CV NEWS FEED // Leftist attacks on conservatives at American colleges and universities are on the rise, with more and more students and guest speakers targeted and mobbed for exercising their freedom of speech at the very institutions founded to facilitate discussion and learning.
Here is an inexhaustive list of recent threats and attacks.
Judge Kyle Duncan, a Catholic, was silenced by hecklers at Stanford Law School. Duncan, a judge for the US Court of Appeals, had been invited to Stanford by the school’s chapter of the Federalist Society.
Prior to the event, Stanford Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Tirien Steinbach organized students to stage a heckler protest. Before Duncan could even start his remarks, student protestors shouted him down until Steinbach stood up and delivered her own prepared remarks, lecturing the judge on his lack of appreciation for inclusivity.
“I hope that you have something to share with us that we can learn from,” Steinbach said. “I hope you can learn too while you’re in this institution of learning. I hope you can look through the spectacle and the noise to the people holding the signs. The people who are here to learn.”
CatholicVote’s LOOPcast extensively covered this incident: WATCH
The plot thickened as Steinbach was later placed on leave and her disruptive actions were condemned by Stanford’s Dean, Jenny Martinez. Martinez also said that students would be required to attend a mandatory training session on freedom of speech in the spring.
A large group of protestors stormed into a speech challenging second-wave feminism by the Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles at the University of Buffalo in March. The protesters gathered both in the venue and outside the event. Campus security removed several disruptors who were chanting “trans lives matter.”
In anticipation of Knowles’ appearance, several university faculty members and professors issued campus-wide email alerts and petitions for students to plan protests. The Young America’s Foundation (YAF) reported that Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies Christine Varnado wrote Knowles was guilty of “genocidal anti-trans hatred, misogyny, and homophobia.”
Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s former governor, tweeted in response: “When conservatives are under attack, colleges do little or nothing. If it was the other way around, radicals would be going wild, the campus would take action, and the national media would be all over it.”
Hundreds of protestors gathered outside the venue for a speech by conservative activist Charlie Kirk at UC Davis. Protestors, including Antifa activists, attempted to bar attendees from entering, and two agitators were arrested for spray-painting a university building during the protest.
Protestors stormed a locked building, smashing windows and hurling insults.
The university’s chancellor released a video statement after the event to address student “distress,” claiming that Kirk had “advocated for violence against transgender individuals.”
A student at Washington and Lee University in Virginia posted a death threat on social media against Daily Wire host Matt Walsh. A screenshot of the post tweeted by YAF displays a graphic photo of the execution of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, accompanied by the text: “Because Matt Walsh is now apparently speaking at this school, I thought I would post an important reminder of what happens to fascists.”
Catholic author Mary Eberstadt was invited to speak at South Carolina’s Furman University on her recent book about the sexual revolution and identity politics.
Prior to the event, Furman had caved to pressure and revoked the opportunity for students to receive extra credit from attending the event unless they replaced the faculty interlocutor who invited Eberstadt with a different one. Eberstadt decided to cancel the event after discovering impending threats written in a piece published by the school’s student paper.
Eberstadt described her experience in the Wall Street Journal: “The piece accused me of perpetuating ‘dangerous’ (dog whistle) myths, adding that students ‘demand to interrogate’ (another whistle).”
“Bullies have a right to protest, but that right doesn’t extend to dragooning others into untruths—including the untruth that people who join a hateful mob have any intention of listening to a speaker in the first place,” Eberstadt added. “They don’t, and the rest of us are under no obligation to help them live that lie by playing along.”
Quoting a piece from Liel Leibovitz in First Things, Eberstadt commented that the answer to so much hatred is often to refuse to cross swords with it. “The terrible power our pursuers hold over us, the power of intimidation and of setting the terms of the debate, dissolves the moment you realize you’re free to disengage,” Leibovitz wrote.