Home Comment Why students of colour and allies stood against racism and fascism

Why students of colour and allies stood against racism and fascism

Yara Hawari gives her account and viewpoint on the recent protest of Dr. Brook’s lecture that a group of students of colour and their allies decided to disrupt.

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n Monday October 24th, The Undergraduate Live Journal hosted a lecture by Dr. Yaron Brook titled ‘Free Speech and the battle for Western Culture’. Dr. Brook has been invited to Exeter University multiple times, including to speak about his book ‘Equal is Unfair’.

Dr. Brook is an objectivist whose beliefs about the superiority of Western Civilisation have led to some incredibly violent statements about people of colour and more specifically about Muslims and Palestinians. Dr. Brook’s rhetoric employs the same language that has been used for centuries by Europeans to absolve themselves of the obliteration of indigenous cultures. With this rhetoric, he attempts to conceal systems of oppression with claims of “western higher morality”.

on Exeter University Campus there is serious opposition to Dr. Brook’s fascist views and we will not let them go unchallenged.

In this context of Dr. Brook’s violent remarks and racist beliefs, a group of students of colour and their allies, including Palestinians, Kurds, Algerians and Jordanians, decided to disrupt Monday’s lecture. Disruption as a method of protest may be relatively new to Exeter University campus, however it has been used for decades by many student political activists and more recently by the Black Lives Matter movement.

The aim of disruption as a political activist tactic is to open the conversation to include voices that are often marginalized because they go against the grain of the hegemonic discourse. This is crucially relevant in a context such as the one of Exeter, where conversations on racism and white supremacy, and their relevance in informing Western foreign policies rarely take place. When they do they are based on the false premise that all voices deserve to be heard, even when they incite racial hatred, in the name of ‘free speech.’

Public opinion is not shaped in a void, but depends on the power relations that exist and that perpetrate inequality, thus rendering speech ‘free’ and effective only for those in power. In these cases disruption becomes a necessary tactic for rebalancing power relations and make the voice of the powerless heard. Such was the case with Dr. Brook’s lecture. We wanted and succeeded in making it very clear that on Exeter University Campus there is serious opposition to Dr. Brook’s fascist views and that we will not let them go unchallenged.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hands_Holding2.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hands_Holding2.jpg

As Dr. Brook began his lecture, students took turns to interrupt him by reading out statements explaining why we opposed his presence on campus. Eight students read out statements, whilst others stood in solidarity. We then proceeded to chant and make noise until the talk was eventually moved to another room. As such we achieved our aim of making very clear our position on hosting such a speaker on our campus. We also believe our action had the positive outcome of sparking a conversation that would have not otherwise taken place.

The topics of our statements that we read out are summarized below.

In 2002, Dr. Brook published an article online about Israel’s morality. In it he states the following;

“The land Israel is “occupying” was captured in a war initiated by its Arab neighbors. Like any victim of aggression, Israel has a moral right to control as much land as is necessary to safeguard itself against attack. The Palestinians want to annihilate Israel, while Israel wants simply to be left alone. If there is a moral failing on Israel’s part, it consists of its reluctance to take stronger military measures. If it is right for America to bomb al-Qaeda strongholds in Afghanistan — and it is — then it is equally justifiable for Israel to bomb the terrorist strongholds in the occupied territories.”

In this short paragraph, Dr. Brook manages to not only support international law violations (the occupation of the West Bank), he also manages to criticise Israel for being too lenient with its military “measures”. Israel’s military “measures” in the Occupied Territory are daily and relentless violations of international law. These measures have included various bombing campaigns on the Gaza Strip including in 2008 and 2014, which the UN and Amnesty International have suggested could amount to war crimes.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/16652895246
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/16652895246

More recently Dr. Brook has also made Donald Trump-like Islamaphobic comments about Muslim immigration in Europe, claiming that, along the lines of his objectivist political beliefs, Muslims should be banned from entering European countries:

“[An Objectivist government] would basically ban the immigration of Muslims into the country, basically as an act of self-defense and in particular in Europe where terrorism attacks [are committed] by Muslims who are not coming in from the outside but either have lived in the West for many years or grown up in the West and where radical mosques exist.”

Dr. Brook has also made some seriously dangerous comments about America’s invasion of Iraq. On the O’ Reilly Factor show in 2004, he said the following:

“I would like to see the United States turn Fallujah into dust,  and tell the Iraqis:  If you’re going to continue to support the insurgents you will not have homes, you will not have schools, you will not have mosques.”

