By Dave Andrusko
Respect for the First Amendment and the college experience—once an inseparable couple that walked hand-in-hand —seem be going their separate ways on way too many campuses.
Campusreform.org is a conservative watchdog organization that could spend all of its time reporting on all-too-often successful attempts to gag free speech. An all-purpose tool of repression is to assert that this or that “triggers” negative thoughts (aka anything they don’t agree with).
Which brings us to Victoria Stroup’s story—more like a fable, actually—of what happened this week when the activists from the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) and Life Education and Resource Network (LEARN) set up shop at the University of Missouri’s (Mizzou’s) Kuhlman Court for three consecutive days.
It’s fine, in the spirit of give and take, that “Representatives from Planned Parenthood and several Mizzou-affiliated groups organized a counter-protest.” Other attempts to goad the pro-lifers betrayed the lack of rudimentary courtesy— “if they received a pamphlet from the group, that they would willingly recycle it–and even had a recycling bin for students to dispose of the materials”—are the hallmark of the way PPFA attempts to monopolize the discussion.
But then there’s this. Stroup writes
The pro-choice groups said they particularly took offense to the images because they were poorly-timed with it being the week preceding finals, and that it was triggering for many students during such a stressful time.
One protester held a sign and shouted, “We shouldn’t have triggers on our campus!” and “Offensive ideas have no place on this campus!”
Another shouted, “It’s okay to have your opinion, but what’s up with these images?”
Many protesters criticized GAP for their information, shouting “Their facts are wrong!” and “Their facts aren’t facts!”
Poor (collegiate) babies. But there’s more.
One woman yelled, “If these images disturb you, please go to the Title IX website and fill out a Bias Incident Report!”
A “Bias Incident Report”? I went on the University of Missouri’s webpage—its “Equity Office,” to be exact—to find out what that meant. It was nothing if not expansive.
You fill such a report “If you have witnessed or experienced an act committed against any person, group, or property which you believe discriminates, stereotypes, harasses, or excludes anyone based on some part of their identity.” A quick online search reveals that many to most of these bias incident reports make the “offense” even more encompassing. Not whether you “believe” something or another but that you “perceive” it to be offensive.
Back to the “wrong” information. It was that 90% of babies prenatally diagnosed as having Down syndrome are aborted. The number may be lower, that is a matter of honest disagreement. However what isn’t up for discussion is that the lives of the overwhelming majority of these babies are “excluded”—put to death—“based on some part of their identity.”
The images? Probably of aborted babies. Intended to make people uncomfortable? You betcha.
And I’m sure (to quote Strooup) that “pictures declaring ‘All Blacks Lives Matter, Even the Unborn’ and ‘Abortion Suppresses the Black Vote,’ as well as boards comparing the abortion of African-American babies to the Holocaust and genocide” riled plenty of people for plenty of reasons.
For example, these signs bring home the undeniable truth that African-American women have a wildly disproportion percentage of abortions. That is a genuinely inconvenient truth that must be, at the very least marginalized/ridiculed, or (ideally) suppressed altogether.
Take a few minutes and read Stroup’s fine account. It’s very sobering but an important reminder how uncomfortable pro-abortionists become when the stark truth about abortion is revealed.