Politics

Conservatism in the People’s Republic of Berkeley

UC Berkeley Republic conservatismFor all of the talk about violence and threats against minorities on college campuses, there is little recognition of one group regularly singled out for harassment and intimidation: campus conservatives.

I have been harassed, stalked, chased, punched, and spat on during my time at UC Berkeley, and in early 2017, I was chased by a mob of masked, black-clad thugs. These thugs, members of a fringe political faction, threw bricks at police officers, launched Molotov cocktails, set fires, beat innocent bystanders, and cut a wide swath of destruction through the downtown area of an entire city.

This was not an outbreak of sectarian violence in a developing nation. This occurred here in the United States, on the campus of UC Berkeley, once home of the Free Speech Movement. The thugs who chased me were far-left anarchists styling themselves as “Antifa” (short for “anti-fascist”). They were responding to a planned talk by Milo Yiannopoulos, which administrators administrators canceled for the safety of the speaker and the attendees. Police made only one arrest that night.

I was 20 years old at the time, a junior, and a member of the Berkeley College Republicans (BCR). Although I had expected a strong reaction from fellow Berkeley students for hosting a conservative speaker, I had never in my worst nightmares expected to have to run for my life from a mob determined to shut me down, in their own words, “By Any Means Necessary.”

By the next day, we were international news. But over the next few days and weeks, I watched as well-regarded voices in the political realm rose in condemnation, not of the violent acts of Antifa, but of us, the Berkeley College Republicans.

Critics included Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor of California, who said that he was “appalled” not by the violence but by President Trump’s threat to revoke federal funds from Berkeley, and former United States secretary of labor Robert Reich, who scurried to Berkeley’s defense with completely unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. Conservatives staged the violence, Reich suggested, “to lay the groundwork for a Trump crackdown on universities and their federal funding.”

Perhaps most distressingly of all, the UC Berkeley school paper, the Daily Californian, published five opinion pieces justifying the use of violence to shut down the event. One headline stated, “Violence Helped Ensure Safety for Students” (George Orwell would be proud of such a title).

All of this left ordinary Americans asking, Just what is going on at Berkeley?

As a recently graduated conservative UC Berkeley student, I am here to tell you that it is even worse than you think. Members of the Berkeley College Republicans have been viciously attackedharassed, and had their contact information publicly divulged in “doxing incidents. BCR is a perennial target for vandalism and graffiti— slogans such as “Kill BCRs” are visible throughout the campus and surrounding city — and not infrequently has its tabling events targeted for “bum-rush” attacks. The university’s inaction has only emboldened agitators to escalate their harassment, free of any consequences.

In fact, on several occasions, the university has locked arms with these leftists and helped to shut down our events through bureaucratic maneuvering. In 2017, three of our speakers, including the one I mentioned above, were canceled in just this manner: Ann Coulter, David Horowitz, and Milo Yiannopoulos.

Finally, in late 2017, we managed to host our first successful event in months, with conservative commentator Ben Shapiro. But in order for him to speak safely, UC Berkeley police determined that the campus and adjacent roads had to be closed off. Several leftist protesters attempting to disrupt the event were arrested that night.

Around the same time, we took Berkeley to court. In our lawsuit, now backed by the Department of Justice, the judge agreed that Berkeley’s speech policies were unconstitutional. But is there a way to fight for free speech on campus without filing lawsuits that eat up taxpayer money?

State legislatures have been quick to pass free-speech legislation, but we need to find a solution to the problem that rests with ordinary citizens like you and me.

That is why I am encouraging all donors to major universities such as UC Berkeley to follow the lead of Dilbert creator and UC Berkeley alumnus Scott Adams and cease giving financial support to universities that do not respect free expression. Adams, who received his MBA from UC Berkeley, said many would “possibly try to club me to death if I walk on campus” because his political views did not align with the campus majority.

The anti-free-speech philosophy that is roiling UCB does not come from nowhere. It lies at the very heart of the modern university and is taught every day by professors at major American universities. Nor is Berkeley alone, although it may be one of the worst offenders.

American universities receive millions in donations from parents and alumni each year, and these donations are a major portion of their financial support. If donors start to speak, then universities will notice. And if there is anything that should be able to unite Americans of all political stripes, it is support for the great freedoms laid out in our First Amendment.

Should these trends continue, universities will transform into violent echo chambers where intellectualism expires and Marxist dogma goes unchallenged. Gone are the days where students challenged mainstream ideas in the pursuit of truth. “Ignorance is strength” will be the new motto of American universities.

