Content warning: homophobia, transphobia, hate speech
In his apparently everlasting mission to verbally abuse marginalized groups, Milo Yiannopoulos has declared that he will hold a weeklong free speech protest event at UC Berkeley this fall, according to The Washington Post. This announcement comes after a planned appearance by Yiannopoulos at the school in February was cancelled amid controversy, and conservative figure Ann Coulter’s own recent appearance at Berkeley was also called off “over fears of violence,” according to The New York Times.
Yiannopoulos’s answer to these events—events he describes as attacks on conservatives’ right to free speech—is to set up a protest in the center of Berkeley’s campus. “He said he plans to hold the rallies on Sproul Plaza, the same site university officials had warned Coulter to avoid because of the wide range of security concerns there,” reports The Washington Post. “Sproul Plaza is the site of the 1960s Free Speech Movement protests.”
Yiannopoulos has promised that this event will have hefty security to ensure his own safety and that of his fellow protesters. Each day of the week (which he plans to extend to a month if he experiences resistance from Berkeley administration) will be assigned to
virulently attacking protesting a particular activist or political group on the left.
Just for the sake of citing some examples, I’ve chosen to include some of Yiannopoulos’s comments for y’all to read here.
On gay people and homosexuality in general, Yiannopoulos writes in this Breitbart article, “Evolutionary science, it seems, presents us with an even more compelling reason why gays should pipe down and get back in the closet.”
On trans folks, Yiannopoulos said in an appearance in Delaware last year, “Of course many trannies, or those that make up their own new gender, are not actually retarded. But they are deeply mentally damaged, and they are failed by a liberal establishment obsessed with making them feel good about themselves.”
YEAH. I’d call that hate speech — and there’s plenty more where this came from. Hate speech, aside from being morally reprehensible, does not deserve protection under the U.S Constitution. Whether it can be prosecuted often depends on the case, but I'd argue that no school is obligated to give this guy a platform on their campus.
Verbal violence is real. This kind of base hatred for other individuals needs to be addressed. After all — isn’t that why Yiannopoulos is asking for so much protection for himself?