knock it down and see want else springs up in its place. Whether Yiannopoulos was referring to progressive ideas or college campuses, we cannot be certain, because Lieberman has never aired the entire interview. Yet, it is certain that, less than a month later, U.C. Berkley protestors actually did set fires outside Yiannopouloss speech, an event that, like U.C. Davis, was also shutdown by students. Another certainty was Lieberman still needed to substantiate his claim about Yiannopoulos trying to convince colleges that hate speech is cool. Undeterred by his inability to demonstrate Yiannopoulos either directly using or encouraging hate speech aside from a well deserved F-you to Lieberman during part of the enigmatic interview, Lieberman persisted in substantiating his claim by arguing Yiannopouloss campus speeches encouraged White Nationalists like Richard Spencer and Nathan Damigo to start recruiting students and speaking on college campuses. However, the popularity of Yiannopoulos and the success of his speeches cannot be attributed to the content of Spencer and Damigos’s speeches any more than it can be attributed to the content of speeches by radical professors like Natalia Deeb-Sossa, who popularizes critical race theory at U.C. Davis. Sadly, Liebermans guilt by association tactic only demonstrates Liebermans lack of journalistic integrity. Real journalism is about twisting the narrative to fit the facts and not vice versa. Lieberman is not the first journalist to paint Yiannopoulos in a false light and he will likely not be the last. Yet, Yiannopoulos will persist in his efforts to debunk false narratives by using facts, a category of information that John Adams once described as stubborn things, and professional provocateurs like Lieberman will only serve to embolden Yiannopoulos. Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin Think others should know about this? Please share | |

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February 11, 2017   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed

COMMENTARY: What Milo Yiannopoulos and Elizabeth Warren have in common – Monitor

What’s the best way to make sure a message gets heard? Try to muzzle it. Both liberals and conservatives are newly rediscovering the political power of this phenomenon, known as the Streisand Effect. The term refers to what happens when an attempt to censor information backfires and instead unintentionally draws more attention to the censorship target. Its namesake is Barbra Streisand, who in 2003 sued a photographer for including a photograph of her Malibu home among a series of 12,000 aerial images documenting California coastal erosion. Thanks to the lawsuit, which was unsuccessful, this previously little-seen photo soon received enormous publicity and hundreds of thousands of views. Plenty of other celebrities, companies and government agencies have come to rue the times they inadvertently publicized things they were trying to smother. Meanwhile, provocateurs and activists have learned how to weaponize the Streisand Effect, using censorship attempts to amplify their own voices. After all, suppression of speech not only generates more public interest, as bystanders scramble to learn what all the fuss is about; it can also win the speaker sympathy and the moral high ground. So far this month, there have been two major — and, in different ways, instructive — examples of political speech being amplified by censorship. On Tuesday, during Senate debate over the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general, Sen.?Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) began reading a 1986 letter from civil rights icon Coretta Scott King. King had opposed Sessions’s nomination to a federal judgeship, on grounds that he had used his position as a federal prosecutor to suppress black votes. As she read King’s letter, Warren was stopped, scolded and formally silenced by Republican senators. The reason? She had apparently violated Senate Rule 19, which bars the impugning of motives and conduct of a colleague. These senatorial snowflakes, it seems, were more interested in silencing speech they disliked than rebutting it. Never mind that Rule 19 is rarely invoked, or that it seems particularly wrongheaded to shut down criticism of a senator when the subject of debate is precisely that senator’s character, conduct and suitability for another office. Whatever Republicans thought they were achieving, the primary consequences were to energize the left and make King’s once-obscure letter go viral. Warren has not indicated that she was trying to goad her colleagues into silencing her. But she could have hardly conceived of a better way to magnify her message, or her own stature. “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared, in phrasing that seems perfectly scripted for a 2020 presidential campaign ad. A week earlier, on the opposite coast, a completely different kind of character from the other side of the political spectrum appeared to leverage the Streisand Effect for less noble purposes. Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart writer and sleazy professional troll, has built a career out of stoking Pavlovian outrage and censorship attempts from the left in order to build his audience on the right. He has mocked Jews, Muslims, African Americans, feminists, people who are overweight and the LGBT community (though he himself is gay), among others. Clearly, the goal is to bait his intellectual opponents (not all of whom are liberal, mind you) into trying to forcibly silence him. Sometimes you’re not trying to score. Sometimes you’re just trying to draw a foul. Sure enough, Yiannopoulos’s opponents happily oblige, with heckles, threats and sometimes even violence — such as the riots that erupted at the University of California at Berkeley this month, which led to the cancellation of his talk and his evacuation from campus. The riots didn’t silence Yiannopoulos, however; instead, the resulting coverage megaphoned his ugly message to a much broader audience and will help him sell more books, schedule more lucrative speaking gigs and receive more sympathetic tweets from our sitting president. (President Trump, under the guidance of former Breitbart publisher Stephen K. Bannon, has also proved especially adept at alchemizing liberal indignation into self-aggrandizing news coverage.) There are many compelling arguments for why protecting free speech, including speech you disagree with or even abhor, is important. It’s enshrined in our Constitution; it is among the sacred liberal values we promote throughout the world; free and open dialogue helps advance scientific inquiry; and so on. But one underappreciated argument is self-interest. Forcibly silencing and thereby martyring your opponents — rather than employing counter-speech to expose them as wrong or, better yet, ridiculous — may be exactly what they want you to do. Catherine Rampell’s email address is crampell@washpost.com. Follow her on Twitter, @crampell. Catherine Rampell is a columnist for The Washington Post Writers Group.