Collective punishment is illegal under international law, and yet Dr. Brook supports and advocates this not only in Iraq but also with the bombing of Japan after WWII, where he argues for bringing cultures opposed to Western democracies to their knees:

“How did we end World War II, by dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We did not create more enemies, we actually created friends and we created ultimately a free Japan. We brought the Japanese people to their knees and that is the only way you can establish a democracy in a culture which is so opposed to freedom, is bring their culture to its knees.”

Dr. Brook has also made some seriously dangerous comments about America’s invasion of Iraq.

The reaction to our protest from other students were varied. Several sat silently, some also stood in solidarity whilst others decided to engage in opposition to us. One particular notable moment was when two students shouted at us to “go home”. In light of the recent racist scandal at Exeter with a ‘white t-shirt social’ in which two students were photographed wearing t-shirts making light of the holocaust and stating “Don’t talk to me if you’re not white”. This is not particularly surprising, however, it is still upsetting and worrying.

Dr. Brook responded by calling us Hamas supporters and anti-semites. We of course reject both of these claims vehemently. Firstly, essentialising a group of students, where the majority come from the Middle East, as “Hamas supporters” is both racist and derogatory. Secondly, our protest of Dr. Brook’s talk hailed from his beliefs, which perpetuate violence against people of colour and not from his own cultural or ethnic background.

It is a shame that The Undergraduate Live Journal felt this man was an appropriate speaker to invite to our campus. We believe there is a clear distinction between debate or dialogue and giving a platform to a speaker who incites racial hatred and publicly calls for committing war crimes against civilian populations. To conclude, I would like to adopt the slogan that Dr. Brook heard directly from us: Yaron Brook (and any other white supremacist speaker), you are not welcome on this campus.

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78 COMMENTS

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  3. There you go, “…disruption becomes a necessary tactic …: physical force initiated.
    I looked at your excerpts from Dr. Yaron Brook and by golly, he is right!

  4. This pretty incident pretty well sums up the intellectual bankruptcy and tyranny of the left.

    “You disagree with me, so you must be a fascist and a racist!”

    “You’re a fascist and racist so it’s ok to use violence against you!”

  5. This pretty incident pretty well sums up the intellectual bankruptcy and tyranny of the left.

    “You disagree with me, so you must be a fascist and a racist!”

    “You’re a facial and racist, and therefore it’s ok to use violence against you!”

  6. All the power to the students who decided not to let this event go unchallenged. I agree with the author in that the aim of disruption as a political activist tactic is to open the conversation to include voices that are often marginalized because they go against the grain of the hegemonic discourse

  7. I suggest the students at Exeter examine Dr. Brooks stand on racism. He is vehemently opposed to any kind of racism which is always present in any group identity. Dr. Brook judges people as individuals not on race, ethnic group, religion, etc. He looks at each person separately from any group and considers their character on their individual merit. His standard of morality is how much they value their own lives and act to pursue their own individual happiness for the long term. Collectivism (putting the group ahead of the individual) is the worst form of racism. It requires the individual surrender his or her own aspirations to that of the group as a sacrifice to themselves.

  8. Yari says “The aim of disruption as a political activist tactic is to open the conversation to include voices that are often marginalized because they go against the grain of the hegemonic discourse.” So disrupting a free speech event is not marginalizing a speaker who goes against the grain of hegemonic discourse?

    Rather than stomp on free speech, why doesn’t she challenge Mr. Brooke to debate a speaker of her choice – one where the placards, physical force, and interruptions are left outside? I suspect the reason is that she knows her views will not stand up to reason when both sides are heard.

    • Your argument is exactly the reason why a campaign will once again be launched for Exeter to adopt Right2Debate – disruption can stifle free speech just as well as cancelling an event. R2D would provide a far better alternative.

  9. And another thing, when will the appeasers realize that ‘Muslim’ is not a race, Islam is an anti-lhuman, anti-life, anti-progress religion / polotical ideology. The color of a Muslim’s skin (which ranges from white to dark) doesn’t matter one bit.

      • For something to be a phobia, it must be irrational. If you take the time to read through the Quran’s many commandments to violence, then you’ll understand why there is nothing irrational about opposition to Islam.

        • I suggest Scott Connery actually check the meaning of phobia as theorised by psychoanalysts themselves (and not the conclusion that emerges in the absence of actual knowledge). It is not simply an “irrational fear”. Phobia covers such responses as revulsion, aversion, horror, disgust – which is why saying (for example) “I can’t be homophobic as I’m not frightened of gays” or “I can’t be Islamophobic because Islam isn’t a race” are completely illogical and reductive statements as they contradict the very definition of what a phobia is and how it is constituted.

