Tolerance: Jeff Sessions Speech at College Chapel Hit by Sick Attack from Leftists

Karl Popper, the Austrian-British political philosopher, is probably most remembered for his quote regarding the paradox of tolerance: “In order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance,” he wrote.
This is an interesting concept, albeit a dangerous one when it’s placed upon the slippery slope. When we define down intolerance, whoever disagrees with one’s worldview can be seen as a legitimate target of strong-arm tactics.
An object lesson of this process could be glimpsed in this week’s example of the left’s new definition of “tolerance,” in which former Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘ speech in a chapel at Massachusetts’ Amherst College on Wednesday was interrupted with a stink bomb attack and a walkout.

Students protest Jeff Sessions’ talk by walking out of Johnson Chapel and leaving nearly half the chapel empty. Video courtesy of Alex Liu ’19
According to The Amherst Student, Amherst College Republicans invited Sessions; the Young America’s Foundation.sponsored the speech.
The piece describes how Sessions’ visit “loomed over campus,” as if being confronted with contradictory thought or anything which had been in contact with the Trump administration was like being confronted with a virulent antigen.
Well, thank heavens, the immune system of Amherst College produced a veritable cytokine storm of a reaction.

“The event kicked off to a smelly start. An unknown person deployed a stink bomb as audience members were still trickling in and sitting down,” the piece states.
“Then, five minutes into Sessions’ talk, nearly 70 students stood up and exited in a coordinated walkout. As students filed out of Johnson Chapel, their cheers and shouts were marked with exhilaration. One student waved a rainbow pride flag.”
Direct Action Coordinating Committee, which organized a party on the quad after the walkout, coordinated the event.
“No justice, no peace! No racist police!” one chant went. Another went with the ubiquitous Coolio snowclone: “Ain’t no power like the power of the people because the power of the people don’t stop!”
What this had to do with Sessions is anyone’s guess. The utopian piffle that passed as self-justification from the protesters was similarly unhelpful in this regard.
“I attended the walkout because I wanted to join in a collective with my fellow students and take a stance, and I also believe in the walkout because in the DACC [planning] meetings, an emphasis was put on — basically, we’re fighting for the world we want, and Jeff Sessions stands for one world, one very much in the past … and another world is possible,” student Samantha Schriger said. “The goal of the walkout was to basically leave Jeff Sessions’ world and enter a different world where we can engage in activism in the valley.”
Of course, one could have merely stayed in “the valley” and let Sessions speak without interruption, but whatever.
Rather hilariously, student Andrew Rosevear described the walkout as “our contribution to the conversation.” Which is to say, disrupting it. Nice contribution.
“If the [Amherst College Republicans] and Sessions want a ‘better’ contribution, they can start by entering the conversation honestly and earnestly, something Jeff Sessions made clear from the moment he stepped on stage that he was not interested in,” Rosevear said.
If cognitive dissonance could create electrical power, just hook up wires to Mr. Rosevear and Amherst could be a zero-emissions campus.
Sadly, the scene at Amherst was actually a mild reception for a conservative speaker at an institution of higher education. Let’s consider what happened to Daily Wire podcaster Michael Knowles at the University of Missouri-Kansas City earlier this month.
Knowles’ speech, titled “Men are Not Women,” was repeatedly disrupted by students hollering over him; the situation reached its denouement when a protester squirted him with an unknown liquid and was tackled by police.
Instead of condemning what happened, UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal condemned Knowles and praised the students for responding “in the best way,” going only as far as to imply that maybe the squirt gun fellow had “crossed the line.”
“A student group brought a speaker to campus — a speaker whose professed opinions do not align with our commitment to diversity and inclusion and our goal of providing a welcoming environment to all people, particularly to our LGBT community,” Agrawal wrote in a statement.
“Upon learning of this speaker’s visit, members of our UMKC community responded in the best way — by organizing and conducting a counter-event across campus Thursday afternoon focused on positive messages about diversity and inclusion,” he wrote. “And even during the speech, some peaceful protesters stood and expressed disagreement with the speaker’s views.”
“An individual who has been identified as a UMKC student attacked the speaker and others by spraying what was then an unknown substance, but police had no choice but to react as if the substance was an immediate danger,” he said. “Tests later revealed the substance to be lavender oil and some other non-toxic household liquids. The individual was arrested and has been charged with assault and other violations. A campus disciplinary investigation is under way.”
So, here’s your takeaway: Impeding the speech of an invited speaker is reacting “in the best way.” Squirting a speaker with household liquids and lavender oil, maybe not so much. And even then, the Kansas City Star wondered if he was asking for it: “Protester at right-wing UMKC event arrested, but was speaker hoping for a disruption?” the headline read.
If I were to catalogue every instance of campus-based “tolerance” toward conservative speakers such as these two, I’d essentially be writing a book proposal, so suffice it to say that this sort of hospitality isn’t unusual. My immediate question when examining would be to ask what happens when the household liquid isn’t non-toxic or the disruptive device isn’t as harmless as a stink bomb.
However, there’s a bigger question at work here: Who’s really responsible for the intolerance here?
I don’t pretend that Jeff Sessions or Michael Knowles isn’t controversial. In a hyper-charged, hyper-partisan political environment, most politicians and pundits are. It’s also no secret that conservatives of any stripe will be particularly controversial on our nation’s campuses.
There’s a difference between protesting a speech by a controversial individual, however, and not letting that speech be heard. Once you’re a party to the latter, you’ve become intolerant.
And it isn’t just students who are party to this; the C. Mauli Agrawals and Melissa Clicks of academia are proof that this brand of intolerance runs many of our nation’s colleges and universities.
Intolerance cannot be rebranded as intolerance of intolerance. The word tolerance cannot be redefined by cultural goalpost-dragging.
As the bromide goes, it is what it is. It’s time that we started showing intolerance for this new paradoxical “tolerance.”
Tolerance: Jeff Sessions Speech at College Chapel Hit by Sick Attack from Leftists Tolerance: Jeff Sessions Speech at College Chapel Hit by Sick Attack from Leftists Reviewed by Your Destination on April 27, 2019 Rating: 5

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