Mike Pence is a threat to the ‘lives’ and safety of students – HotAir

Former Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak at the University of Virginia on April 12. The newspaper Sunday before last the student published an opinion piece by a freshman student who said she felt suicidal in her first semester at the school because of the campus environment and then argued that Pence’s invitation should be rescinded.

Last semester, being gay here and dealing with homophobia became too much. As a first year, I struggled with what my expectations of college were supposed to be, especially as it related to being true to myself and my sexuality. I believe in complete honesty, which is why I will share that I became depressed and suicidal last semester over how othered I felt here. I was made to feel like there was something wrong with me because I am gay. I seriously considered transferring. Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to stay here and fight for equality and change so that future LGBTQ+ students would never have to feel the way that I did…

I do not feel comfortable being in an academic environment where anti-LGBTQ+ individuals are welcomed with open arms to speak. The University pride itself on the concept of the academical village, where Grounds is both a home and an institution of higher learning. We cannot invite people into our home who deny any part of our community or its humanity. I sincerely hope that we as University students can consider how to help our fellow students feel safe and welcome. We can disagree on things like our favorite dining hall, or more political arguments like tax policy, but we should not disagree on one another’s humanity. The community of trust begins with respecting and welcoming all students. This can start with YAF rescinding its offer for Pence to speak.

Presenting the opinion of one freshman student is perfectly fine. People are free to take it for what it’s worth and agree or disagree. But a few days later the paper’s editorial board published its own piece calling for Pence to be deplatformed. The piece opened by mentioning several recent UVA controversies over free speech, including an op-ed published by the NY Times which I wrote about here. But for the Cavalier Daily, the issue is very simple: [emphasis added]

So-called “perspectives” should not be welcomed when they spread rhetoric that directly threatens their presence and lives of our community members. The LGBTQ+ individuals Pence has attacked, the Black lives he refuses to value and the successful stories of immigration he and the former president hope to prevent — these very people are our peers, our neighbors and our community members. We refuse to condone platforming Pence…

So-called “perspectives” should not be welcomed when they spread rhetoric that directly threatens their presence and lives of our community members. The LGBTQ+ individuals Pence has attacked, the Black lives he refuses to value and the successful stories of immigration he and the former president hope to prevent — these very people are our peers, our neighbors and our community members. We refuse to condone platforming Pence…

Once so-called politics turn into transphobia, homophobia and racism, they are no longer mere political beliefs — but rather bigotry that threatens the well-being and safety of students on Grounds. The Cavalier Daily’s Editorial Board does not condone platforming an individual that not only denies the existence of our diverse community, but participates in the violent rhetoric that perpetuates harm against these individuals. To our administration — we implore you to do better. Protect your students.

Is Mike Pence coming to speak or is he coming to kill?! This is now an old trick in the left’s playbook. Silence anyone who disagrees with you by claiming they are a threat to your life and safety. The editorial board is asking for a campus wide safe space but it’s doing it in a fairly sly way.

The editorial never explicitly says Pence should be deplatformed. Instead it says the board does not “condone platforming” him and after claiming multiple times that his presence will constitute a threat to lives and safety, the editorial conclusions by telling UVA to “protect your students.” How should they be protected? Obviously by not giving Pence a platform. That’s the whole thrust of the piece but again, they avoid actually calling for the speech to be canceled.

In any case, Emma Camp, the author of the aforementioned NY Times Piece about free speech at UVA tweeted this thread poking holes in the editorial:

Plenty of other folks have been pointing out how absurd the editorial is. A former undergrad points out that Iranian President Khatami spoke there when he was a student.

And assortment of reactions:

And MKHam agreed with that.

You have people from the left, right and center condemning this but the defenders of this kind of approach mostly seem to have gone silent. I have a theory as to why:

Leave a Comment