I loved this story over at Salon. It’s by a faculty member named Kate Geiselman about Peter LaBarbera’s recent visit to her campus, Sinclair Community College in Dayton Ohio. When LaBarbera arrived there were about 100 people waiting to hear him speak. Not long after he started, many of the students walked out, leaving 12 students in the audience. And what happened before LaBarbera arrived is even better than the walk-out.
From Kate Geiselman:
It has been a source of both professional and personal pain to see the institution I am proud of and students I care about hijacked by this tiny minority. There is widespread concern about this club at all levels of the college. Over the years, many groups and individuals have tried to engage the TVC and LaBarbera’s ilk in the “dialogue” they profess to seek, but there are big organizations behind these speakers. They have deep pockets and lots of lawyers, and they are looking for a fight. As an institution, we have a duty to protect free speech, hateful or not.
But we don’t have to listen to it.
Yes, yes, yes! Bigots and jerks and misogynists and the KKK and flat earthers and anti-vaxxers and anti-choicers are free to speak their piece, but they are not entitled to an audience (or major media news coverage). We owe them nothing. We can choose where to focus our attention. At Sinclair Community College they chose to focus on love, equality and cookies, rather than on LaBarbera’s ranting.
You can read the entire article here at Salon.com