          • Scott Connery didn’t use the term “irrational fear.” Scott simply said that “for something to be a phobia, it must be irrational.” Then you went on to define phobia as covering responses like revulsion, aversion, horror, etc. Can’t those things also be irrational? An irrational horror? An irrational aversion to something? Homophobia is irrational because disliking someone based solely on sexual orientation is completely unjust and immoral. Scott did not contradict your definition. Scott was arguing that disliking something irrational doesn’t make someone irrational (opposition to irrationality is…irrational?). To bring context to this, Scott said that the Quran commands violence. So Scott is saying that Islam is an ideology that promotes violence, and that the opposition of that ideology shouldn’t warrant titles such as “Islamophobia.”

  10. “We believe there is a clear distinction between debate or dialogue and giving a platform to a speaker who incites racial hatred and publicly calls for committing war crimes against civilian populations.”

    As has been said, Dr. Brook is not a racist and none of the out of context quotes you posted supports that he is. He publicly calls for the U.S. and Israel to defend itself on, imo, just moral grounds. In his foreign policy view, some civilians will unfortunately die, but it will be at the fault of the original aggressors, not the nations fighting in defense. But all these views are not “dangerous” and must be open for debate. I Apologize to Dr. Brook for speaking for him.

  11. Care to respond to any of these comments? Or at least acknowledge the irony of making enough noise so as to silence a lecture on free speech?

  12. Crazy this is insane. Silencing free speech is not fighting fascism. Yaron Brook fights Fascism on a regular basis. Seriously this is insane and anyone who stands against Free Speech is an actual Fascist.

  13. A “right” obtained by forcible “disruption” as a political tactic is a contradiction in terms.

    If you had the right to have your voices heard, Exeter students, why did you have to resort to these tactics? If you had the right, you wouldn’t have to. It would have been granted to you as an inalienable freedom.

    But no one was taking your freedom away. The “right to free speech” does not mean that every individual must be supplied with a platform to speak, or with an audience to speak to — Brook was not supplied with this opportunity to speak from some sort of higher “power.” He earned it.

    As such, you still held the right to refuse to listen as he spoke. That wasn’t enough for you. You could’ve retained your independence and your own opinions and beliefs all you wanted if you had let him talk. That wasn’t enough for you either. What you really wanted was to take away HIS right to speak. Well done.

    • And this out of context quote is here to say What?
      Speak in sentences that come from you but don’t quote someone out of context without an explanation .
      I give you this as you did not give dr brook because I believe in freedom of speech for all not just for those I agree with.

  14. Well, as long as you’re not acting like intellectually stunted, petulant children about it…
    oh wait, you’re bragging about doing just that.

  15. The people who disrupted Yaron Brook’s speech should be ashamed of themselves. How would you people feel if I come about and kick you guys out of the campus just because I disagree with your views? And Yaron embodies exact opposite of racism. Jumping in and acting like hooligans shows your sick state of mind. It needs maturity to handle other people’s views which they disagree with. Reacting to opposite views by force and violence is a mark of an immature thug. You people need to hang your heads in shame for your savage behavior.

  16. What if I felt threatened by ideas expressed in this article—would it be appropriate to somehow scramble this article rendering it illegible to other readers? Is that acceptable/desirable behaviour for our education communities?

  17. Since when exactly did disrupting speeches start getting called “challenging ideas”? Challenging means debate and discussion. Challenging presumes understanding opponents point of view first which in turn presumes first listening to what he has to say.
    What happened has nothing to do with challenging. It is an effort by the left to silence opposition and also social signalling for their misled irrational followers to commerce this sort of bullying they are known for.
    Anyways, liberal tears are sweet. These people behave like they themselves have never been challenged in their lives. Well, life’s gonna teach them a lesson.

  18. If only the author had taken the time to listen to any of Dr Brook’s podcasts or talks, she would know that Yaron Brook is the opposite of a racist. As an objectivist Dr Brook is against collectivism (and racism is the crudest form of collectivism). Dr Brook has always believed in treating people as individuals. This article is intellectual drivel, and the SJWs that interrupted Dr Brook’s talk doesn’t respect the values of liberty and free speech.

  19. This is why I chose to educate myself. This is the voice of the Social Justice Warriors who have taken over and *shut down* discourse on college campuses.

  20. All I see here is an SJW rationalizing SJW violence.

    Nobody is “marginalizing” or “silencing” you. Yaron Brook would’ve had a Q&A session at the end of his talk where you could ask him questions, and you could have voiced your opinions then.

    What really went on here is, you all threw a temper tantrum because someone’s ideas offended you. And you were allowed to carry out your temper tantrum to trample all over the right of an innocent man to speak and the right of innocent fellow students to hear out what he had to say.

    Keep it up. Eventually, the rest of civilization is going to get sick of your shit and start putting your stupid little temper tantrums down, as they should already be doing.

