While giving a speech Tuesday night at the Austin campus of the University of Texas, Ann Coulter was loudly and rudely harassed by organized leftists.
I don't share Coulter's politics. I'm against the war. I'm pro-white. Coulter is a warmonger. I don't know her position on racial issues. In my opinion, she is a fine political entertainer but not much of a thinker. I devoted a blog entry to her last fall: Ann Coulter, Wicked Queen of Incivility.
Alas, on Tuesday night, the organized left inflicted their own incivilities -- real ones, not just sharp remarks -- on Ms. Coulter. Just how, I wonder, can we respond to such misconduct?
Disruptive political tactics were popular in the late '60s, but I was in the Army then and thus constrained from doing anything too crazy. The HHD CO let me play the part of a civilian hippie during riot control training. That was about it.
By the '80s, I'd gone conservative. I worked at the University of Michigan and I was highly perturbed by the radical, racial activism that threw the campus into turmoil. See Virtual Racism at the University of Michigan in the Winter of 1987.
There were three cases of disruption in the '90s that I still think about from time to time. In one case, I went to a rally in the little town of Fenton, Michigan in support of two police officers who were being subjected to double jeopardy because they had the misfortune to try to arrest a crack head. They could not subdue him and he died, partly from the struggle and partly from all the crack he'd been smoking. The officers were white and the dead crack head was black, so it became a huge racial thing. (Read the American Renaissance article Malicious Intent: Two White Cops Sacrificed for details.)
As I approached the rally, I saw a few counter demonstrators milling about. They had signs, leaflets. No big deal. Free speech for everyone, etc., etc. I recognized the particular sect one of the left-wingers belonged to by his style of dress. "RCP, right?" We chatted a bit and, yes, he was a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, a quaint little outfit that advocates armed insurrection against the government of the U.S.A.
Shortly after the rally began, the lefties began disruptively chanting. Enraged, I confronted the alpha commie and told him to shut up. We exchanged a few more words. About half of mine were bleeped out of the nightly news segments.
I read in the next day's paper that after I left the good Citizens of Fenton and the good Commies from Detroit actually had something like a civilized conversation. The understood each other, or something like that. I don't remember exactly. It was weird. In other words, the commies totally won.
In 1991 I lost my job at U of M. I was sore about that for a long time. I could say all kinds of things about the management there, the climate, the pervasively weird politics, etc., but now, with many years of hindsight and much time for personal reflection, I could also say a lot of things about myself, my cluelessness, irregular work habits (comprising torpid phases as well as periods of high productivity and occasional brilliance), my general strangeness. It would be a long, boring essay. The ruling powers talked about diversity. I was diversity. No one really wanted it.
In May of 1998, the University of Michigan put on a free public symposium titled "The Information Revolution in Midstream: An Anglo-American Perspective." It sounded very interesting, and I also thought it would be a good occasion to get over the old hurt feelings and sort of make peace with the University, at least in my heart.
Well, ha, ha, that didn't happen. The Chair of an afternoon panel discussion on "Media and Popular Culture" was P. Anthony Ridder, CEO of Knight-Ridder News Inc. The long and pointless "strike" against the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press, which was owned by Knight-Ridder, was still in progress. About 10 minutes into the discussion, a leftist agitator from Detroit stood up and started shouting. It was someone I'd known from my days working at Wayne State University. He was tough and muscular and he had a very loud voice. Nancy Cantor, who is now the president of some university somewhere, kept saying things like, "Stop," but without much conviction. After about 20 minutes, the cops led him away. I'm sure they gave him a stern scolding! Anyway, I left, not with peace in my heart, but with a deep rage against the leftists and against the University for letting the leftists get away with the disruption.
Earlier in 1998, on March 18, Ward Connerly came to U of M to give a talk. He is an opponent of forms of affirmative action that involve racial preferences. He spoke for about fifteen minutes in the Michigan League Ballroom, then offered to spend the rest of his time answering questions.
The leftists who had come to disrupt the event did not let him complete any of his answers. They were rude, hostile and confrontational. The April 1, 1998 edition of the Michigan Review contained four accounts of that evening:
After I finished drafting the above, I read Obnoxious protesters self-defeating, an opinion piece in the Daily Texan by James Burnham. What did the leftists accomplish? They made themselves look like a bunch of idiots. Burnham quotes the closing remark of Coulter's talk: "They can't ask a question. They are like infants, deprived of their ability to talk." She made her point. The leftists humiliated themselves. I guess no further action is needed.
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