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February 11, 2017   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed

Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos inspires Tennessee ‘free speech …

USA Today Network Adam Tamburin, The Tennessean 8:22 p.m. ET Feb. 9, 2017 Milo Yiannopoulos holds a sign as he speaks at the University of Colorado in 2017.(Photo: Jeremy Papasso/file/AP) NASHVILLE Inspired by a Breitbart News editor whose speeches have spurred protests at colleges across the country, state lawmakers on Thursday touted abill that they said would protect free speechon Tennessee campuses. While discussing the bill in a news conference, sponsors Rep. Martin Daniel and Sen. Joey Hensley referenced the protests against controversial conservativeMilo Yiannopoulos, who is a senior editor at Breitbart.Violence eruptedat a protest against a plannedYiannopoulos speech at the University of California, Berkeley, prompting officials there to cancel the speech.The lawmakers indicated that the violence had hampered the expression of conservative ideas at Berkeley. Similar issues have cropped up in Tennessee, they said. Daniel, R-Knoxville, called his legislation “the Milo bill,” and said it was “designed to implement oversight of administrators’ handling of free speech issues.” USA TODAY COLLEGE Violence and chaos erupt at UC-Berkeley in protest against Milo Yiannopoulos Hensley, R-Hohenwald, said the bill was specifically tailored to defend students with conservative views that he said had been silenced in the past. “We’ve heard stories from many students that are honestly on the conservative side that have those issues stifled in the classroom,”Hensley said.”We just want to ensure our public universities allow all types of speech.” The bill said public universities”have abdicated their responsibility to uphold free speech principles, and these failures make it appropriate for all state institutions of higher education to restate and confirm their commitment in this regard.” Daniel and Hensley sponsored similar legislation last year which sought to make it easier for students to advocate for various causes on campus.He notably saidthe Islamic State, the terrorist organization,should be allowed to recruit on college campuses in Tennessee. The lawmakers referenced the University of Tennessee’s flagship campus in Knoxville while promoting the bill. UT said in a statement that free speech is encouraged and protected on campus. USA TODAY What we know (and don’t) about Milo Yiannopoulos’ ‘Dangerous’ book “The constitutional right of free speech is a fundamental principle that underlies the mission of the University of Tennessee,” Gina Stafford, spokeswoman for the UT system, said in an email.”The University has a long and established record of vigorously defending and upholdingall students right to free speech. To pass, the bill would likely needto win approval from lawmakers who regularly take issue with socially liberal speech on campus, from events during UT’s annual Sex Week toposts on the UT websiteabout gender-neutral pronouns and holiday parties. FollowAdam Tamburin on Twitter: @tamburintweets After a violent protest forces UC Berkeley to cancel a speech by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, students wonder what has become of an institution known as the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement. (Feb. 2) AP Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/2k9AZjQ

