Note: They’re not providing counseling for people traumatized by the *content* of Shapiro’s speech, which would be pitiful enough. They’re not providing counseling for people afraid that Antifa will burn down the campus, a not unreasonable worry. From what I can tell, they’re providing counseling for people traumatized by the mere fact that Shapiro is speaking on campus. Liberals must outnumber conservatives there on the order of a thousand to one and Shapiro himself is as mainstream and mild-mannered as conservative commentators come. But the thought of him defiling a Berkeley auditorium by critiquing leftism for two hours has the administration worried that some students might need actual psychological treatment afterward.
My first thought on today’s email from the school’s provost was that *I* might need counseling after reading it. But Dan Gainor makes a fair point: Anyone who can’t tolerate Shapiro’s presence in the general geographic vicinity for an afternoon probably does need to see someone. I hope these sick bastards finally get the help they need.
Our commitment to free speech, as well as to the law, mandates that the students who invited Shapiro be able to host their event for those who wish to hear him speak. Our commitment to the principles of community mandates that all students, faculty, and staff be able to be present on campus, engaging in their regular academic activities without fear. Achieving this poses unusual challenges for us; this memo lays out the arrangements that we are putting in place.
At 4 p.m. on September 14, UCPD will establish a closed perimeter around Zellerbach Hall and surrounding buildings. Buildings near Zellerbach Hall will be closed at 4 p.m., with no access permitted. The perimeter will be assembled over the course of the day starting in the morning. Affected buildings include: César E. Chávez Student Center, Alumni House, Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, Sproul Hall, and Eshleman Hall…
Support and counseling services for students, staff and faculty
We are deeply concerned about the impact some speakers may have on individuals’ sense of safety and belonging. No one should be made to feel threatened or harassed simply because of who they are or for what they believe. For that reason, the following support services are being offered and encouraged…
The only person facing a serious threat during Shapiro’s speech is Shapiro himself but the rules of the Orwellian “speech is violence” game require casting him as the aggressor and the mob as the victim. When a hostile stranger trespasses on your property, you have the right to expel him by force to defend it. This is a turf war and Shapiro is invading liberal turf. The idea of a public university as a public forum or academia as a space for the free exchange of ideas is a fart in the wind compared to the feral left’s territorial imperatives here. The higher the cost, figuratively and literally, for a conservative to come to campus, the fewer conservatives will come. In that sense, the Antifa droogs are practicing basic free-market economics in organizing a rampage whenever a right-winger dares to set foot in Berkeley. They’re taxing a disfavored good until it becomes prohibitively expensive.
I want to know how many students and faculty end up availing themselves of counseling because of Shapiro’s speech. If there really is a sizable number who need professional help to cope mentally with the affront of ideological dissent in physical proximity to them, it’d be good for the public to know that. Let’s find out how many snowflakes melted from heat this mild. And if there *isn’t* a sizable number who seek counseling, that’s important to know too. After all, Berkeley administrators are also looking for ways to raise the cost for conservatives coming to campus. They don’t want to provide right-wingers a forum for their own ideological reasons and they really don’t want the logistical headaches of having to manage the campus/Antifa backlash. You probably wouldn’t be thrilled to have Shapiro speak either if it meant another round of worrying about Marxist degenerates smashing windows all over town in “protest.” The point is, the alleged need for counseling may be a lie pushed by the school itself to discourage other right-wingers from speaking at Berkeley. If it’s that traumatic to the locals to have you address a few hundred fans, you might conclude that it’s not worth the bother. So let’s have the counseling numbers afterward. How about it?