Reprinted with permission from - National Review - by Naweed Tahmas

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Don Volz

I urge conservatives to stop all donations to public universities, not just the most egregious violators of our First Amendment freedoms. Public Academe is almost exclusively “progressive” and unfriendly to the U.S. Constitution. A public institution is guilty by association if it fails to stand up and publicly hold its sister institutions accountable when they fail to uphold free speech principles. Sure, they will march together in lock-step unity in support of “Academic Freedom” — unless the victim is a conservative. Money talks. The next time you receive a donation request from a public institution, tell them ‘NO,’ you are donating instead to organizations that uphold and revere constitutional liberties, such as Hillsdale College, the Heritage Foundation, etc. It’s not enough to simply ending your donations – you need to tell them specifically why you will no longer be a donor. If enough of us do that, we just might… Read more »

Lee

Stop all donations to colleges and universities that tolerate this type of action. It will work. I know of a particular school which was planning a major change of location. The alumni decided they no longer needed to donate to the school. One donor regularly donated in the 6 figures. And, the move was not only cancelled, but a building they wanted to tear down was restored instead. So, as I said, it can work.

Jim Cook

The Berkley Crowd are where they should be. Do nit give them any press. Do not publish anything under their byline. Cut off all forms of aid and support. Do not allow them to escape. Quarantine the group in the local area and let them and their ideas devour each other.

Albert J. Evans

How much longer can the silent, law -abiding citizens take tihis kind of abuse before they turn the tables on these anarcists and start to fight back. Enough is enough!. They are cowards that often hide behind a mask when doing their dirty work.

Susabella

Nothing new here. In 1964 new neighbors of ours came from Berkeley because they thought it was not a good place to raise their family. It was already a place for liberals who didn’t want any conservatives.

Burton Pauly

These so-called antifa are a passel of scum,who reflect the democRATically run cities and the demoncRATic or jackass party which is guilty of encouraging all of these protesters throughout our nation. The law needs to capture all of these idiots and incarcerate them for many years.

Helen E

When it comes to the First Amendment, it is no longer “our free speech” but “MY free speech” with the U.S. Supreme Court being the final arbiter of crucial boundary lines potentially crossed in its personal expression. I’d like to say, the extreme viewpoint is limited to “Bezerkley,” as we called it while living in the Bay Area during the late 80’s, but it is particularly prominent among most elite educational institutions. They have become propaganda machines resulting in diminished rational thinking and logic, as applied to real life situations. Today, an accompanying arrogance can be smelled along with the dissertations envisioning personal power to come. What happened to US? Once upon a time ”university’ connoted an expanding base of knowledge with broad comprehension and an ability to adapt and apply things learned. Knowledge is not meant for knowledge sake or self aggrandizement but for the ‘good of the whole.’… Read more »

Rev. R.S. Helms

We all know what Berkeley is all about, along with other prestigious schools in our nation. If you are a Conservative and want a great education, do your research and know what schools are teaching you more than liberal activism, I would suggest Liberty University … Sure it is a Christian School, but it will teach you and equip you to succeed in your field of study.

Paul W

I most ardently agree with Don Volz; shut off the cash pipeline. Maybe that’ll wake up some of these schools’ administrators. Not one cent of conservative alumni dough. Hypocrisy thy name is leftism.

Lisa Toth

Even when I was in high school mmmmmteen years ago, some of my teachers were espousing liberal ideas. I really did not know the difference between liberal and conservative may not have even known the terms, but I remember being shut down for having different views than were being discussed. I always believed one of my grades was affected by a conversation in a class.

CHALY

Lets just look at this from a reasonable perspective. Antifa (the fa stands for fknanls) is Nazism and when they show up just shoot’m before they start to riot. They are obviously cowards and this is looking like Germany in the 30’s and 40’s. These people are being paid to protest so treat them as you would treat other Nazi’s. It is interesting just how stupid a generation of young folks are and it is humanly stupid to not see this as insurrection. It is time to punish the ‘communist financing’ and we know who you are!

Alan Power

As a UC Berkeley grad, Class of 64, I have never sent them a dime. For awhile, I ducked their solicitations but then I waited for their calls so I could give them some advice (to no avail). The only way I can see to solve this problem is to not patronize them and don’t fund them. The state of California is a lost cause and the only hope is for them to go broke. I will not see this in my life time.

Rox

Many students graduating from “brick and motor” universities cannot actually function well after graduating. Even if they get a job, their attitudes cause problems in the work-place and they are fired, pushed out, or will not be promoted. Parents and students should save money, time and stress by getting degrees on-line at schools who do not push their warped politics and spend half the time trying to brainwash everyone for the communist order they hope to have someday. ASK the on-line school about their philosophy of pushing politics. Regular brick and motor college and university classes done on-line definitely push the leftist movement. Places like Phoenix and trade schools do not. Also, you can sit at home and do your classwork on your schedule. You can also work part or full-time while going to school without a scheduling problem. I personality you learn much more from private on-line schools than… Read more »

Laura C

Although I do agree with these sentiments about not contributing to public universities, unfortunately we need to begin much earlier. Our elementary and high schools are setting up the students for life in these intolerant universities. There need to be more options for parents to completely boycott public elementary schools where children are being groomed to be liberal nazis. After all the hype from conservative politicians about school choice, I don’t see much movement in that direction.

Donel

Being a Conservative in CommieFornia has got to be tough, but hang in there anyway, someday they crumble just like Venezuela.