A few weeks back she, with a host of bodyguards, made an appearance at the university where I spent decades, speaking on grounds that are open for discussions of any type.
She is just one of many holding far right views who have insisted on speaking on college campuses.
I have no problem with this. I believe almost all views, as long as they are made peacefully, have a right to be stated. Otherwise how can we claim a university is a door to the examination of new ideas?
These presentations, including the one at my university, have been met with protests, vocally always and physically sometimes.
What happened at my school was typical. As a result of the conflict, Bennett received coverage in the news, both television and print and probably also a lot of social media. She made the most of it and her message was broadcast far and wide. She even called for a reduction of federal funds to the university.
Bennett’s message was loud and clear, terrible as it was.
The protesters’ message, which I believe was intended to be the complete opposite to Bennett’s, received zero attention. What was broadcast by the media was the shouting and shoving.
Score: Bennett 1. Protesters 0.
The scorecard has been the same for all the similar events of which I’m aware.
What, then, is a better way to protest these outrageous talks and showcase the lack of relevance of the radical ideas?
It’s simple. Ignore the speaker.
Don’t stand around listening.
If you come upon the event by accident, shrug and walk away. Don’t say a word.
Media video will show a speaker talking to empty air, indicating no one thought the message worth hearing.
They will show reasonable people refusing to give the speaker’s negative message any value. If the non-attendees happen to be interviewed, they can say the speaker had nothing worthwhile hearing.
It’s time we become smarter than the opposition, that we control what the media reports, that we create a different outcome. If we do…
Score: Protesters 1. Bennett 0.