It’s not unusual to see liberal students try to shut down an event featuring a conservative speaker at a college campus. When a speaker got shouted down this week at the State University of New York, Binghamton, who was it?
Let’s see. Charles Murray’s pseudoscientific theories about race are controversial enough to get liberals out to yell and scream about stuff. Ann Coulter can do the same thing. Heck, even Ben Shapiro can get people into a lather for reasons unbeknownst to me. So can other mainstream conservatives like Candace Owens, Steven Crowder, Dennis Prager, Charlie Kirk … the beat goes on.
But nope. It was none of those people.
Instead, collegiate liberaldom at the New York school got itself worked up over Arthur Laffer. You know, the economist who posited the Laffer Curve. This is how they’re wasting their time.
Now, a state senator has canceled a visit to the college after clashes between liberal student groups led to Laffer’s speech being canceled Monday.
According to the Albany Times-Union, state Sen. Fred Akshar, a Republican, pulled out of a scheduled Tuesday appearance, lambasting the university’s inability to control students
“Laffer, who was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump in June, was prevented from speaking, according to a university statement Tuesday,” the Times-Union reported.
“The senator posted a video of the Monday event to his Facebook page, where a male student with a bullhorn is seen reading a statement in protest of the Trump administration. Police attempt to intervene, and other protesters gather around the student to protect him, as other attendees chant ‘free speech.'”
I’m disgusted by the chaos we’ve witnessed erupt across the @binghamtonu campus over the past several days. Our college campuses should be places where ideas and peaceful discourse can be shared freely by all individuals, no matter their differing politics or opinions. pic.twitter.com/75QENYMlRv
— Senator Fred Akshar (@fredakshar) November 19, 2019
So how did a guy who’s probably best known by most Americans as the subject of Ben Stein’s infamously boring economics lecture in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” end up creating so much sturm und drang at a university campus?
It’s not just because Binghamton is boring. Believe me, it is. I’ve visited it numerous times from my youth up until when I dated a girl who hailed from there up until a few years ago. Speaking of John Hughes movies, the most memorable thing I’ve ever done in Binghamton was see “Home Alone 2” on opening night. So, is that kind of boredom that got students there to chase Art Laffer from campus?
For better or worse, no. Laffer’s appearance came as students were clashing over conservative groups setting up tables to protest for gun rights the week before. Leaders with student government claimed that the tables hadn’t been approved through the proper channels and protesters physically removed them.
Well, clearly, the liberals were imbued with a respect for authority and, given the Laffer speech had gone through the proper channels, everything went off without a hitch — oh, of course it didn’t, and not without police intervention, either.
“Video footage of the incident also showed students berating the conservative student group as university police officers responded and tried to calm the situation. The Binghamton College Republicans said in a statement that they were ‘verbally harassed’ and ‘threatened and intimidated’ by protesters,” the Times-Union reported.
“I’m disgusted by the chaos we’ve witnessed erupt across the Binghamton University campus over the past several days,” Akshar said in a statement.
“Our college campuses should be places where ideas and peaceful discourse can be shared freely by all individuals, no matter their differing politics or opinions,” he said. “Like many campuses across the country, it appears that leftist mob mentality and brute force intimidation have been given preference over free speech and the right to peacefully assemble.
“It’s become clear to me that Binghamton University’s campus has become no longer suitable for civic engagement. I’ll be canceling my appearance.”
My full statement. pic.twitter.com/X4Gf3kJtJ2
— Senator Fred Akshar (@fredakshar) November 19, 2019
Unfortunately, that is a win for the violent liberal and progressive bridge trolls at Binghamton.
In his announcement, Akshar said he has invited the Binghamton University College Progressives, College Democrats and College Republicans to sit down with him and hash things out. He wants them “to meet with me personally to discuss the incidents over the past week and try to work on a path forward together where everyone can enjoy the right to express their ideas in a safe and productive environment on campus.”
Erm. It’s not the College Republicans or Young America’s Foundation who are violently chasing speakers off campus. With the exception of a very limited number of extremist far-right groups with short shelf-lives and oleaginous minor fascist acolytes at the helm (hi there, Nick Fuentes), the entirety of this dispiriting phenomenon originates with the campus leftists.
They chased Art Laffer off campus. Did you ever hear about the same thing happening to Paul Krugman? Thomas Piketty? Raj Chetty? This proposed meeting is a bit like a summit between a group of shoplifting kleptomaniacs and store owners with a moderator who begins by saying something like, “Now, fellas, I know we can find a middle ground …”
SUNY Binghamton officials, unsurprisingly, issued a statement that they deplored this act of political violence and, well, they tried and they failed and what do you want them to do? After all, how were they to know protesters wouldn’t be happy with being given space to protest in an adjacent hall?
“The university is incredibly disappointed with the events that happened, particularly given that demonstrators were provided an adjacent lecture hall to engage in a counter discussion,” they said on Facebook. “The protestors chose instead to infringe on the expressive activity of others and to prevent those who wished to hear the speaker from doing so.”
Yes, who would have possibly guessed this would have happened, aside from literally everybody?
The university’s job was to control protesters who clearly desired to impede free speech, not coddle them. It failed wildly.
However, I will say we have a new winner for the most interesting thing I can think about that’s ever happened in Binghamton. It’s significantly less uplifting than “Home Alone 2,” mind you, and featured adults who — despite being the nominal good guys this time — were somehow less adept at handling violent children.
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