  21. How can anyone accuse Dr. Brook of racism in the name of the individuality of people who exhibit particular biological or intellectual characteristics and beliefs while they insist that certain other biological or intellectual beliefs “perpetuate violence”?

    The only violence Brook’s presence on that campus perpetuated is the violence perpetrated by the protesters — as explicitly confessed by the writer of this article.

    Power? He had no power over his audience. He approached the class with the complete fragileness of a man ready to be challenged by students whom he so generously assumed were all capable of reason, purpose, and self-esteem — no matter who they were, where they came from or what they believed in. Instead he received, from students of all kinds, interruptions, senseless chanting, chosen deafness, and the eventual destruction of his right to speak.

    Had he been given the chance to speak, not a single student there had to accept any of the ideas he would have had to say. He could have spoken all day, and you could’ve chosen not to listen. What are you savages REALLY confessing about yourselves when you decide you should resort to these “tactics” rather than the tactics of freedom?

  22. I agree with Yara. When someone with such vile statements against muslims and people of colors is invited fir our university it’s very democratic and even healthy to challenge his views.

  23. _Dr. Brook is an objectivist whose beliefs about the superiority of Western Civilisation have led to some incredibly violent statements about people of colour and more specifically about Muslims and Palestinians._

    What exactly is a “violent statement”?
    What exactly is a “person of colour”? How much “colour” does one have to possess?
    The terms Muslim and Palestinian refer to nationalities, not race or “colour”.

    _Dr. Brook’s rhetoric employs the same language that has been used for centuries by Europeans to absolve themselves of the obliteration of indigenous cultures. With this rhetoric, he attempts to conceal systems of oppression with claims of “western higher morality”._

    Care to provide some examples of his rhetoric and how it conceals your (undefined) systems of oppression?

    _In this context of Dr. Brook’s violent remarks and racist beliefs…_

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    _The aim of disruption as a political activist tactic is to open the conversation to include voices that are often marginalized because they go against the grain of the hegemonic discourse._

    This was not a conversation but a lecture. The conversation part happens in the Q&A session, when civilized people calmly and respectfully ask their questions.

    The Undergraduate Live Journal and Dr. Brook are under no obligation to “de-marginalize” any “voices”. If people of colour and their allies want their “voice” heard, they are free to take whatever rights-respecting steps they choose.

    The irony is that Dr. Brook’s position of reality, reason and individualism is far more “against the grain of the hegemonic discourse” than your relative mainstream cultural Marxism.

    _When they do they are based on the false premise that all voices deserve to be heard, even when they incite racial hatred, in the name of ‘free speech.’_

    Inciting racial hatred is, in fact, protected under free speech. Case in point, your incitement of hatred toward whites and Europeans. Demanding that your position deserves to be heard, while those of your opponents do not, makes you a hypocrite.

    _Public opinion is not shaped in a void, but depends on the power relations that exist and that perpetrate inequality, thus rendering speech ‘free’ and effective only for those in power._

    Yes, different people and groups of people have different levels of power to sway public opinion. Those who are interested in *political* equality support free speech and abhor stunts like disrupting a lecture.

    _As such we achieved our aim of making very clear our position on hosting such a speaker on our campus. We also believe our action had the positive outcome of sparking a conversation that would have not otherwise taken place._

    Why should your aims take precedence over the aims of those who wanted to hear Dr. Brook speak?
    If you believe that the “positive” ends justified your means, you are dangerously close to falling into the “fascist” category you decry.

    _In this short paragraph, Dr. Brook manages to not only support international law violations (the occupation of the West Bank), he also manages to criticise Israel for being too lenient with its military “measures”. _

    How did you arrive at your (unstated) premise that international law, the UN and Amnesty International are all valid arbiters of morality? How would you decide what is right and wrong if you didn’t have these authorities to appeal to?

    _More recently Dr. Brook has also made Donald Trump-like Islamaphobic comments about Muslim immigration in Europe, claiming that, along the lines of his objectivist political beliefs, Muslims should be banned from entering European countries…_

    Any rational person is an “Islamaphobe”. It’s completely reasonable to fear a religion whose warlord prophet murdered, raped and enslaved his way through life. If Mohammed is the pious Muslim’s role model, anyone who values human life should be afraid. And, yes, based on the horrific violence perpetrated in Europe by Muslims, banning their entrance is one possible solution. You’re welcome to hold a lecture on your position…but you’ll have no principled basis for complaint if a bunch of white people and their allies “disrupt” the “conversation”.

    _Firstly, essentialising a group of students, where the majority come from the Middle East, as “Hamas supporters” is both racist and derogatory._

    You are Hamas supporters because of your ideas, not the colour of your skin…and it was meant to be derogatory, because Hamas is a bunch of murdering animals.

