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Date: 2024-07-15 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00023510
US POLITICS
JANUARY 6TH

Penn State leaders should resign after approving Proud Boys-hosting event that led to violence


A protester, who claims to be a member of the Proud Boys, confronts police officers as supporters of US President Donald Trump protest outside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. - Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP)

Original article: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/10/25/2131204/-Penn-State-cancels-event-hosting-violent-seditionists-after-the-predictable-violence-happens
Peter Burgess COMMENTARY
The writer make a number of observations about the New York Times (NYT) in this piece. I am not unhappy to see them but I wonder how valid the criticisms are. I like the NYT and from time to time I find that they seem to be standing up for things that I don't like ... which is what they are meant to do in order to tbe legitimate mainstream media. DailyKos does not have reputation to preserve
Peter Burgess
Penn State leaders should resign after approving Proud Boys-hosting event that led to violence

Written by Hunter ... Daily Kos Staff

Tuesday October 25, 2022 · 3:23 PM EDT

The Proud Boys took a central role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, breaching barricades and attacking officers so that the crowd could search for and capture fleeing members of Congress.

Pennsylvania State University leaders canceled an on-campus event to host the founder of the violent 'Proud Boys' street-fighting gang, but not before the completely predictable on-campus violence happened. Hopefully, any injured students will be suing their university for a decent chunk of change, as well as the event's mega-troll organizer, because the entire purpose of the so-called Proud Boys is to instigate violence for the purposes of self-gratification, and everybody except, apparently, Penn State leaders and The New York Times are well familiar with their methods.

We'll turn to The New York Times for their own article on that violence, and it won't take more than a quick skim to notice what's missing from the report. It is the year 2022, and October of that year at that, and yet nobody at The New York Times appears to know that the Proud Boys exists to engage in fascist violence. It is glanced over.

Here is the only paragraph that refers to the group's long history of intimidation and violence:
'In January 2021, the Proud Boys were at the center of the violent attack on the United States Capitol. Several dozen of its members have been indicted in connection with the assault.'
Here is the very next paragraph: 'Protests against conservative and right-wing speakers on university campuses in the United States have focused national attention in recent years on the question of whether campuses are shutting out politically unpopular points of view.' Comments

This is a masterpiece of editing. One would not think it possible to both-sides a bloody assault intended to topple the United States government by force with concerns that college campuses are being unfair to the 'politically unpopular'—but there it is. On one side, we have a group of violent seditionists who engaged in an attack on the seat of government. On the other, some say college students these days are not properly respectful of violent seditionist traitors who attacked law enforcement in an attempt to usher in white nationalist autocracy.

Who is to say who is in the right here? Certainly not The New York Times, which enforces a strict in-house policy of not taking sides on the potential overthrow of democratic government.

Uuuuuuuuugh. Okay, let's go through the facts so that we can properly examine just how utterly asinine this whole episode was—and how the Times report managed to become the most exquisite possible demonstration of Why We're All Going To Die.

The short version is that there's a small archconservative group called 'Uncensored America' that exists to book 'controversial' figures into college campus events. Or, in its words, to 'fight censorship and cancel culture.' They boast 'honest and fun' conversations with figures like the white nationalist-backing Milo Yiannopoulos and ... eh, that's about it. They may have looked to score a publicity coup by booking fascist Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnis for a supposed 'comedy' event.

Penn State leaders, no doubt recognizing that this whole thing was, from the start, an attempt for this group of petty far-right crap factories to get 'canceled' so they could complain about it, begrudgingly agreed to it. This led, predictably, to campus demonstrations by students who did not want their university to host, and say it with me now:

The unapologetic leader of a pro-violence, pro-fascist militia that committed countless acts of violence on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to capture or kill members of Congress who were to certify Donald Trump's November election loss.

That's what this is about. This is not about whether one of society's numerous self-promoting dapper white supremacists would be able to properly share some utterly grotesque views for the purposes of 'free speech.' This was not an event in which a future William F. Buckley was to debate the next Gore Vidal, and oh my goodness, how could we ever deprive our student body of that. Gavin McInnis heads a group now known primarily, if not exclusively, for attacking the seat of U.S. democracy in an attempt to erase an American election. He is a violent seditionist. He allied himself with a coup attempt. He leads one of the American groups that acted most aggressively and violently to overthrow our elected government.

There is nobody with any common sense anywhere in the general vicinity of Penn State who wants the campus to host the plotters of violent sedition under the banner of supposed free speech, and attempts to kill U.S. Capitol Police officers during a hunt for Trump's named political opponents seem transparently to not be the stuff of a supposed 'comedy' routine. So, ya know, fuck off with that. And that is where it should have begun and ended, if Penn State leadership could have gathered enough backbone to assert that, no, the school was not going to host actual seditionists on its goddamn campus, and that wasn't going to change even if you promised the traitors were going to wear funny hats and tell sidesplittingly funny jokes.

This is called having standards, and not hosting those that promote and engage in acts of mass violence is called The Bare Fucking Minimum.

