By Lowell Ponte
Ann Coulter announced Wednesday that she has cancelled her planned speech at the University of California Berkeley. The reason: University officials persuaded her speech sponsors that the risk of violence (and financial costs to them) if she spoke was too great, so they withdrew their backing.
Bill O’Reilly, meanwhile, has recently been fired by Fox News because of allegations of sexual harassment. One of several accusers said that O’Reilly “would come by her desk and would leer at her up and down. She felt like he was looking at her cleavage and it made her feel uncomfortable.” She also said he told her: “Looking good there girl” and referred to her as “hot chocolate.”
Not many decades ago, a judge would weigh such remarks against how a woman dressed and acted. To wear short skirts or low cleavage was sometimes used to justify sexist harassment, or even to defend a rapist’s outrageous claim that the woman was “asking for it.”
The good news is that we now are much more enlightened about women’s rights, and that such claims will never again be used to vindicate a sexual attacker.
The bad news is that this same rationale of past rapists is now used by political radicals. Ann Coulter has dressed herself in provocatively stimulating (and therefore dangerous) ideas, the radicals have said. And because this has aroused them emotionally, they are entitled to take her down by force.
The University of California Berkeley refused to guarantee Coulter’s safety. Emerging evidence of the Berkeley mayor’s links to radical activists suggested that, as in the past, city police have been ordered to stand down and let activists engage in violent, destructive behavior. Yet another attempt by Leftist partisans to impose a “heckler’s veto” on non-Leftist speakers seemed likely.
What should have been done? Attorney General Jeff Sessions could have sent federal marshals to defend Coulter’s right to speak, along with other federal law enforcers.
At the first sign of disruption, those radicals involved could be arrested and charged with violating Coulter’s civil rights and with interfering with a state university funded by taxpayers.
At the first sign of violence, those radicals could be arrested and charged as urban terrorists. They should also be charged under the conspiracy statutes with a long list of crimes, from civil rights violations to violence.
Everyone involved in any way with these terrorists should be investigated. During the last major outbreak by terrorists, who did $100,000 damage and injured several people in a plot to silence another conservative speaker, they received help from an Arizona foundation, which in turn received help from a George Soros foundation. These links should be tracked down, made public, and where appropriate prosecuted as accomplices to violence.
None of this, of course, will be done. Instead, the terrorists will win, as they did by silencing Coulter. They will go on to wage more and more violence to create fear and conformity – today against conservative speakers, tomorrow against capitalists and private property owners, and the day after that against anyone with traditional values who works and saves money.
The Leftist rapists will eventually assault us all, and Left-wing professors and journalists will excuse and justify every attack as America looks more and more like the “ultraviolence” of the 1971 movie “A Clockwork Orange.”
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