    _Secondly, our protest of Dr. Brook’s talk hailed from his beliefs, which perpetuate violence against people of colour and not from his own cultural or ethnic background._

    You have demonstrated that you are unwilling or unable to understand Dr. Brook’s beliefs. Like a spoiled child, you heard something you didn’t like and skipped over sticking your fingers in yours and went straight to the temper tantrum to get your way.

    _To conclude, I would like to adopt the slogan that Dr. Brook heard directly from us: Yaron Brook (and any other white supremacist speaker), you are not welcome on this campus._

    Who appointed your group as final arbiter on who is and is not welcome on campus? And why would you want the position, even if it were granted? Why would you want to control what your fellow students hear? Do you consider them so weak minded that they can’t decide for themselves? Or are you afraid they might disagree with the vocal and violent people of colour and their allies and assert their right to life, liberty and property?

  24. How does a protest of this type facilitate dialogue or any type of conversation? Interrupting a speaker and forcing them to move rooms doesn’t start a dialogue, it halts one. If you disagree with his positions, take the opportunity of having him in the room with you to challenge his ideas and beliefs. If you subjectively decide who can and cannot speak, others can and will do the same to your own speakers who they disagree with. College is for hearing different views and ideas and finding out what you agree or disagree with and why. Take the opportunity afforded to you and go to as many different speakers as you can.

  25. Given the writer’s clear lack of intelligence, I am questioning the admission standards at Exeter. If it was up to me, these terrorist protesters would be expelled for violently disrupting a peaceful event in which an invited speaker wished to freely express his opinion. This despicable behavior should not be tolerated on a college campus.

  26. The philosophy of Objectivism opposes all forms of collectivism and statism and advocates individual freedom and rational egoism. It holds that racism is the crudest and most repugnant form of collectivism. Dr Brook, like Ayn Rand herself, could not possibly be LESS racist or fascist. The protesters, on the other hand, who seek to shut down discussion and opposition to their views, (which amount to little more than hurt feelings) by disruption, intimidation, name-calling and baseless accusations, are the REAL fascists of the piece.

  27. Yara Hawari your article is both fraudulent and idiotic. If you spent more time listening to people’s arguments rather than trying to shut them down (or even doing some research on Brook and objectivism) that may become apparent to you. However your flagrant misuse of the words ‘racist’ and ‘fascist’ would suggest you are beyond help. -F

  28. >Secondly, our protest of Dr. Brook’s talk hailed from his beliefs, which perpetuate violence against people of colour and not from his own cultural or ethnic background.

    Drawing race into any argument you have with Dr. Brook’s viewpoints is libel plain-and-simple. It is an intentional & dishonest attempt to confound the concepts of race, nationality, and religion BECAUSE the article’s author knows it is a pathetic and unwinnable argument to say: “Such and such people are being unfairly condemned on the basis of the evil and stupidity of the ideology/religion they’ve chosen of their own free will. This is unfair!”

    So, instead, you dishonestly pretend and insinuate race is involved, implicitly (and I might add RACIST!) implying that people of a certain skin color have no choice about continuing to follow the false tenants of Islam, and claim “he is a racist” so all the vitriol, anger, abuse, and indignation that rightfully SHOULD be used against any person who attacks others based on attributes of birth that they had no control over, are wielded by the unthinking ignorant masses who don’t understand abstract thought, lack a conceptual understanding of the world, and “herp. durp. Racism is bad. He said something about Islam, that must be a race! Burn him!” Really pathetic, really dishonest.

  29. Free Speech means one is free to express their opinions. The title of the talk was Free Speech so why the protest? It is only Free Speech when one is able to say things others disagree with, only allowing speech you agree with is not Free Speech. Why not listen and then question in the Q&A at the end of the talk? Let the best ideas win, let reality win otherwise our civilization goes down. To call Yaron Brook, an Objectivist, a fascist is ignorant. Look up the definition of fascism and learn what Objectivism is before you start calling names. The protestors are acting like spoiled children without the ability to think. A smart person would listen and then debate, presenting compelling arguments why their view is better. You can prevent opposing views from speaking but you can not force belief, only outward complacency in the face of force. Only convincing argument or demonstration of reality can convince someone to another belief.

