The CSUF College Republicans club sold $35 tickets to an event that cost a lot more. Not much else needs to be said about Milo Yiannopoulos, as I am sure many of us have read about him before.
He was permanently banned from Twitter for targeted harassment of actress Leslie Jones. He claimed transgender people suffer from mental disorders (they don’t) and are dangerous to children (they’re not). He also defended sexual relationships between minors and adults, saying that as long as the minor has functioning sexual organs it is not pedophilia, and that such relationships “can be hugely positive experiences very often.”
These kinds of comments will surely invite protests from people of sound mind, and they have. His appearance at UC Berkeley cost $800,000 in security expenses and incalculable amounts of human dignity.
The things I have said thus far are no secret and are easily obtainable information. Yet the CSUF GOP chose to invite Yiannopoulos to the campus. Around this time last year, I met two members of the CSUF GOP on Titan Walk. Their views certainly differed from mine, and their support for President Donald Trump was ardent. Still, I would not have imagined that those same people who claim to be God-fearing and morally superior, would be the same people who invited and glorified a known sexual abuse apologist to Fullerton.
Yiannopoulos knows that he is a troll. He says things just to hurt people without giving thought to the kinds of actions he is encouraging. There is nothing to be gained academically from that. There is nothing to be gained from insulting the other party just to insult them. This event did not reflect the Republican values I was told they have. It is not as Republican as it is anti-Democrat and vindictive.
Sure, one may say I am a “snowflake” and that I am easily offended. Those who dare might even tease me to go and cry about it. What they do not realize is that these are things to cry about. Real people suffer real consequences from being harassed for their gender or ethnicity. The rhetoric that the CSUF GOP promoted that night scares members of marginalized communities. The threats that members of the LGBT community face, especially now for our transgender friends and relatives, are no laughing matter.
Condemnation from your own family and friends, an increased risk of self-harm and even medical ailments stemming from not being able to go the restroom – these are no laughing matter. Whether an immigrant child is taken from her parents tonight or tomorrow is no laughing matter. Whether your parents will be able to find a job, or maintain their current jobs that are at risk because of their immigration status, that is also not a laughing matter. Yiannopoulos was not the challenge we needed. He was not a challenge at all. Real political challenges come from rational arguments that actually try to achieve a real goal that is beneficial for society. Insults and bullying are not beneficial for society.
Of course, my fragile emotions are not the only things affected by this. Schools around the area closed early to avoid security risks. Most CSUF classes were also cancelled by their professors. Campus services such as the Children’s Center, Student Recreation Center and the Titan Student Union were also forced to shut down.
The effects of this are more than just closed doors. These are education hours lost, wasted tuition fees, parents having to leave work early or arrange for someone to take care of their children, wages lost and business lost. Even the library was shut down in the middle of the night. Titans who just wanted to study, prepare for midterms, work on projects, or meet with friends and classmates had to evacuate the library or face possible arrest.
Much of the outrage has been directed at Yiannopoulos’ provocative attitude. However, he did not simply force his way in the school – he was invited. The CSUF College Republicans club freeloaded on taxes, student fees and businesses, just so they could force us to finance their political fetish.
In my early years at CSUF, a certain organization held a Taco Tuesday party which was heavily punished for a much smaller offense. Local schools, businesses and important services were prompted to shut down as a security precaution, yet the event was not immediately stopped and the organization was not penalized. An occasion far more destructive than the Taco Tuesday party should not be allowed to just pass by the Fullerton community without condemning its architects as well.
CSUF undergraduate, B.A. psychology 2017