The College of William & Mary”s Black Lives Matter students shut down an ACLU speaker who was trying to discuss free speech last week. They declared that liberalism is “white supremacy” and were angry that the focus wasn’t on the fake police crimes against Michael Brown and Freddie Gray.
They were also angry that the ACLU didn’t keep the white supremacist groups from marching in Charleston, Virginia.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a left-wing organization like theirs, was trying to speak to students about the First Amendment with another organization.
Students would not let Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, the ACLU’s Virginia executive director, speak as they chanted psychotically for about five minutes.
When she tried to speak, they would chant, “the oppressed are not impressed,” “shame, shame, shame, shame,” and “liberalism is white supremacy.”
The students also held up banners reading “Blood on your hands” and “No dialogue with white supremacy.”
“When is the free speech of the oppressed protected?” a Black Lives Matter representative with the group said. “We know from personal experience that rights granted to wealthy, white, cis, male, straight bodies do not trickle down to marginalized groups. We face greater barriers and consequences for speaking.”
After 30 minutes, the speakers gave up.
The university president did little. He issued a statement. “Silencing certain voices in order to advance the cause of others is not acceptable in our community. This stifles debate and prevents those who’ve come to hear a speaker, our students in particular, from asking questions, often hard questions, and from engaging in debate where the strength of ideas, not the power of shouting, is the currency. William & Mary must be a campus that welcomes difficult conversations, honest debate and civil dialogue,” the letter read.