Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. I was a political columnist for (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the Algemeiner, Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, Independent Journal Review, American Thinker, FrontPage Magazine, Jihad Watch, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, Jewish Press, J-The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, and many others.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More Examples of Mob Rule on College Campuses

No sooner had my last SFGate column, "Mob Rule on College Campuses" come out, when bullying behavior reared its ugly head on America's college campuses yet again.

Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, one of the strongest anti-illegal immigration voices in politics, had his speech at Michigan State University of Law last Thursday disrupted by violent student protesters. They set off the fire alarm beforehand and when that didn't stop the event, proceeded to shout loudly throughout Tancredo's speech. Protesters also attacked members of the Michigan State University College Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom, both of whom backed the event.

This incident put me in mind of the treatment given to Chris Simcox, founder of the anti-illegal immigration group, the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, when he spoke at Georgetown University in November. Protesters, led by the ironically named GU Students Against Racism, Hate and Violence, set off the fire alarm (which, as I recall, is a tactic straight out of grade school) and managed to disrupt Simcox's speech briefly. They continued to chant outside the speech in an unsuccessful attempt to drown Simcox out.

According to a quote at Michelle Malkin's blog from a Georgetown undergrad who attended the speech, GU Students United Against Racism, Hate and Violence said that "it recognizes Simcox's freedom of speech. But...he shouldn't be on their campus." Kind of contradiction in terms, don't you think?

On top of the incidents I referenced in my column:

Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist was physically attacked and silenced at Columbia University in October.

Arab reformer Nonie Darwish had her Brown University speech canceled in November, while fellow anti-jihadist Walid Shoebat had his Columbia University speech sabotaged the same month.

David Horowitz was shouted down by an unruly mob at San Francisco State University last year, as was Daniel Pipes at UC Berkeley in 2004.

...there are a host of other examples of mob rule on college campuses just from the last few years alone. Here's a sampling:

David Horowitz was giving a speech at Ball State University in Indiana in November when he encountered rabid protesters holding a 50-foot "Not Welcome" sign, an attempted pie-throwing and the delivery of 15 prank pizzas (all of which had to be thrown out--so much for environmentalism) to the auditorium where he was speaking. Two of the protesters were arrested and later released on bond for assaulting an officer. In 2005, Horowitz was hit with a pie at Butler University in Indiana.

Paleocon pundit and author Pat Buchanan was doused with salad dressing during an appearance at Western Michigan University in 2005. As intended, he ended his speech soon after.

Weekly Standard editor and commentator Bill Kristol was speaking at Earlham College in Indiana in 2005 when he was hit with a pie.

Conservative columnist, author and blogger Michelle Malkin was met with an unruly mob, complete with hysteria, namecalling and racist signs, at UC Berkeley in 2004. They didn't succeed in preventing her speech, but they sure tried.

Conservative columnist and author Ann Coulter has been physically attacked on numerous occasions during her appearances on college campuses, including attempted pie-throwings. Michelle Malkin blogged on the incident at the University of Arizona in 2004 and linked to David Horowitz' article on the incident at Cornell University in 2001.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak encountered loud protesters, violence and interruptions during a speech at UC Berkeley in 2003. Members of U.C. Berkeley Stop the War (on Iraq) Coalition and A Jewish Voice for Peace (not being very peaceful), among others, provided the honors.

The alleged "Home of the Free Speech Movement" rolled out the Berkeley welcome mat to another former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in 2000. Netanyahu ended up canceling an appearance at the Berkeley Community Theater after protesters toppled the barricades outside. Clearly, when it comes to Berkeley, non-suicidal Israelis need not apply.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. As many readers pointed out to me, this kind of behavior has been going on our college campuses since the 1960's. Another wonderful legacy of the "peace and love" generation.

Clearly students have been emboldened, both through the indoctrination of their leftist professors and radical political organizations recruiting on college campuses, to push the boundaries of civil behavior. Groups such as International A.N.S.W.E.R., the International Socialist Organization, the Spartacist Youth Club, MEChA, the Muslim Student Association and many others, hover like vultures on campuses preying on the naive and impressionable.

What's interesting is that all of this is happening in response to the growing movement of college Republicans and other conservative student groups on campuses across the country. In almost all of these cases, it was the college Republican group at hand that invited these right-leaning speakers to their campuses. So in a sense, the primal screams of leftist student groups can be taken as an affirmation that there's a new sheriff in town.

Of course, the old order won't go that easily and the outrage with which they meet diverging viewpoints does not bode well for the future of free speech on campuses or beyond. But they no longer dominate the intellectual battlefield and this kind of behavior may just be the death throes of a dying breed.

One can only hope.

Cross-posted at Kesher Talk.


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