  30. I know a little of Ayn Rand’s work and her philosophy Objectivism. I would not describe the substance of this philosophy as Facsist nor Racist. If Dr Brook follows her creed then I can’t begin to understand how he can be accused of these things. Also I saw no evidence from the author, no proof, no challenge as regards these so-called actions. However, what I find most difficult to accept is the method employed by the students. In order to highlight their objections to Dr Brook they employ a form of violence, intimidation, disruption with deliberate mischief at its heart. What would have been constructive would have been to engage in conversation or debate and to counter the work and arguments of Dr Brook through a properly convened and managed evening together. How is that for a suggestion? These days it is cheap and nasty to employ the race card. It is cheap and easy.. instead, these students could have achieved a much better result by challenging the guest lecturer in an appropriate way, a democratic way, an adult way. I’m for freedom of speech….for Dr Brook and for the students but not in the way it was done on this occasion. It was ironic that what Dr Brook has been accused of…..the students displayed in their actions….

  31. I’m not an Objectivist myself, although I have friends that are. I agree with most of what they have to say (specifically, individual rights, laissez-faire capitalism, and being rational whenever possible), but this is one of the areas where I have never agreed with Objectivists and specifically Dr. Brook. I look at Israel and Palestine as two divorcing parents: “he said”, “she said”, “he’s an a-hole”, “she’s a b*tch”, and both sides are ultimately wrong. The smart thing for both parties to do would be to swallow their prides, draft a conciliation agreement, compromise where possible, promise never to speak to each other again, keep their distances and move on. I also recognize that this is an unrealistic scenario; I’m only pointing this out because of what I’m going to say next.

    Free speech means that people have the right to say anything they want, whether you agree with it or not, and there is no false premise associated with it. You don’t have to agree with it, like it, or even listen to it; but that’s what free speech is by definition. You don’t have any moral right, nor is it rational, to censor unpleasant viewpoints from others. Your viewpoint is purely emotional, but you have every right to it. If you chose to speak and someone censored you, it would be equally wrong. As APersonOfColor quite rightly pointed out, there’s nothing inherently violent about saying things. They’re words. Sticks and stones may break my bones and all that.

    What Dr. Brook said, and has consistently said, is not fascist in its nature; your repeated use of the word shows that you have absolutely no clue what fascism is. You just used the word because you don’t like what he said and you find it ideologically consistent with viewpoints espoused by others that you hate (including Trump…and by the way, all three of us can’t stand him). Rather than engage in an intelligent and rational discourse with him, which he’ll gladly take part in, you threw a temper tantrum based on “marginalization” and “hegemonic discourse.” You gladly engage in intellectual rhetoric rather than say “okay, here’s what Palestine really wants. How do we coexist peacefully in a way where both sides benefit?” The last sentence of your post says it all: “you are not welcome”. You can’t debate him fairly, so others can’t hear him.

    I would suggest that you rethink your position…really rethink it. Without the emotion. Without the colour. Without the race. Without the marginalization. Without everything else. Look at it strictly from a logical perspective. Once you’ve done that, then challenge Dr. Brook and others in the pro-Israel camp. You’re a whole lot more likely to get what you want that way.

  32. – You shut down free speech – precisely like they did in fascist countries yet you claim Yaron is the fascist.
    – You 100% misunderstand Yaron Brook and Objectivism. He spends his ENTIRE LIFE speaking out AGAINST racism and fascism. Given that you think he is racist and fascist, I can only assume you misunderstand racism and fascism as badly as you misunderstand Objectivism.
    – Objectivism holds that in human affairs, it is 100% immoral to initiate violence against another human being. If you read any books by Ayn Rand or any Objectivist literature you will find this written over and over and over again. Defending yourself against those who attack you is not ‘initiating’ violence. We could have a discussion about which parties truly did initiate the force in the great disputes of the world but.. oh no, you don’t want to discuss, you want to ‘disrupt’.
    – You’re trying to smear Yaron as ‘Trump-like’ but if you followed his work you would know he has spent hour upon hour denouncing Trump (AND Hillary!)
    – “The aim of disruption as a political activist tactic is to open the conversation to include voices that are often marginalized because they go against the grain of the hegemonic discourse.” Yaron always has Q&A sessions after his speeches. You and your ‘allies’ would have had every single chance to be ‘included in the conversation’ and not be marginalised but you chose not to do that. You chose to trying shutting the whole thing down.

    YOU are very clearly the enemy of civilised society. Fatally uneducated about basic definitions of words. Egregiously uninformed about the very thing (Yaron Brook and Objectivism) that you are protesting against. Unwilling to discuss and purely wanting to shut down all debate with anyone who disagrees with you.

