In the light of recent events, I thought it would be unfair if I didn’t give the world perspective within the Berkeley campuses of what the students at UC Berkeley actually think and feel.
Now, I am not your typical Berkeley Student. I like Milo Yiannopoulos. I have nothing against him, and before the riots, I was glad to know that he was going to be speaking at my university. And to be quite honest, I did not think much of the liberals who were trying to cancel his speech or protest against it. They called him a fascist, a white supremacist, and (I quote) a “Nazi Twat”.
And whenever I saw those accusations, all I could think was, have you guys watched any of his interviews?(I would recommend the extensive interview he did with Joe Rogan)
I supported most of Milo’s views, and just frankly found him hilarious.
However. . .
What I experienced the day after the protest, the conversations I had in class, and people opening up about why they hate Milo so much, and how they actually participated within the protest, has lead me to change my stance.
The first thing I must establish is that the student’s had no intention to riot. The violence was caused by a non-student anarchist group called the “Black Bloc” from Oakland(a adjacent town of Berkeley). The student protests were entirely peaceful, until the emergence of a group of black people, wearing black colors, and holding signs of anarchist phrases, and make-shift weaponry. The riot was started by these people, and were unorganized by students, and seemingly, just unorganized.
[side-note: Now, knowing this, I do not mean to shift the blame. Within the conversations I had, 100% of the students victimized themselves, and blamed outside groups of the riots that ensued. They are not in the wrong , but I firmly believe that blaming others will not solve the problem. If you wish to solve the problem, then you have to take responsibility.
Things went wrong. It’s your fault. What could you have done? Now apply that knowledge to the future.]
I talked with the students that thought Milo was a fascist, a white supremacist, and a nazi “twat”. And of course I disagreed with what they said, but I was touched by the amount of hurt that they revealed, and the honest desire they had to make the world a better place.
Students of the LGBTQ base told stories of their hardship, about having to leave their houses, and their friends that were murdered because of their orientation, and how Milo openly called for their destruction and discrimination.
Now Milo’s stance on transgender and homosexuality is controversial to say the least. He has openly criticized homosexuals and transgenders, but I must say, that he has criticized them within the scope of social evidence. He talks about how it is literally harder to live as a gay man or gay woman, and that if he had the choice to be straight, he would gladly choose to be so. He has talked about how much he dislikes women, and criticized their complaints for equality in the working class structure.
However, I must say, that most of the controversy from Milo, arises from his constant transition between humor and political critique. He jokes about the darkest subjects(which is why I am a fan), and many of the students at Berkeley point to those comments as basis for his fascism or white supremacists beliefs.
The students of Berkeley are right to be offended by what Milo says against transgender and homosexuality.
They are wrong to call him a white supremacist or a fascist.
Liberals tend to victimize themselves and never take responsibility for their failures. What happened on February 1, was a definite failure. We caused the noise, and we spread the news. We were the source of the discontent, we can never forget that.
We Berkeley students only want the best out of people, and the best out of the world, however we are human, and we are still just kids. We love to think that we are smart and right all the time, and it is hard for us to own up our faults.
I apologize to Milo, I do not have the authority to apologize on behalf of my students, but I think one student is a good start.