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The Ignorance of Radicalized Minds?

Dec. 27, 2016
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The Dangerous Faggot Tour came to town recently. Begun some months ago, it’s making its way to university campuses around the country. The touring “faggot” in question happens to be a gay Anglo-Greek Neo-Nazi and Breitbart journalist. Needless to say, his UW-Milwaukee appearance caused something of a stir. The reaction to it, of students and staff, still reverberates on social media and national news.

The circumstances surrounding his visit are suspect. Although initially invited by a student group, that invitation was withdrawn. Another non-student group then sponsored the appearance. It was, however, apparent his presence would be controversial. There was opposition. However, based on a premise of free speech, University Chancellor Mark Mone allowed it to proceed. He may have also been concerned about conservative pushback had he not. After all, as a publically funded institution, a ban might have raised conservative lawmakers’ ire and jeopardized funding or, perhaps, his salary.

During the appearance, a transgender student was verbally attacked by name. The chancellor wrote a sternly worded email stating his “disappointment.” The response was, to use a good German word, läpp’sch (a colloquialism referring to something uselessly hanging there). In an emotional, expletive-laden reply, the student responded in kind and left the university. But the damage was done.

Like any terrorist, our faggot went for the soft target of mushy millennial minds knowing he could get away with it. Like a stand-up comedian, he would get a laugh at the expense of his vulnerable victims. And, like most of the hate crimes of late, verbal or otherwise, witnesses stood by and, aside from laughing, did nothing.

Radicalizing minds relies on ignorance. Sadly, many young people are open to hatred cloaked as smart amusement. Here in Wisconsin, and in Milwaukee in particular, there are already issues of racism and homophobia to contend with. Our speaker’s method employs the successful divide-and-conquer strategy of his idol, the president-elect, our governor, Ann Coulter and others of their ilk. The idea is to make crudeness the standard of discourse. That appeals to the lowest common denominator. But, as one social media comment read, it is simply “toxic filth.” In other words, it’s hate speech.

And there’s the rub. The UW system is beholden to politicians’ willingness to fund it. Pulling the plug on vicious hate speech could mean a quid pro quo when legitimate programs deemed to be “liberal” are questioned by Madison lawmakers (never mind that one is hate and the other academic). In fact, two Republican legislators have recently attempted to prevent a UW-Madison course on racism from being taught.

Universities are supposed to be centers of knowledge and above the fray. They should be responsible enough to demand students are committed to reject hate out of simple respect for the dignity of man and the higher values of higher learning. Above all, any chancellor or dean should and must create the environment that demands standards and values and hold himself and his charges to them.

Anyway, it’s interesting to note parallels to times past. The bearish Ernst Röhm, leader of Adolf Hitler’s stormtroopers, was also gay. In June of 1934, after the seizure of power, having served his purpose, he was liquidated by order of Hitler.


Would white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan pose the same threat they do now if a mainstream Republican were president instead of Donald Trump?

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