News & Politics

Professor Claims 'Heckler's Veto' Helps Stop White Supremacy

Ben Shapiro addresses the student group Young Americans for Freedom at the University of Utah's Social and Behavioral Sciences Lecture Hall, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, Pool)

Like many Leftists, a professor at USC does not want student protesters who shout down conservative speakers to be punished. However, rather than falsely claiming the First Amendment protects such antics, he bases his opinion on a very different argument.

He claims that such rules actually promote white supremacy. Seriously.

From Campus Reform:

A University of Southern California professor recently argued that punishing protesters who disrupt conservative speakers can reinforce “white supremacy.”

Charles H.F. Davis, a professor of education at USC, argued in an essay for Inside Higher Ed that punishing protesters contributes to white supremacy because it can unfairly “suppress and criminalize” students, especially in light of protesters’ valiant goals.

For example, Davis argues against punishing students who shouted down a recent Ben Shapiro talk at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, since students were fighting against “racist rhetoric advanced by Shapiro.”

In an interview with Campus Reform, Davis explained that “punishing protesters unfairly criminalizes students,” and that colleges who do so “run the risk of creating an unsafe and threatening environment.”

Davis defines protesters as those who “use disruptive tactics to shut down hate speech as well as those holding signs, protesting outside of speaker venues, and engaged in other forms of resistance against white supremacy.”

Students who protest “are disproportionately students of color and students representing other marginalized groups,” Davis noted. “Issuing a punishment, especially in these cases, is a clear form of criminalization by deeming protest unacceptable,” he added.

Davis also claimed that colleges have inflamed the situation by allowing “white supremacy on-campus.”

So much stupid from a college professor.

First, no one is talking about criminalizing peaceful protest. No serious person wants to block those standing outside a venue with placards and chanting, or whatever it is protesters do when they protest. That’s their free speech right.

But when they push into the hall where a speech is being given to silence someone they don’t like, they’ve crossed the line.

Rules protecting civility do not target any specific race. They apply to everyone. That means conservative students can’t shout down this professor, for example. And they don’t, because conservatism believes in the rule of law based on individual rights.

Rules against the “heckler’s veto” don’t empower white supremacy, they empower everyone.