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Potential disruption against Ann Coulter warranted


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Anisa Chaudhry

“Women should not have the right to vote. But they can they still write books!”

Far-right speaker Ann Coulter, originally scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley.

That is a statement made by Ann Coulter, who was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley before cancelling due to concern of safety from the understandable student outrage in reaction to her event. While her opinions are blunt and crude, she represents the ideologies of young nihilist, alt-right Republicans of the campus. The campus must host speakers like her to respect the First Amendment and the school’s status as a public institution.

Previous guest speaker at UC Berkeley and right-wing commentator, Milo Yiannopoulos, faced massive protests amplified by radical groups, resulting in the school cancelling the event out of public safety concerns.

While it is important for the government to allow speakers with discriminatory opinions the opportunity to use their First Amendment right, students should be able to oppose those opinions through disruptive or “violent” protests.

Unlike other countries, the United States has few laws against hate speech, so marginalized groups are verbally attacked in person and in the media, by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and speakers such as Coulter and Yiannopoulos.

A tweet by alt-right speaker and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos whose UC Berkeley appearance caused large protests.

The volume of resistance from the people causes heads to turn and media outlets to report. When people oppressed by the very institutions meant to protect them, radical resistance is what sparks visibility, thus conversation. The outrage in response to Coulter’s speaking should not be considered “violent” because resisting against hateful ideologies and rhetoric does not deem a group dangerous, especially when the worst of the supposed violence is the burning of private property. Historically, some of our greatest movements in civil rights came from resisting against what was considered to be the ethical norm, often through any means necessary.

Public disruption may be inconvenient to outsiders, but it signals that people will not stand in support of racist and xenophobic agenda. The thundering sounds of the public raising their voices are supposed to make you feel uncomfortable. Sometimes the only way to get people to listen is to make some noise.

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