Quote of the Day:
As for Ms. Sarsour, she said: “In 30 years from now you’ll be asking, ‘Where were you during this fascist administration?’ ” I silently answered: Sitting in a room, listening to you exercise your free speech without restriction.
–Kassy Dillon, president of the Mount Holyoke College Republicans, reporting on a visit to her campus from leaders of the Women's March
Ms. Dillon reports this morning on an event sponsored by the Women of Color Trailblazers Leadership Conference, which brought Women's March leaders Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour to the Mount Holyoke campus.
All three Women's March leaders have what an intrepid New York Times writer called "chilling" ideas (Sarsour supports sharia law and two of these women are on record admiring Assata Shakur, the former convicted cop killer Joanne Chesimard, now living in Cuba).
I'm glad that the Women's March leaders can freely speak on the Holyoke campus, though I can't shake a suspicion that Ms. Sarsour is deficient in irony not to see that, if you are actually living in a fascist regime, you don't get to criticize it.
Their event at Holyoke was carefully scripted so that they would not face hard questions. Photos and recordings were banned (thus the wider college audience would not know that attendance was sparse).
But Dillon–quite appropriately–welcomed the Women's March leaders to campus:
I did not care for the choice of speakers. Ms. Sarsour once told Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a survivor of female genital mutilation, that she doesn’t “deserve” to be a woman. In March Ms. Mallory wrote of the Nation of Islam that she has “always held them close to my heart”—this after its leader, Louis Farrakhan, doubled down on his longstanding anti-Semitic views in a rant about “Satanic Jews.”
Nevertheless, I welcomed the event because I believe in free speech. Instead of calling for these divisive speakers to be disinvited, as leftist students often do, my campus group planned a Conservative Women Summit, held this Wednesday, which featured five speakers offering different perspectives.
I have worked to promote free speech throughout my four years in college. I believe in civility and real discussion, so I would never disrupt an event. Instead, I prefer to ask tough questions. This event only allowed scripted ones, because the Women’s March founders knew they couldn’t defend their ugly and radical ideas.
This of course is the right attitude–let's exercise our right to free speech to debate these issues.