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    Actual Malice at Vassar College

    Actual Malice at Vassar College

    False claims I posed a safety threat incited campus against me for my free speech event.

    I’m still trying to get my mind around the Vassar College campus reaction to my planned lecture on “hate speech” and free speech, which I wrote about in Safe Spaces and Safety Teams at Vassar College for My Lecture on Free Speech.

    Hundreds of students, faculty and staff were whipped into a frenzy by factually false accusations against me and regarding my appearance. There were many false accusations. In this post, I’ll address just one aspect, that I supposedly posed a threat to campus safety.

    The campus was misled into thinking that I, and supposed “neo-Nazis and white supremacists” who were likely to attend with me, were going to target non-white, LGBT and Jewish students. It was a fabrication.

    Two campus forums attended by hundreds of people were held by a student group called Healing 2 Action to prepare how to protect the campus from the supposed threat I posed. Among other statements reportedly made at the meeting was the false claim that the “speaker himself is trying to incite violence….” That was a lie without any factual basis.

    A document circulated widely on campus after the first of those meetings recites that one of the administrative Deans of Vassar addressed the crowd as follows:

    “[name of Dean]: the school/administration has a responsibility to protect us, they intend to do so
    ○ question: how exactly will they protect us?
    ○ look at what has happened on other campuses, make a plan that involves Safety
    & Security ahead of time”

    False claims by Healing 2 Action that event information was shared by me “on multiple white nationalist websites,” and that there was “active encouragement for other white nationalists to come to the event” were spread to thousands of people by the Vassar Student Association, the student government, in an all-student email. The claim was made in that all-student email that there was a need to “protect the people that this speaker has targeted in the past.”

    “Safe” events were organized on and off campus to help protect students from me and my supposed supporters. That such events were held at Chabad [*] and the Jewish Student Union was particularly painful for me, considering all I have done to fight anti-Semitism on campuses, including at Vassar.

    In addition to asking the Vassar President to cancel my appearance, as quoted in my prior post, the Executive Board of the Vassar Student Association requested that academic deadlines be relaxed because the problems my appearance was causing students were so serious. VSA requested the president:

    “Reach out to faculty to make them aware of and acknowledge the pain and emotional toll students are facing right now and will face this week, so that a strict adherence to deadlines on academic work is not an additional and unjust burden on students”

    In the run up to my appearance, event posters were placed around campus by the sponsoring group, the Vassar Conservative Libertarian Union. Those posters, consistent with Vassar policy, were approved to be place on bulletin boards, and had the stamp of approval on them.

    The posters were torn down almost as soon as they were put up. The demonization was so complete that one of the posters that was not immediately torn down was defaced by putting horns on me.

    Keep in mind, this campus frenzy intended to portray me as a threat to campus safety (and other things, as well) never was based on reality. It was similar to falsely shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, but even worse, because it falsely blamed a real person (me) for the fictitious fire.

    There is a malevolence on the Vassar campus, among a small but potent percentage of the student body, faculty and staff, that the Vassar administration has not come to grips with. Instead, people falsely claiming I posed a threat to campus safety had their baseless reactions recognized as legitimate.

    The event as it took place was as it always was intended to be, a serious discussion of the balancing of 1st Amendment free speech and campus inclusivity concerns on private college campuses. There never was any factual basis to claim otherwise, only actual malice.

    For those of you who have not yet seen the videos of my speech and the Q&A session, the videos are below.

    .

    —–

    [* Added 10-30-2017 – Chabad central organization contacted me asserting that the Chabad event, in which students reacting to my presence on campus could go for “Tea, food, couches and lots of love” was not a “safe” event but “is what Chabad does all the time.” You can read the Chabad Facebook post here. I stand by my post.]

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    Comments



     
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    Cleetus | October 29, 2017 at 6:52 am

    Correct me if I am wrong, but does not Alt-Right mean “an alternative to the right”?
    >
    Even more bizarre, people need to look at what those who are legitimate white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and so forth, really do stand for and believe.
    >
    First of all they reject the notion of God for God is inclusive everyone, demands that we love everyone, sees everyone as being equal, and so forth. This is the antithesis to what they believe so they reject the entire concept of God and Christianity and, in this regard, they share this stance with the Left and these campus snowflakes.
    >
    A second aspect to the alt-right is that they focus on the group. They do not believe the individual is unique and that the individual attains all their characteristics from the group with whom they associate. In others words, if you are black, then you automatically behave, think, and believe in a certain monolithic way just as members of any other group would behave, think, and believe in their own certain way and according to the group to which they belong. In this manner, the alt-right is quite similar to the Left and as the Left’s behavior at this lecture, labeling Professor Jacobson as a white supremacist, and so forth, so clearly demonstrates.
    >
    A third aspect of the alt-right is that they are obsessed with race and identity politics. This should be obvious just as it should be obvious that this characteristic is shared by the Left.
    >
    It should become apparent now that the alt-right is the antithesis to the typical conservative who believes in the individual as unique and not a part of the monolithic group to which they are assigned, who have a strong believe in Christianity, and who reject identity politics while also trying to put the issue of race on the back burner for it is the individual who is important in their eyes and not their race. It is the person’s actions and behavior as well as the concept of personal responsibility that is so important to the conservative and that is rejected by both the alt-right and the Left.
    >
    What this means is that the Alt-right is far more closely allied with the ideology of the Left than anyone else. Where the problem lies is that the alt-right places some minorities far down the list of importance while elevating the importance of being white while the Left does the opposite. In all other aspects they are very similar, if not the same, in their beliefs.
    >
    What all this means is that we are watching another display of diversion. Groups like Antifa promote fascism and use fascist techniques in their fight against fascism while they accuse everyone else of being fascist just as the extreme Left accuses conservatives of being alt-right when the alt-right is ideologically closer to the Left than conservatism.
    >
    If this warped thinking, twisted logic, out of control paranoia, and absolutely childish behavior wasn’t a harbinger of something far more terrifying, then it would be outright comical.


