There is a difference between protesting speech and suppressing speech. If speakers are getting cancelled because of fear for their safety, you are suppressing speech.
There is a difference between protesting speech and rioting. If speakers are getting physically injured, you are rioting.
There is a difference between activism (of which I am already not a fan) and criminal activity. The students at Berkeley and now at Middlebury engaged in the latter. They should be in jail—all of them. And expelled from school.
I knew these kinds of activists once in my grad school years. I watched them injure people. Commit crimes. Claim to hold the “moral high ground” while doing it, because “by any means necessary” was seen to be a moral position justified by “just how bad” things were/are.
It is to my regret—and likely will be for the rest of my life—that I lacked the moral fortitude to involve law enforcement against them.
There was a time when I drew a line between that sort of “thuggery” and activism.
I often cannot see where to draw this line any longer in our society. Something has broken.
— § —
It gives me no pleasure to say that while Trump would not have been my choice, with every passing day I come to better understand those that wanted him. A corrective was and is needed. Not really sure that he is or will be it.
But what I see—sucks.
Arrest those “students”—anyone that moves beyond protesting (which is grand, traditional, and often noble) and into suppression and rioting. Discourse, yes. Violence? Jail.