Controversial Material: Then and Now published by Zara Lavato
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Posted on 2016-05-25
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Controversial Material: Then and Now
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Opinion Article by Zara Lavato. Article Location: Chicago, ILTweet
Earlier this evening, conservative British journalist and cultural libertarian Milo Yiannopoulos spoke at DePaul University in Chicago as part of his Dangerous Faggot Tour. I would like to say that the event was marvelous the whole way through, with few disturbances, but of course the news begs to differ. It began on a good note, with Milo making his usual cracks about unattractive feminists and other social justice types. The massive turnout of 500+ attendees got many laughs in for the first thirty minutes or so.
At that mark, the event was disrupted by everyone's favorite modern supremacist group, Black Lives Matter. The ringleader, as you can see, kept blowing a whistle (to the point where I was even tempted to run up and knock it out of his smug mouth) to try and silence Milo and stop the event.
Well, it worked, thanks to security and city police officers refusing to remove the protestors from the stage. More of them were added at the last minute, driving up the cost of the event (no doubt the university administration's sad attempt to stop it from taking place), and none of them did the job they were paid (generously, at that) for. How crooked. To show their even further competence, when I finally retrieved my bag and left the building, there appered to have been a scuffle of some sort on the quad, in the direction of where I needed to go. Confused, I turned to a CPD officer and asked, "How do I get out of here?" His response? Nothing. Just a blank face. Pathetic.
As I left, Milo and many of the other attendees heading to the university president's office, the last thing I saw were the shrieking protestors, some of whome were huddled together crying like the children they are (I wonder how much of it was crocodile tears). The sight disgusted me. Seeing this nonsense across the country makes me relieved that I am no longer an undergrad, that I escaped all the Marxist undertones before they were pumped full of steroids. I must say, though: Kudos to the attendees who confronted those fascists head on.
Milo's Dangerous Faggot Tour has awakened in me a rather lovely memory from high school that ties in very well with the safe space/trigger warning/censorship garbage permeating across American universities. While the DePaul event has really hit home for me, it was the UMass Amherst talk with Milo, Christina Hoff Sommers and Steven Crowder (which spawned the now infamous Trigglypuff) that revived this moment.
It was the beginning of my freshman year of high school -- I don't think it had even begun to get cold yet -- and for my religion class (I went to a small, private Christian school), we watched a film about Joseph (you know, the guy with the colorful robe) that was much closer to the story presented in the Bible. That means Joseph's sister, Dinah, is raped. While much of the rape in this film happened off-camera, we got to see the beginning where her rapist lunges onto her, pinning her down, and she screams. I think that may have been the first depiction of rape I had ever seen (and I wouldn't be surprised if it also was for many of my classmates). Because the teacher had not warned us (and probably also because we were naive about the nastier parts of the Bible), the scene was very shocking. Sure, it's nothing like The Accused, but a rape scene doesn't always need to be graphic to make viewers uncomfortable, especially if those viewers are sheltered kids from more socially conservative backgrounds.
Here's the craziest part: all hell did not break loose. I don't recall hearing a single classmate whining that the teacher didn't give us a warning (or that he showed the film to us at all). If any of these kids went home and told their parents, and their parents called the school up the next day complaining, I never heard about it. Once again, this was a freshman class of 14-15-year-olds, at a private, religious school.
Now compare that with today's university students between the ages of 18 and 22, who you'd think would be more mature and capable of handling sensitive and controversial material. Instead, they need warnings for every little thing, insulting anyone who has experienced actual trauma whenever they freak out over mere words. Meanwhile, I'm watching rape scenes and reading banned books in an institution that promotes "living like Christ."
So please, feminists/social justice warriors/Black Lives Matter activists/transtrenders/all you other oh-so-unique "individuals": how does it feel knowing that a class full of 14-15-year-old kids, in a far more conservative environment, has more of a spine to handle sensitive material than you do?
http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/05/24/milo-yiannopoulos-protesters-storm-stage-depaul-university/ http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=7528 http://www.breitbart.com/milo/2016/05/23/inside-depaul-unive
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