Conservative campaigns against supposed 'cancel culture' unanimously rely on a supposition that everyone else is extremely, gobsmackingly stupid. How dare you young university students object to a proper debate about (checks notes) the advantages of politically-premised murder? Really? Would anyone who was not a hack's hack pipe up with that one? There was no danger of canceling here.

Instead, what happened is that students themselves protested against the appearance of a street-fighting seditionist thug, which is the decent thing to do. The Proud Boys then did exactly what the Proud Boys do as a standard tactic in their events: They pushed their way into the demonstrating crowd and:

So what we have here, then, is the most rote of Proud Boys' street tactics. It's exactly how the violence starts in every one of their 'demonstrations.' They were dressed for a fight. They went into the crowd on purpose, and in a group, armed with multiple cans of presumed bear or pepper spray, and proceeded to goad the surrounding crowd or produce a sufficient amount of crowded jostling. Then, gosh, whatever might happen next.

Campus police soon advised the event be canceled, thus giving Penn State executives the opportunity to do the thing they should have done in the first place while being able to pin the blame on everybody else.

Well, that's what it means to be a college student in America. Campus leaders are going to allow a group of far-right violent insurrectionists to stage an opportunity for new violence on their campus, heavily armed campus police are going to side with the people who they let walk through a crowd of students carrying visible weapons, and if you want to object to one of the two most prominent violent pro-sedition groups in the country having a little tea club at your place of learning and residence, then the university will suggest that maybe it's your fault it all happened, not theirs.

Oh, and you'll pay a steep tuition for this experience, of course. The kind of gutless leadership that would abide hosting actual violent seditionists on campus doesn't come cheap!

This event was, from the beginning, a setup for violence. How do we know this? Because this is the tactic used in Proud Boys and other 'Patriot'-themed far-right demonstrations nationwide, and for The New York Times and/or campus administrators to not know this is an act of negligence in both cases.

Instigating violence on college campuses under the banner of 'speech' has been a commonplace tactic by the Proud Boys and affiliated groups for a half-decade, with previous 'Uncensored America' guest Milo Yiannopoulos as provocateur-in-chief. Now a group that previously partnered with the most notorious producer of on-campus violence is organizing a similar appearance by the leader of the most notorious pro-violence group in the nation, one with multiple members indicted for seditious conspiracy after the Jan. 6 attacks and one which is widely known for its modus operandi of traveling to liberal college towns and attacking those that live there, and administrators at Penn State allowed such an event to be scheduled?

Everyone who was involved with that decision should be immediately fired. This isn't a question of free speech. This is a matter of simple student safety. Hosting a group known for instigating campus violence, as sponsored by another group that previously backed a neo-Nazi-allied provocateur with a history of also provoking on-campus violence, is negligent beyond imagination.

This was organized as an opportunity for violence from the very beginning, and a bunch of cowardly saps who collect very big salaries allowed it to go forward because they didn't want the far-right to accuse them of being prejudiced against the perpetrators of violent sedition.

Pound sand with that, really. Resignations should be happening as we speak.

And as for The New York Times and its own incompetent inability to distinguish between free speech and those that back the actual overthrow of our country, I can't even begin to fathom why even the most famous of violent seditionist groups needs to be balanced against the ostensible rudeness of college students who oppose such treason.

This is a dangerous and known ultraviolent gang of fascist street thugs. There is no both-sides to a group that exists to engage in violence. There's no both-sides to an attempted fascist overthrow. You can be biased against violent sedition, news media, and college campuses. Only violent seditionists will fault you for that one.

MAGA conspiracy theorists want to seize our elections and rig them. Fight back by chipping in $1 each to Democrats running in the most competitive contests for secretary of state.

Trump and his followers proved on Jan. 6 how dangerously close they came to overturning our democracy. Help cancel Republican voter suppression with the power of your pen by clicking here and signing up to volunteer with Vote Forward, writing personalized letters to targeted voters urging them to exercise their right to vote this year.

RELATED STORIES:
  • Campbell’s ‘We Are Proud Boys’ offers a definitive look at the neofascist warriors against democracy
  • Proud Boys are realizing their long-held dream of becoming Republicans’ paramilitary wing
  • Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, 4 lieutenants face seditious conspiracy charges related to Jan. 6 insurrection
  • Proud Boy pleads guilty to seditious conspiracy
  • The New York Times continues its new role as conduit for GOP disinformation and threats


See:
  • Street brawlers as strategy: Far-right invasions of liberal urban areas prove adaptable, successful
  • Antifascist protester shot by Trump supporter amid mass counterprotest on UW campus, but Yiannopoulos spins a tale of martyrdom to his audience at end of speaking tour
  • Saturday rally featuring national alt-right and 'Patriot' movement leaders draws a huge crowd of protesters in the liberal college town, and melees and injuries ensue
  • Portland far-right rally once again quickly turns violent as march becomes a riot




The text being discussed is available at
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/10/25/2131204/-Penn-State-cancels-event-hosting-violent-seditionists-after-the-predictable-violence-happens
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