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February 10, 2017   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed

What Milo Yiannopoulos and Elizabeth Warren have in common – Washington Post

Whats the best way to make sure a message gets heard? Try to muzzle it. Both liberals and conservatives are newly rediscovering the political power of this phenomenon, known as the Streisand Effect. The term refers to what happens when an attempt to censor information backfires and instead unintentionally draws more attention to the censorship target. Its namesake is Barbra Streisand, who in 2003 sued a photographer for including a photograph of her Malibu home among a series of 12,000 aerial images documenting California coastal erosion. Thanks to the lawsuit, which was unsuccessful, this previously little-seen photo soon received enormous publicity and hundreds of thousands of views. Plenty of other celebrities, companies and government agencies have come to rue the times they inadvertently publicized things they were trying to smother. Meanwhile, provocateurs and activists have learned how to weaponize the Streisand Effect, using censorship attempts to amplify their own voices. After all, suppression of speech not only generates more public interest, as bystanders scramble to learn what all the fuss is about; it can also win the speaker sympathy and the moral high ground. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post) So far this month, there have been two major and, in different ways, instructive examples of political speech being amplified by censorship. On Tuesday, during Senate debate over the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general, Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) began reading a 1986 letter from civil rights icon Coretta Scott King. King had opposed Sessionss nomination to a federal judgeship, on grounds that he had used his position as a federal prosecutor to suppress black votes. As she read Kings letter, Warren was stopped, scolded and formally silenced by Republican senators. The reason? She had apparently violated Senate Rule 19, which bars the impugning of motives and conduct of a colleague. These senatorial snowflakes, it seems, were more interested in silencing speech they disliked than rebutting it. Never mind that Rule 19 is rarely invoked, or that it seems particularly wrongheaded to shut down criticism of a senator when the subject of debate is precisely that senators character, conduct and suitability for another office. Whatever Republicans thought they were achieving, the primary consequences were to energize the left and make Kings once-obscure letter go viral. Warren has not indicated that she was trying to goad her colleagues into silencing her. But she could have hardly conceived of a better way to magnify her message, or her own stature. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared, in phrasing that seems perfectly scripted for a 2020 presidential campaign ad. A week earlier, on the opposite coast, a completely different kind of character from the other side of the political spectrum appeared to leverage the Streisand Effect for less noble purposes. Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart writer and sleazy professional troll, has built a career out of stoking Pavlovian outrage and censorship attempts from the left in order to build his audience on the right. He has mocked Jews, Muslims, African Americans, feminists, people who are overweight and the LGBT community (though he himself is gay), among others. Clearly, the goal is to bait his intellectual opponents (not all of whom are liberal, mind you) into trying to forcibly silence him. Sometimes youre not trying to score. Sometimes youre just trying to draw a foul. Sure enough, Yiannopouloss opponents happily oblige, with heckles, threats and sometimes even violence such as the riots that erupted at the University of California at Berkeley this month, which led to the cancellation of his talk and his evacuation from campus. The riots didnt silence Yiannopoulos, however; instead, the resulting coverage megaphoned his ugly message to a much broader audience and will help him sell more books, schedule more lucrative speaking gigs and receive more sympathetic tweets from our sitting president. (PresidentTrump, under the guidance of former Breitbart publisher Stephen K. Bannon, has also proved especially adept at alchemizing liberal indignation into self-aggrandizing news coverage.) There are many compelling arguments for why protecting free speech, including speech you disagree with or even abhor, is important. Its enshrined in our Constitution; it is among the sacred liberal values we promote throughout the world; free and open dialogue helps advance scientific inquiry; and so on. But one underappreciated argument is self-interest. Forcibly silencing and thereby martyring your opponents rather than employing counter-speech to expose them as wrong or, better yet, ridiculous may be exactly what they want you to do.

