Via Mediaite, this isn’t America.
In an email that was flagged by several Missouri-based journalists, the MUPD asked “individuals who witness incidents of hateful and/or hurtful speech or actions” to call the department’s general phone line “to continue to ensure that the University of Missouri campus remains safe.” They suggest that students provide a detailed description of the offender, their location or license plate number, and even to take a picture if possible.
In the email, MUPD readily admits that hurtful or hateful speech is not against the law. But, they write, “if the individuals identified are students, MU’s Office of Student Conduct can take disciplinary action.”…
He added that the police did not consider the hateful speech “a criminal matter.” However, “We also work for the University and uphold the Universities Rules and Regulations.”
A liberal friend on Twitter wonders whether “hurtful speech” might be a byword for “harassment.” I doubt it. It’s not like “harassment” is obscure legal jargon; if campus police were worried about that, they would have used the word. The fact that they specified in the e-mail that “hurtful speech” isn’t a crime but might be subject to discipline also suggests a distinction. Criminal harassment is one thing, “hurtful speech” is something else according to the police, it seems. What this is, very obviously, is the school’s administration pandering to the protesters by threatening to punish their critics with campus police involvement if need be. The school’s president resigned under pressure, then the chancellor resigned, and now they’re going to throw them another bone by warning anyone inclined to challenge them to stay out of their faces on pain of discipline.
And here’s where I get to remind you of this poll from YouGov conducted six months ago:
I bet you could find a dozen Social Justice Warriors on the scene at yesterday’s protest to say that the photographer who wouldn’t leave is guilty of “hurtful speech.” Needless to say, if he or any other student is disciplined for dissent from the prevailing PC wisdom at a public university, especially dissent in defense of their First Amendment rights, they should sue this garbage, fascist school for millions. FIRE has been helping college students sue the left-wing totalitarians who run their campuses for ages. If you know a student at MU, make sure they’re aware.
Jonathan Chait, a man of the left himself but one who’s fretted before about political correctness run wild, responds to today’s liberal spin that the Mizzou students and faculty who physically removed that reporter from a protest were just kids being kids so whaddaya gonna do, right?
But to imagine p.c. as simply a thing college kids do relieves us of taking it seriously as a coherent set of beliefs, which it very much is. Political correctness is a system of thought that denies the legitimacy of political pluralism on issues of race and gender. It manifests itself most prominently in campus settings not because it’s a passing phase, like acne, but because the academy is one of the few bastions of American life where the p.c. left can muster the strength to impose its political hegemony upon others. The phenomenon also exists in other nonacademic left-wing communities, many of them virtual ones centered on social media, and its defenders include professional left-wing intellectuals.
The upsurge of political correctness is not just greasy-kid stuff, and it’s not just a bunch of weird, unfortunate events that somehow keep happening over and over. It’s the expression of a political culture with consistent norms, and philosophical premises that happen to be incompatible with liberalism. The reason every Marxist government in the history of the world turned massively repressive is not because they all had the misfortune of being hijacked by murderous thugs. It’s that the ideology itself prioritizes class justice over individual rights and makes no allowance for legitimate disagreement…
That these activists have been able to prevail, even in the face of frequently harsh national publicity highlighting the blunt illiberalism of their methods, confirms that these incidents reflect something deeper than a series of one-off episodes. They are carrying out the ideals of a movement that regards the delegitimization of dissent as a first-order goal.
Precisely. The reason these incidents happen on campuses isn’t because “college shenanigans!” or whatever, it’s because this is where they have the numbers. When that scumbag professor calls for “muscle” to remove a reporter from the public square, she can get it. They’re accountable to no one, partly because of tenure and partly because they can and will mau-mau any state official as racist/sexist etc who comes down on them. What you’re seeing here, per Chait’s apt analogy, is progressivism unchecked. How do you like it? How will you like it when they have the numbers to pass a “hate speech” law and they’ve got five miserable lockstep left-wing hacks on the Supreme Court to uphold it?
The guy who shot the video yesterday of that photographer being intimidated has released the full version of his clip today. The new footage starts at 7:00 with Melissa Click, professor of media, successfully getting the cameraman removed from the tent area as a group of protesters push him back. The most striking thing about the new video is the pleasure she takes from her power. Listen at 8:45 and you’ll hear her out-and-out mocking the guy as he’s being “walked” away from the tents, shouting, “Can you all make room for this reporter, please? He wants to go out pretty bad!” Then watch at 11:35 as she walks the perimeter like some sort of Social Justice cop and taunts the guy again (“Oh, he’s a good one!”). She can’t be fired soon enough. Or does the sacred institution of tenure protect a professor’s right to physically harass a student for exercising his First Amendment rights on public property?