As some readers may know, controversial self-proclaimed provocateur, Milo Yiannopoulos, is set to speak at the Titan Student Union Pavilions sometime this fall.
While Yiannopoulos has blazed a trail of fire and fury in the past with the Berkeley protests, it seems the right-wing celebrity is a veritable hot potato with all of his future appearances being vehemently opposed.
Instead of dismissing someone because their speech serves as kindling to political fire, once again, organizations and opponents need to grow up.
Yes, his rhetoric is hateful and he doesn’t know how to tread a line of decency and morality, but he should not be shunned from every public event that will have him.
If there’s a way to defeat the Yiannopouloses of the world, it’s letting them crash and burn on their own accord, as can be seen from the colossal mess his pedophilia comments brought him.
Pushing them away is precisely what they want, it’s fuel to their fire. Instead of snuffing out opposing forces, students should see this as a learning opportunity.
Domestically, Students for Quality Education has set up a petition on change.org calling on President Mildred Garcia and company to prevent Yiannopoulos a stage at CSUF.
As of Sept. 4, 4,502 people signed the petition online and while change.org seems like it’s just a way to compile a list of lazy activists, this specific grievance points to a narrow-mindedness that is unfortunately common today.
Moments like these are supposed to be educational if those instances are being dismissed to appease, there is no room for growth. The importance of hearing both sides of an argument is a sentiment that this petition and those fighting for it are sorely ignorant to.
It’s easy to be mad, to kick a trash can in the street, to revolt. But what’s challenging is finding a way to win. The reason Yiannopoulos has gotten so much traction in his rhetoric is because he uses his opponents arguments against them.
A common tactic in his argumentation is questioning his opponents on their beliefs. This devilish- socratic method lets him find weaknesses in logic and rationality because most people’s political rationale is dangerously emotional.
It’s important for those trying to suppress people like Yiannopoulos to be solid in their arguments, meaning that simply calling someone a figurehead for white-supremacy and the alt-right might not be enough to prevent them from attending.
While it’s totally justifiable to protect students from unnecessary bigotry and hate speech, it’s petitions and narratives like these that will embolden a new type of activist, one that sits behind a computer to start a revolution.
The Daily Titan facebook page has been host to a slew of comments from outraged users. Looking at these comments it’s clear how Yiannopoulos is getting what he wants.
A specific comment referencing Yinnapoulos’ reprehensible remarks toward pedophelia in a podcast from 2015 reads, “Why would anybody let that pedophile on that campus?”
Thankfully, someone questioned this commenter and brought out the truth that Yiannopoulos is, in fact, not a pedophile. Yes, he made some extremely distasteful comments. However, using a lie as a point to denounce someone weakens the foundation of anyone making an argument.
Now it’s true that Yiannopoulos’ presence brings a sort of chaotic, hostile energy that calls for expensive security.
Instead of trying to protect students of CSUF from Yiannopoulos’ words, try to realize that this is college, a place to hear voices you wouldn’t get the opportunity to otherwise.
While it might incite some brash behavior, it’s important that as students we learn to deal with these types of occasions and challenges with a mature outlook. Otherwise, we have learned nothing.