Claremont McKenna College students were right to shut down the fascist Heather Mac Donald!

September 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a California Student:

In July, five students were suspended from Claremont McKenna, a liberal arts college in Southern California. Three students were suspended for a year, and two for a semester for participating in a nonviolent protest shutting down the fascist author Heather Mac Donald.

Who is Heather Mac Donald? Heather Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, an influential conservative think tank, and author of the book The War on Cops. Heather Mac Donald is a fascist. If the title of her book isn’t enough of a hint, it takes a simple look at her track record to identify this.

In the past she has taken stands:

Her topic of choice when she came to UCLA and Claremont McKenna was in line with the title of her book. Mac Donald is most notorious for coining the term “the Ferguson Effect” which she describes as “officers backing off of proactive policing under the false charge that they are racist and the resulting increase in violent crime.” She even goes so far as to claim that “The DOJ’s Baltimore Police Report Contributes to a Hostile Environment for Law Enforcement.”

This sounds eerily familiar to the program of the fascists currently in the White House. All throughout that article where she argues murder by police is not a problem, she cites statistics about increasing homicide rates in inner cities which she attributes not to the horrible conditions people are forced to live in, but to a problem in the culture of Black people. She uses these statistics to justify “proactive policing,” things like stop-and-frisk and other forms of profiling, i.e., a practice where over 750,000 Black people were stopped and assaulted by the police for just going about their day in Black skin, a practice which has made every and any Black person a target.

Let’s be clear here: There is no war on cops! I’m not going to disprove this point by point as this has been done elsewhere many times over. This reality has come to light again and again... with Ferguson and Baltimore, with Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin... some of us have known since Rodney King, some of us since long before then... the pigs are a force used to terrorize Black people!

What does it mean that Mac Donald advocates for these ideas despite the existence of rigorous academic studies that debunk them, including what’s concentrated in Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, or despite the reality recorded in the recent DOJ reports which exposed just some of the brutality of the police that characterizes police departments nationwide? She calls these reports a waste of time and tax money, and says they contribute to hostility against police! Because it couldn’t possibly be the practices of these pigs that cause the hostility—strip searching women who they pull over for traffic violations, beating and using a Taser on a 16-year-old girl for having her phone at school, taking people to rival gang neighborhoods to be beaten or killed, and the list goes on. These are a few of the findings from some of the DOJ reports that Mac Donald calls “harmful.”

Harmful for whom?! Not for Black people (which is what she claims)... this exposure is harmful for the genocidal program she is playing a role in pushing forward. This exposure has contributed to people pouring into the streets to demand that this stop! And this is the backdrop behind which students at Claremont McKenna and the other Claremont colleges righteously decided to shut her down.

They did so because they understood the stakes. Students stated on the Facebook page for the event that the university’s Institute of State and Local Government was wrong to “host the notorious white supremacist fascist Heather Mac Donald. As a community, we cannot and will not allow fascism to have a platform... Mac Donald openly advocates and encourages mass incarceration of black and brown folks in the U.S. by explicitly stating racist constructions of ‘black crime.’ As the Amerikkkan state monopolizes violence, the judicial system is a branch of many institutions that protect the interests of rich white supremacists... The way fascism is masked as ‘free speech’ is not any ‘normal’ exercise of constitutional power. White supremacists such as Heather Mac Donald claim protection from free speech as an exercise of constitutional rights forgetting that the Constitution was created by slave owners.”

These students were right! What Mac Donald really came to the universities to do was to justify the genocide of Black and Brown people that has been slowly grinding people down for decades, helping some and forcing others to swallow its coming acceleration with the implementation of fascism by reciting some bullshit statistics, in order to turn reality upside down!

At UCLA she didn’t fail to mention the good that Trump is doing sending the Feds to Chicago, and she has a whole article commending the regime, Sessions in particular, on how they’ve handled the question of “restoring law and order.”

