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Flunking Civics

Saturday, Oct. 07, 2006 1:53 AM

Protesters at Columbia University disrupted a speech by Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minuteman Project. Shouting and sign-waving devolved into a shoving match, and the auditorium was cleared. Gilchrist was shoved so hard that he fell backwards and broke his glasses. Another student was kicked in the head and bleeding.

Of course, student protesters insisted that the demonstration was supposed to be peaceful.

I don't necessarily agree with Gilchrist, except possibly on the point that our border security is a poorly-funded joke.

"We were aware that there was going to be a sign and we were going to occupy the stage," the campus paper reported one protester as saying. "I don't feel like we need to apologize or anything. It was fundamentally a part of free speech � the Minutemen are not a legitimate part of the debate on immigration."

Congratulations, whoever you are, on being an entirely self-absorbed ignorant snot. Waving a sign around in the auditorium is barely acceptable in my book. Storming the stage is grossly disrespectful, even if you hold nothing but contempt for Gilchrist and his ideas.

Furthermore, if you were involved in injuring Mr. Gilchrist or other students, you are guilty of assault, not exercising your right to free speech, which you most certainly do not understand and lack the maturity to exercise responsibly.

And who the fuck are you to say Gilchrist isn't a legitimate part of the debate on immigration? He's a United States citizen and he pays his taxes. He has the same rights to free speech as anyone else; independently patrolling our border is not a hate crime.

As for the rest of you brain surgeons, the next time some genius suggests storming the stage to interfere or disrupt a speech, direct some of that college education towards critical thinking and say no. Hand out leaflets at the auditorium entrance. Hold a peaceful demonstration on the front steps. Work with the University to present a differing view.

Or is that too difficult a concept for you to handle?

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