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February 10, 2017   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed

What Milo Yiannopoulos can teach us about the importance of campus free speech – Quartz

Recent events at the University of California, Berkeley reflect the enormous difficulties that campuses can face when trying to ensure freedom of speech while, at the same time, meeting their duty to ensure an inclusive learning environment and protect everyones safety. Many, including president Donald Trump, spoke out about these events, but with apparently little understanding of what actually occurred or all that the campus did to try and protect speech. On Feb. 1, Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial speaker who prides himself on being inflammatory, was scheduled to speak at the University of California, Berkeley, at the invitation of the College Republicans student group. A demonstration of approximately 1,500 people developed to protest his presence and to stand against what they considered to be hate speech. A few hours before the scheduled talk, a group of protesters pulled down police barricades, hurled Molotov cocktails, smashed windows, and threw fireworks and rocks at police, resulting in $100,000 of property damage. According to the university, the violent protesters were 150 masked agitators who had come to campus to disturb an otherwise peaceful protest. Perceiving a serious threat to public safety, campus officials called off Yiannopoulos talk, while also condemning the violence and reasserting their commitment to free speech principles. As university administrators and professors who teach and write about First Amendment law, we see what happened at Berkeley as enormously important in our current debate over free speech. Did campus officials infringe Yiannopoulos freedom of speech and the rights of the College Republicans to hear his views? The event has triggered intense debates about the scope and limits of free speech. However, to understand who did the right thing and who did the wrong thing, you must also understand a few basic First Amendment principles. First, by law, campuses must allow all views and ideas to be expressed, no matter how offensive. Above all, the First Amendment means that the government cannot prevent or punish speech based on the viewpoint expressed. This also is a crucial aspect of academic freedom. Even the expression of hate is constitutionally protected; court cases have addressed this very issue on college campuses in the past. Although hate speech unquestionably causes harms, it nonetheless is expression that is covered by the First Amendment. We therefore strongly disagree with those who say that campus officials at Berkeley could keep Yiannopoulos from speaking because of his hateful and offensive message. Campus officials at Berkeley recognized that Yiannopoulos had a First Amendment right to speak. Berkeley chancellor Nicholas Dirks rightly resisted demands, including from Berkeley faculty, to ban Yiannopoulos appearance. Second, campuses must do all they can to ensure that audience reactions against a speaker are not allowed to silence the speaker. Free speech can be undermined, not only by official censorship and punishment, but also by individuals who seek to disrupt or shut down others when they attempt to exercise their rights. If officials do not work to prevent or punish disruption then there will be a hecklers veto of all unpopular or controversial speakers, and this is not consistent with free speech principles. Campus officials have a duty to protect the free speech rights of protesters, but they must also protect speakers and prevent heckling. Apparently, this, too, occurred at Berkeley. Staff members spent weeks planning extensive security arrangements, including bringing in dozens of police officers from nine other UC campuses. Third, there may be situations where controlling the audience proves impossible and there is no choice but to prevent a speakers presence to ensure public safety. This should be a last resort taken only if there is no other way to prevent a serious imminent threat to public safety. This appears to be exactly what occurred at Berkeley, where the riotous demonstrators could not be controlled. In such cases, authorities should do all they can, after the fact, to identify and punish those who used violence and violated the law, and should assess how different security arrangements might be more effective in preventing future disruptions. Campus officials should also do what they can to reschedule the speaker for another time. A number of commentators were outraged that Yiannopoulos was not able to speak, and claimed that free speech was under attack at Berkeley. But the campus itself consistently reaffirmed his right to speak, resisted calls to cancel the event, and arranged for extraordinary security at great expense. The vast majority of the demonstrators were also merely exercising their free speech rights. Thus, the campus efforts were consistent with free speech principles. If there is blame to be assigned it should focus on the small number of outsiders who were intent on using violent and unlawful means to disrupt the event. Nonetheless, president Trump tweeted after the event that federal funds might be withheld from Berkeley unless it allowed freedom of speech. Putting aside that he lacks the legal authority to do this, Trump ignored the fact that freedom of speech never is absolute. Campuses can punish speech that constitutes true threats or harassment or incitement of illegal activity. Campuses also need to act to protect the safety and welfare of all on campus. Campus officials at Berkeley faced an enormously difficult situation. They were not insensitive to speech and they did not deserve the disapproval of the president. The campus did not keep Yiannopoulos from speaking because of his views, but because public safety at the time necessitated it. This post originally appeared at The Conversation. Follow @ConversationUS on Twitter. Learn how to write for Quartz Ideas. We welcome your comments at ideas@qz.com.

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February 10, 2017   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed


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