The most ominous part of all of this is that Mac Donald’s speaking tour was part of a strategic and coordinated effort. Fascist “intellectuals” have been making the rounds in campuses throughout the country. Charles Murray, Anne Coulter, David Horowitz, Milo Yiannopoulos, and on and on. Every time a fascist came to a campus they’ve been met with some kind of resistance and all of this has sparked a debate about “students shutting down free speech.” Free speech is definitely under attack, but the fascists are the ones waging it.

Where were these self-proclaimed “defenders of free speech” when Cornel West came under attack for exposing the genocide Israel is waging against the Palestinian people... or more recently when a Texas A&M philosophy professor, Dr. Tommy Curry, came under attack for talking about the whitewashing of history when it comes to the role of violence and Black self-defense against white people in the fight for Black liberation... or when a Syracuse University professor received death threats for tweeting “We almost have the fascists in on the run. Syracuse people come down to the federal building to finish them off” at a rally counter-protesting Islamophobia?... In some cases these prominent fascists were in silent approval, and in others they were leading the charge.

These fascists are NOT for free speech. NO! They are trying to impose their lies as part of consolidating fascism throughout society. They wrap their fascist white supremacy, misogyny, transphobia, and Islamophobia in a shoddy intellectual veneer and come to campuses to popularize and legitimize their lies. All this while playing the victim.

Universities are a strategic target because they are places where critical thinking and dissent still has some space to flourish, and because they know the key role that students have played in movements of resistance. They cannot implement their fascist agenda when there is rigorous examination and de-legitimization of the lies that they use to justify their crimes. They can only get people to accept and normalize their crimes by stripping away people’s ability to contradict their rewriting of what is true. Think about it: if your program’s legitimacy is based on the tremendous lie of American exceptionalism and there are people continuously exposing the crimes of America and thus exposing your illegitimacy, how can you get society to go along with your brutal program?

They need mindless minions to take to heart their “alternative facts” (read lies), and they need to send a chill throughout society that puts people in their place when they dare to step out of line and say something that is not in accord with their fascist narrative. This is why they attack protesters and the right to protest, and this is also why they attack any media that criticizes them as “fake news.”

They are very quickly achieving these aims in the university.

There are many more professors than those mentioned above who have been targeted in blacklists (this is something the fascists, especially David Horowitz, have been doing for years, including by recruiting students to record and report these professors). Universities have punished progressive professors. There’s Essex County College Adjunct Professor Lisa Durden who was let go after she went on Fox News to defend a Memorial Day event hosted only for Black people, and Drexel University Professor George Ciccariello-Maher who was reprimanded by his university and attacked after he spoke out satirically against the baseless concept of “white genocide.” Universities that hosted fascist speakers are also punishing their students for refusing to give fascists a platform to justify their program. In addition to the students at Claremont McKenna suspended for shutting down Mac Donald, 67 Middlebury College students were punished for disrupting Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve. Now the attacks are coming from the state level. As a response to the opposition from students, seven states thus far are passing Republican-backed legislation to suspend or expel students who disrupt campus speakers.

This isn’t about free speech, this is about fascism!

Students aren’t “taking away the free speech” of the fascists. The First Amendment begins, after all, with the statement “Congress shall make no law...” These students do not have the power to pass laws limiting the freedom of speech of the fascists. On the contrary, what is happening is that while posing their fascist intellectuals as the victims, the fascists in power are ramming through laws that crush the ability of students to exercise their freedom of speech. Let’s not forget that these fascists are putting forward ideas with a long history of approval in this country, ideas that take on a particularly murderous character within the context of the consolidation of fascism.

In a country founded on slavery and genocide, on male supremacy and American chauvinism, it’s the students standing up against these ideas that need special protection— they are going up against ideas that are foundational to this country. Further, the resistance of students (and the repression that’s been unleashed on them) takes on a particular importance now because of the role these fascist intellectuals are playing in justifying the crimes of this regime.

This clearly multifaceted, strategic attack must be fought! We cannot allow universities to become complicit in the consolidation of fascism. Universities must be a site of ever increasing resistance to this regime, as they have been historically to other crimes of this country. This is going to mean that students need to resist the efforts of these fascist “intellectuals” to pacify and disorient people and we need to defend the courageous students that stand up in the face of this repression from the fascist base, from the universities, and from the state.




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