  33. The Author and students are incredibly uneducated! They have no idea that an Objectivist Individualist is exactly the opposite of a Racist/fascist. In fact Racism and Fascism are just different levels of collectivism/socialism, which is exactly what they and the radical muslims are haha! So all of you (Socialists) go right now and read the booklist…both sides then decide because I know you haven’t even read your side either haha. So read first (Get educated) then comment, only with the knowledge to do so this time. http://www.readthebooklist.com

  34. To equate what he is saying with genocide is an abomination of logic. He is advocating a society based on science, secularity, and individual rights. Regardless if you agree with him or not, WE MUST PROTECT FREE SPEECH AND THE FREE FLOW OF IDEAS. Get outside your protection bubble and challenge your mind. If tolerance is a virtue, these people are certainly far from virtuous.

  35. How ironic that you’d protest/disrupt a talk on ‘free speech’! Usually such demonstrations just make your cause look pathetic in a head-in-hand, roll-eye type of way. Yours has made you look like laughable, foolish, hypocrites, which we all in the non-social marxist world thought anyway.

    Nothing that you’ve quoted from Dr Brook is in anyway dangerous or irrational. You believe it’s moral for you to challenge opinions that you don’t agree with, yet you don’t understand the moral importance of the retaliatory force that the US, Israel, Nato and the UN, use against those who initiated it in the name of their barbaric religion. You probably think you promote co-existance, yet fail to understand that Israel is a civilisation that is surrounded by those who don’t want to co-exist with even themselves.

    You’ve got every right to your opinion, just as any of us have the right to not be silenced by the likes of you, you’re the real fascists and you’ve made that more obvious now. Well done.

  36. Such intellectual corruption, as offered in this article, is heartbreaking. Moreso that rationality is offered and presented and you recoil from the light provided by such a brilliant opportunity. It just makes me want to understand my own life that much more passionately. I’m going back to living the best life possible and supporting those like-minded, such as Dr. Brook. To the writer of this article and those like-minded I say, follow your convictions to their end. You deserve them.

  37. You hurl accusations of racism, but seem unable to point to a single instance in which Brook actually uses race as a basis for determining anything:
    – Arguing for the superiority of Western culture — i.e. for a culture in which we do not flog journalists, stifle industry, arrange the marriage of child brides, etc. — has nothing to do with any preference for skin pigmentation.
    – Criticizing “Muslims and Palestinians” is not racism, because religions and nationalities are not races.
    – Criticizing you as Hamas supporters is not based on your ethnicity, but is based on the fact that your ideas serve the agenda of Hamas.

  38. Civilized adults don’t “disrupt” speech. If you disagree with Dr. Brook, debate him, either online or in person.

  39. No surprise: the only way to criticize Dr. Brook is to slander him, take his words out of context, and attribute to him opinions which he does not hold.

    I will not imply that this is anything but an unacceptable dishonest piece of propaganda by debating it. Any innocent reader is invited, however, to look up the words quoted from Dr. Brook and see their actual context.

    Dr. Brook is a hero. Nothing less.

  40. Summary: “Yaron Brook hurt my feeling and told the truth about a rotten culture who treats women as cattle, throw gays from rooftops and seeks to destroy an entire race so I decided to shut him up because he is a fascist.” You are the true fascist. You think that only your bs has a right to be spoken. Like all fascists you think you can shut up those with who you disagree. You are despicable. People have a right to speak their mind even if it hurts your feelings and make you want to hide in your safe space like a 5 years old, and throw a tantrum because his momy said no.

  41. The writer is dangerously bigoted and intellectually crippled. Even still, I respect the writer’s freedom to put her violent thoughts into print, so long as they stop short of inciting actual physical violence. The writer’s actions are much closer to the incitement of physical violence than any speech I have ever heard from Dr. Brook. We must all call this authoritarian nonsense out for what it is, when we see it. Because the ideas of liberty and individualism are morally and intellectually superior to the bigotry and collectivism of the writer, we will not need to prevent the writer from speaking by force. We can simply let her childish and repulsive ideas surface in the market of free-thinking individuals. These ideas will not survive the scrutiny.

  42. Wow. Silencing “racists” is the modern version of witch hunts. If you dont agree call them racists and then you can shut them down.

  43. All you have done is confirm you are unreasonable and uncivilized and call people racist and fascist who expouse freedom and speak against racism in order to shut them up to impose your fascist racist ideology. Not fooling me.

  44. You should be ashamed for what you did, invading in an organized event inside your University’s campus? You clearly have not yet understood what being a part of a student community means, I feel so sorry for you guys.

  45. Now I know what is meant by the term Fascist Left. It cannot debate because it has no arguments so it reverts to infantilism, throws a hissy fit, sticks its fingers in its ears and goes to that ‘safe space’ in its mind where no ideas or light can enter and chants its anti freedom mantras to drown out the voice of reason it so fears. It dare not allow other students to hear the voice of reason and seeks to close down all debate. Theirs is the ideology of the Gulag and the politics of intimidation and such ‘students’ should be thrown off the campus and the university threatened with withdrawal of tax funds if the faculty does not come to grips with the antics these anti intellectual yahoos.

