TO THE EDITOR:
I was recently disappointed by a letter to the editorial board titled “Inaction never leads to action” by first-year Richard Denton. He was writing in response to an editorial referencing the incident of Feb. 21, in which a number of “anti-fascist” protesters assembled on the steps of the South Building. Unfortunately, Denton’s letter is fallacious, inaccurate and dangerous.
His position seems to be that protesting fascism is never fascist. That’s because the protest, by its nature, is anti-fascist. This, of course, doesn’t make any sense. Just because you oppose something doesn’t magically prevent you from being defined by the thing you oppose. You’re still a murderer even if you hate murderers so much that you decide to go out and kill one.
Denton proclaims that “the idea that a protest against fascists is a boon to fascism is plainly fallacious and wrongheaded." This statement is only true if the protesters aren’t fascists themselves. Left-wing activists like the ones who showed up to the "counter protest" on Feb. 21 wish to silence the speech of their opposition, and are willing to commit acts of violence to achieve that end. This combination has historically characterized fascism.
A woman protesting a lecture by psychologist Jordan Peterson after being arrested. She was identified with a cohort of students banging on the windows of the lecture hall to drown out Peterson’s talk. The protest in Chapel Hill was led by the latest spokesman for leftist hysteria on campus, Dwayne Dixon, a teaching assistant professor in the Department of Asian Studies. Dixon was arrested last summer for two misdemeanors during his involvement at a protest in Durham for “having a weapon at a public assembly or rally and going armed to the terror of people” The Herald Sun . The Sun also quoted Major Paul Martin of the Durham County Police Department as saying that Dixon had brought multiple magazines of ammunition to the protest. Dixon is also a member of the Antifa branch, , which describes itself as an “anti-racist, anti-fascist community defense,” and .
I’m deeply troubled to see this new wave of proto-authoritarianism coming from intersectional ideologues and antifa wannabe-tough-guys. The new leftist position is that far-right speech presents a physical threat. They believe that intimidation and violence are necessary to shut down “harmful” speech. The implication is that speech is violence and a coalition of made up of dispossessed classes must counter it equally with actual, physical violence.
I am not defending horseshoe theory here. It simply makes no sense to be so afraid of how violent right-wingers are that you go and beat the shit out of them. It’s completely incoherent. I’m just shocked that no one seems to be pointing out how unbelievably stupid this whole situation is.
According to Denton, “the activists made their voice heard, and made it heard loudly." As a result, the right-wing group was not given a unchallenged platform from which to spew their doctrine of intolerance and violence.” The fact that protesting “fascism” with intimidation is totally ironic. It is made doubly so by the fact that there was no fascist rally in the first place.
Denton makes the situation sound like a group of valiant leftists victoriously stood up to the big, mean, white-supremacist, neo-nazis invading our sacred campus. In reality, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences was made aware of the intended rally by a man named Kevin Cormier (who doesn’t exist) representing a group called the Kool Kekistani Kids (which also doesn’t exist).
It is painfully apparent to anyone with some sense of objectivity that leftist calls to action were totally uncalled for in this situation. How a university like ours, a bastion of objective truth and a repository of human knowledge, could produce anyone who would seriously write “inaction never leads to action” is beyond me.
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