On Stopping Bigots From Speaking
 
I'm not shy about being partisan; most of my cartoons are unambiguously from the left. But I don't agree with all lefties about everything. This is one of the relatively rare cartoons in which I'm criticizing the left. 

As I said in my previous cartoon on campus free speech issues, the panic about this issue is overstated. There are much more crucial free speech issues that get far less coverage. And the majority of student protests are completely non-violent.

But there have been a few incidents this year of protestors on campus (not all of whom were students) not just protesting right-wing speakers, but physically preventing them from speaking, by blocking the building, by breaking windows and setting fires, and by drowning out the speakers with ceaseless noise so they can't speak at all, and even with direct violence attacks. These are tactics I disagree with entirely. 

It's wrong morally - who can speak shouldn't be literally decided by mobs - and it's also terrible tactically. When people like Milo Yiannopoulos (I have seldom felt  schadenfreude  as strongly as when  Yiannopoulos' career crashed and burned) or Charles Murray are prevented from speaking by a violent leftist mob, that makes them appear sympathetic and mainstream. It only increases the number of people hearing their views.

(I should clarify, when I say it's wrong morally, I'm referring to preventing a speech through physical means - such as violence, physically blocking access, or unceasingly drowning them out. Stopping a speech through free speech means - such as a successful petition which persuades the college to disinvite the speaker - may or may not be good tactics, but I don't see any moral problem with it.)

Research  has shown  that violent protests tend to reduce popular support for movements and issues, both in polls and in how people vote. I understand that the protestors are angry, and frustrated, and have real and important grievances. But the tactic is a form of censorship, and it's self-defeating.

I'll put this cartoon online publicly on Thursday, but I'm putting it here today so my Patrons can see it first! But if you're supporting at a $5 or above level, please feel free to share it immediately.