  46. I think a particularly disingenuous part of this article is the claim that trying to stop Yaron Brook from speaking was an attempt to “open the conversation to voices that are often marginalized because they go against the grain of the hegemonic discourse.” Is the author really claiming that left wing anti-West opinions don’t get a hearing at universities? AT UNIVERSITIES!?!
    In fact, it is pro Western voices that find it hard to make themselves heard and this attempt to silence Dr Brook just one more, egregious, example. No dissent can be brooked it seems.

  47. The Red Guards of Maoist China are alive and well, not only misrepresenting the views of the speaker with agitprop slogans (e.g. “violent statments about people of colour”), but actively demonstrating the key point he makes. Western liberal democracy embraces allowing the students who hold views that despise individual freedom, secular liberal democracy and free speech to expound their views, and Yaron Brook would defend their right to express themselves. However, in return the writer almost parrots the Orwellian doublespeak once heard from the totalitarian Soviet bloc when it would describe the West as “fascist”.

    The climate of absolute intolerance of anyone whose views are “unacceptable” paints a picture of the stultifying, terrorising horror that those who engage in these protests want inflicted upon us all. The irony is that those who they wish to appease, and align themselves with some of the world’s most racist, intolerant, misogynistic and homophobic thugs on the planet. The Chinese Cultural Revolution followed the same approach, destroying, bullying, creating and producing nothing but poverty and violence.

  48. I am a person of color and think you and people who share your ideology are idiots.

    You keep using the word “violent” to refer to speech, which reduces what can be considered as either an insult or insensitive comment to the equivalence of assault, which you then use to justify, what you refer to as, as “disruption.” You then babble off speaking nonsense about power relations and the rest, when the fact is that, in all honesty, what you are saying is that you and those who “disrupt” are so weak and intellectually deficient that you cannot rationally show the superiority of your views and opinions to another person, in this case being Yaron Brook.

    Also as a person who has lived abroad and have grown up dealing with the politics and difficulties that developing countries like your own have to deal with, it would behoove you to be honest and insightful enough to accept that the fact of the matter is that what you did and the mere act of “disruption” that you engaged in was nothing more than juvenile behavior. Part of the reason you engage in such childish behavior is precisely because the stakes are so low, and America is so affluent that the triviality of these misbehaviors can be dismissed so easily. If you tried this nonsense where you were from, your own citizen would treat you with the contempt that such “disruption” rightfully deserves.

    Finally, why are you and people like you so daft. You believe yelling, screaming and interrupting other people’s speeches bring about “conversation.” This is as idiotic as a military saying “We bombed their headquarters, to open diplomatic relations.” At least the alt-right trolls have the awareness to know that little good will come from their juvenile antics. You and people who think like you, in the desire to recreate the nostalgia of civil rights, act like whining, mentally scarred buffoons, and somehow think that you’re revolutionary and intelligent.

    Lord have mercy on us all.

  49. Why is it relevant that Brook advocates actions that are supposedly contrary to “international law”? Are the ideas we express to be as limited by law as our actions? Would you equally protest speakers who advocate the use of marijuana, when it’s use is illegal? Is opposing any law, however unjust, cause for protest?

  50. This shows yet again how racist Brook’s opposition really is.
    Their claims are all bogus; they defend Muslim violence.
    This was not merely “students of color” nor a stand “against racism and fascism”.
    It is, as always, a stand against the West in defense radical Muslims.

  51. I don’t think you even have to be familiar with Yaron Brook’s ideas and public statements over the years in order to see how utterly unjust the above is. But I am and it is. Pride at any success in shutting down his ability to speak is outrageous. I hope that one day, you gain enough wisdom to look back at this episode with shame.

  52. So it is hate speech now to admire the way the Allies won WW11? Even a cursory investigation into Dr Brook’s views would show you he is not a white supremacist. He opposes Donald Trump and recently dedicated a radio show to highlighting the racism of the alt right. He believes the superiority of Western civilisation lies in its ideas – including free speech, individual rights and the separation of church and state – not in the colour of anybody’s skin.

  53. A shocking indictment of modern students that some consider it appropriate to try and shut down someone because they dislike his opinions, however profoundly you disagree with them.

    You do not have the right to dictate whom students at Exeter are or are not allowed to listen to based on your own opinions. and other people’s thoughts and opinions are not subject to your moral jurisdiction.

    Bring your own speakers to Exeter to express your message if you wish but don’t pretend to yourselves or anyone else that you enjoy any legitimacy to set yourselves up as our moral arbiters.

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