Black Lives Matter (BLM) of Greater New York, Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW) Demands, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Columbia chapter are teaming up to squash two College Republicans events this month at Columbia University in an attempt to shut up voices and shut down views they deem “hateful and racist.”
The groups will lead separate protests today on an immigration policy speech titled, “The fall of Europe – mass immigration,” by Tommy Robinson, founder of the far-right “English Defence (sic) League” and a speaking engagement later this month with Mike Cernovich, who recently teamed up with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Robinson is a well-known political figure in Europe and fervent proponent in the incompatibility of Islamic and Western values. He is scheduled to begin the lecture at 8 p.m. tonight through Skype.
The three groups disagree with his views and say his speech should not be allowed on campus. SPLC further states in a Facebook post Robinson’s rhetoric is “hateful and divisive” and does “not believe [it] is consistent with the values of Columbia University and our SPLC On-Campus Chapter.” Meanwhile, BLM of Greater N.Y. categorizes him as a “white supremacist” on its Facebook page.
CSSW Demands is comprised of “students of color and their allies” who demand change as a result of “triggers, systemic oppression and trauma.” They have a list of 27 “demands” for Columbia University including the earth, the sky and the moon.
“[We] will be marching and protesting in response to this hateful and divisive rhetoric which we feel does not align with the values of the university and has no place on the Columbia campus,” the protest page declares. “Our goal is to not only protest the event on Tuesday, but also to pressure the university into cancelling the Cernovich event, as well as any future events involving these kinds of hateful and racist views.”
As far as Columbia University College Republicans President Aristotle Boosalis is concerned, outside forces are trying to dictate the campus environment and culture.
“A lot of the protesters aren’t even students,” Boosalis told Campus Reform. “It’s not led by students. If you look at the groups that are organizing these, many are not student groups. It’s their right to protest, and it’s fine that they’re protesting, but it’s led by outside organizations. It’s a representation of outside forces trying to dictate campus culture.”
Cernovich is slated to deliver his speech October 30 on the impact of new media on the 2016 election.
SPLC at Columbia is pushing against the university to cancel Cernovich’s presentation and accuses him of making “openly racist and hateful statements” and state he has “openly used social media to vilify women and boast about sexual assaults, specifically date rape.”
“While we value free speech,” SPLC contends on its Facebook post, “as well as the important role that free speech plays on college campuses, we believe we have a right and even a duty as human beings to stand up and push back on these messages of hate and division and to let people know this is not what we stand for and not what everyone at Columbia University stands for. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution also grants us the right to have our voices heard. We also believe that there is a difference between an opposing opinion and hate, as well as a difference between engaging in dialogue that will advance a conversation, as opposed to dialogue that encourages division and violence.”