The William F. Buckley Jr. Society at Yale University regularly has something called a “Disinvitation Dinner” where they invite some speaker who was disinvited from speaking at another campus. In this day and age, that’s kind of cool, considering so many speakers get their invitations yanked because they don’t think the right things.
One student made a suggestion for a speaker that’s… well… kind of bizarre.
A student at Yale University recently called upon the William F. Buckley Jr. Program to extend an invitation to Chelsea Manning for its upcoming “Disinvitation Dinner.”
Citing Manning’s recent disinvitation from a fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School, Yale senior Aaron Sibariumsuggests in a column for The Yale Daily News that inviting Manning would be an excellent way to show that “intellectual diversity is nonpartisan.”
“What better way to stand on principle—and above politics—than to invite Chelsea Manning to the dinner? Her presence would send a clear message that intellectual diversity is nonpartisan,” Sibarium writes, adding that it “would shatter Buckley’s reputation as a front for campus conservatism, elevating the program to an unassailable moral high ground.”
Doing so “would make Yale the free speech capital of the Ivy League,” he argues, noting that it would also “drive Harvard crazy.”
Now, I get the idea of driving your rivals crazy. As someone who is perpetually 12 years old when it comes to school rivalries, I even approve of the thinking.
I also approve of the idea of offering up the invitation to someone who doesn’t share your politics. That’s actually a nice show of principle.
However, it’s also important to remember that the issue with Manning isn’t political, it’s treason.
When he was still Bradley Manning he engaged in espionage against the United States of America by releasing classified materials to WikiLeaks, thus causing damage to the nation. He was then sentenced to a nice, long prison sentence where he decided to become a “she,” only to find that nice, long prison sentence commuted by President Obama — because screw the rule of law.
Obviously, it’s up to the group to decide what they want to do, and if they invite Manning it might make it easier for them to argue against disinviting speakers in the future. However, it also bears remembering the reason why people had issues with Manning’s fellowship in the first place. It wasn’t politics, it was that she was a traitorous piece of filth who didn’t even have the decency to stay in prison.