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Thu, Oct. 5th, 2006, 06:38 pm
futurebird: it might be a BAD idea

Minutemen Protestors Rush Stage

Wow. What a debacle! So, the protesters probably should not have stormed the stage, and this whole thing looks pretty bad for all involved. Though, I wonder if anyone had the sense to think that it might be a BAD idea to bring the leader of a vigilante group that shoots at immigrants to the most international city in the world? They should feel lucky not to have been tarred, feathered, and ran out of town on a rail.

Here is what I still can't understand: why is it that the supporters of the minutemen are so self-satisfied that people who oppose them might also 'oppose free speech?' I mean, there is this assumption that ACLU members and pro-immigration people are one and the same and they just aren't. Well, they are more both more likely to be brown and speak funny languages. Maybe, that's the source of confusion. I'm a member of both camps and all I can say is they are not the smame.

Free speech really has nothing to do with the issue of shooting people for trying to cross the border. They are trying to change the subject! Let's talk about that.

That all said, I do think these kinds of protests are wrong-headed. You see, now we must endure the pain and suffering of listening to right wingers whine about how it's so unfair and anti-free-speech that they can't host a little talk on a college campus about shooting people who are on their way over here to make our country a better place. So, to all you potential stage-stormers out there please: don't do it. For our own sakes. The whining it too painful to bear.

In any case. I thought you'd all enjoy reading this. OK, you won't enjoy reading it, it will piss you off...well, if you're anything like me.

Here are some classic quotes to enrage you:

"Who's a racist now?" said Gilchrist, putting an arm around Stewart."I love the first amendment!" he shouted. "You're doing a great job, kids. I'm going to have more fun with this than with my prepared speech."(Marvin Stewart is a black ordained minister and member of the Minutemen board of directors. Jim Gilchrist is the founder of the Minuteman Project.)

Eventually Gilchrist and Chris Kulawik, CC '08, president of the College Republicans and a Spectator columnist, called Stewart off the stage. "I clearly had the false assumption that I was at an Ivy League school," Kulawik said as he introduced the main speaker.

If I rolled my eyes any further they come back up around the bottom.

Fri, Oct. 6th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)

But it seems that you think that it was justified because Gilchrist's views are so terribly offensive.

I respect the emotions behind the protests, in fact I share those emotions. Their emotions are justified. I just don't think the actions accomplish much. In fact, in some ways they have backfired. I think protest (even civilly disobedient protest such as turning your back on some one or trying to put up banners that aren't supportive) is fair-- though we ought to talk about how effective these actions are. But, in this case, whoever threw the first punch (and it may have been a min. man) is in the wrong. Violence is always the last thing to try and only when it's dire. (Notice I don't rule it out!)

I know you're being flip, but this is a dismissal of Gilchrist, Kulawick, and Stewart's claim that there was a violation of the spirit of the First Amendment in the incident.

I don't think this is what is really relevant. The whole "free speech" issue is a distraction from the real issue: How is it that the leader of a vigilante group got invited to Columbia? Who thought this would be in any way enlightening? I was just a bad idea. It shows a stunning lack of sensitivity and awareness. And that's before we start talk about the jingoism.

Unlike many liberals I'm not overly concerned with freespeach. I think people have tons of freedom to speak, but most have absolutely nothing to say... and even fewer listen critically.

Fri, Oct. 6th, 2006 10:40 pm (UTC)

Aye. Obviously, I'm more concerned with free speech as a matter of principle than you are. But other than that, I entirely agree on all counts.