       
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      thalesofmiletus in reply to Cleetus. | October 29, 2017 at 9:49 am

      “Correct me if I am wrong…”

      There’s more to the independent right than the handful of unironic nazis.


         
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        Ragspierre in reply to thalesofmiletus. | October 29, 2017 at 10:45 am

        Really? Elaborate.


           
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          Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | October 29, 2017 at 3:06 pm

          Note that he used the term “independent right” rather than “alt-right”. The rather recent term “alt-right” is sometimes used in a very narrow sense to include only the truly ugly, deplorable, and insane, but it’s also sometimes used in a much broader sense to refer to the whole spectrum of independent and insurgent right sites, groups, and thinkers who’ve arisen in the last 20 years, including the uglies, but also including Porkbusters in 2006-8 (which ironically included Barack 0bama), the TEA Party movement of 2009-11, and this blog. Of course the left’s favorite tactic is to use it in the narrow sense but pretend to do so in the broad sense, so people get the impression that the entire broad sector shares the ugly traits for which the narrow sector is justly reviled.

          Remember they did the same thing to the Patriot movement (or as they liked to call it, the “militia movement”) in the ’90s, which truly did include some very ugly groups as well as quite a few bizarre and insane groups, but the bulk of which was made up of true patriots and normal Americans, color-blind and tolerant, and willing to stand up for what was right. I knew a few of those people and while some had some very strange ideas, none struck me as in any way bigoted or dangerous.

    This is a form of “Swatting” ala Academia. A tactic used and loved by the left. They are losing.


     
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    katiejane | October 29, 2017 at 11:32 am

    I admit that I didn’t used to be very interested in politics – I fact I probably was your generally uninformed middle of the roader who just strolled along sort of oblivious.

    But I am amazed at how everything have changed so much in such a short time. Apparently I went from the bland center to being a raging white supremacist, bigot, homophobe, hater. I honestly thought the white supremacist was the really scary fascist/white hooded guys but now everyone I know who voted for Trump is now one.

    When I went to college people just ignored the speakers they didn’t like – we didn’t prevent them from speaking to those who were interested. IMO higher education may well be our nation’s downfall.

    First of all, recent history has shown that the liberal left presents a far greater physical danger to people and property than does the far right [read: “white supremacists”]. Antifa and other leftists were responsible for the post election violence across the country, the campus violence surrounding conservative speakers and even the initial physical attacks at Charlottetown and Berkley. Many conservative gatherings and campus events have been cancelled or shut down solely due to threatened violence from the LEFT, not the Right. Also, no one is required to attend any of these speaker’s lectures. In the past it has been a standard practice for liberal professors to require that students in their classes attend liberal speakers for CREDIT. So, in this case there should be no emotional toll on students from a conservative speaker’s presentation.

    This is simply the rise of the thugocracy. Rule by thugs. And, the best way to deal with thugs is to ignore them and, if they attack you physically, bloody their noses. It has worked since the dawn of time and it will work just as well today.

    Professor Jacobson:

    We are at war with the left – literally: street violence and all. You, as a professor at a major university, are as great threat to the left as anyone in public life. You have taken on a role that has made you a target of the loons of the left, but has also elevated you to substantial heights in the eyes of most Americans who discover you. It’s as if you joined the the military after Pearl Harbor, or 9/11.

    Our nation is populated with millions upon millions of people who are either street thugs, ego-challenged useful idiots of the left, or people who living in the information bubble of the democrat media and have no idea what’s really going on – or all three. In this war of information, there are few, if any, college professors in the front lines who are on the side of sanity, as you are. (Given what just happened, I’d use it get yourself on Laura Ingraham’s and Sean Hannity’s shows.)

    There are many of us behind you, in ways you’d be surprised to know about. You must keep it up – it will pay-off in dividends for our country, as well as for you personally. (You deserve it.)

    It’s lonely at the top. But it’s lonelier in the middle, living in fascist nation.

    You are the Serena Williams of WOMEN’s tennis.


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