A lot has been made of the protests against Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter at UC Berkley. The prevailing opinion in the media has been that the actions of students was stifling freedom of speech. However, that point of view must be met with a question:
How can it be claimed that "freedom of speech" was being stifled if the points of view for both Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter are already widely known?
Though I do not condone the violent antics utilized by some of the protestors, I contend that no freedoms were denied. Instead, I will suggest that Milo and Ann have each had plenty of opportunities to express their points of views and now they are experiencing the part of freedom of speech that the media doesn't want to talk about, namely the consequences.
Does anyone really believe that the students of UC Berkley would have protested if Milo and Ann were unknown in their views? That would be a silly assumption. No, the reality is that Milo and Ann have had ample opportunity at free speech. Their views have been widely publicized and have, in no way, been "stifled".
There isn't a war on free speech today, far from it. People are more in-tune with what people are saying now than ever before. No longer are we fed everything through news print or a TV screen. Mass communication has allowed people to get information from all over the planet, almost simultaneously. Too many of the older generation assume that the younger generation is lazy and easily influenced. However, it is quite the opposite. They are not set in their ways. They do not vote down party lines. They don't rely on one source for their information. No, if the protests have taught us anything, its that there are consequences for using our freedom of speech to proliferate hatred. I see the reactions that Ann and Milo have gotten as a reaction to their own propaganda, not an action unto itself. I realize this will get some strong reactions from those who choose to believe that Milo and Ann were somehow victims in all of this, but again I ask the question:
"Exactly what do you think they were going to say that they haven't already?"
No, they got exactly what the expected (and likely wanted). A reaction that would allow them to take a martyr's pose and bring more attention to their hateful rhetoric.
All I ask is to keep the protests peaceful. The rest is right on target.
America Must 5/20/2017