Violence Has Become a Part of the Mainstream Left
Leif Barreto, Contributor
OPINION -- Last Wednesday night, UC Berkeley College Republicans hosted controversial conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos to speak on cultural appropriation: an act in which one adopts an aspect of a culture (clothing, hairstyle, jewelry, vernacular, speech, music, etc.) that is not of their own heritage. Such an act has been declared a cardinal sin by the Left, but only when committed by white Americans. Mr. Yiannopolous was scheduled to speak at 8:00 pm but was then promptly evacuated from the building an hour before the event, due to acts of violence being committed by the left-wing protestors outside. The protesters threw rocks and launched fireworks at buildings; ignited large fires that subsequently set a nearby tree ablaze; tore down barricades that were erected for security purposes, and stormed the ground floor of the building where Mr. Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak. Many people were injured during this event, most of whom were either Trump supporters or conservative attendees in general. Kiara Robles--one of the individuals attacked during the protest--was wearing a red hat in the style of the hats worn by President Trump during his campaign, which read “Make Bitcoin Great Again.” While giving an interview to an ABC7 News reporter, Robles was suddenly pepper sprayed by a protester. She later told ABC7 news that she was alright and had not sustained any serious injuries. Multiple clips of video footage capturing this left-wing violence have been compiled into an eleven-minute long video and can be found here on Yiannopoulos’ Facebook page here.
This has not been the first instance of violent left-wing protests at a Milo Yiannopoulos speech event. Last month, Yiannopoulos and controversial pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli were scheduled to speak at UC Davis, but were then told that the event was to be canceled shortly before its scheduled starting time. The reason for this was due to the violent left-wing protesters tearing down barricades and throwing them towards police, prompting the police to inform the speakers that their safety could not be guaranteed. Some trying to attend the event were injured because of this, including a photographer for ABC 10’s reporter Frances Wang. The photographer had hot coffee poured on him and his equipment while Wang was conducting an interview. This left-wing violence hasn’t just been limited to Yiannapoulos’ events either, indeed, it has occurred many times before in different areas all across the nation. The most pertinent examples of this are the incidents that occurred due to the violence committed by left-wing protestors during some of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign rallies: San Jose, CA; Costa Mesa, CA; Albuquerque, NM; and Chicago, IL .
All of this is to say that this violence from the Left is being committed en masse, and can no longer be chalked up to a few isolated incidents; it is no longer just a few bad apples. This violence has very much become integrated into the mainstream Left. Many on the Left have claimed that this is not representative of their movement/political goals, and to believe it as such would be fallacious. If this is the case, consider this: why has there yet to be a national movement/ campaign to address this violence that is happening in the so-called “progressive” movement? Where are the #NotMyMovement tweets trending on Twitter? Where are the Facebook profile filters and alterations? Where are the scathing OP-ED pieces from prominent media columnists that publicly shame the violent tactics of these protestors? Where are the celebrity collaboration videos that implore their left-wing fans to cease and desist from this barbarity? Where is the outrage from the Left?
The Left is fond of this quasi-internet activist sensationalism and as such, they have started numerous nation-wide campaigns based upon incidents and narratives that they deem important for the American attention--even if such incidents turned out to be a farce (“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”). From this, one can only assume that they are more than capable of organizing a national campaign that discourages the increasingly popular trend of violence coming from their camp against the Right. So why hasn’t it happened? Of course they aren’t obligated to create any such campaign, but this then begs the question: does the Left really care about “injustice”? Is it not injustice when Trump supporters, conservatives, republicans, or whatever label you want to give them, all across the nation are being cold-clocked and pummeled by hordes of violent “progressives” at these conservative events, purely because they hold a different viewpoint? Is the Left really as dedicated to defending minorities as they claim to be? Conservatives on college campuses are a minority and have been subject to rampant bigotry by the Left wing majority, yet the Left seems indifferent when it comes to these cases.
In the past, the Left has organized numerous national campaigns to defend specific groups of people who they deemed were victims of injustice, but has yet to extend this same effort of support to people on the Right. If these concerns really are as important to the Left as they claim them to be, why is the Left quiescent when it comes to this nation-wide, anti-Right violence? Does the Left not see this violence as an example of injustice because it is against the Right, or is it because the people committing the violence are on the Left and to lead any campaign against them would be seen as an act of treason? Whatever the reason may be, one thing remains clear: violence has made its way into the mainstream Left and the Left is doing nothing about it.