Democracy and Class Struggle has many criticisms of the RCPUSA but we strongly endorse the RCPUSA statement below on the situation at UC Berkeley.
The Fascist Track Record of Milo Yiannopoulis and David Horowitz
Milo Yiannopoulous lifted himself to prominence by entering into the “Gamergate” controversy in 2014. He played a major role in encouraging the vicious, misogynist, and physically threatening attacks, which came out targeting specific women who have come forward as leading developers and critics in the video game industry.
Just one example of many, one female video game developer was forced to move out of her home due to the harassment and threats she received after mocking Gamergate supporters.
The process of “swatting,” or sending SWAT teams to someone’s house under false pretenses of hostage or terrorist threats, began to be employed by the Gamergaters against not only the women who spoke out against them, but against their families as well.
In July of 2016 Twitter announced the permanent banning of Yiannopoulos for his role in orchestrating the extremely dangerous racist, misogynist, targeted harassment of Black actress Leslie Jones following her starring role in the new Ghostbuster's film.
As Jones described the personal hell she was forced to endure, “I have been called Apes, sent pics of their asses, even got a pic with semen on my face. I'm tryin to figure out what human means.”
Yiannapoulis has teamed up with David Horowitz and was launching a national campaign to end campuses as sanctuaries. Horowitz described their mission, “The so-called ‘sanctuary movement’ is a concerted effort by left-wing administrations in major cities to thwart the purposes of the Patriot Act, undermine federal immigration law, and cripple the efforts of the Department of Homeland security to protect American citizens from terrorist threats. Thanks to the efforts of left-wing activists and administrators, this seditious movement has now spread to our colleges and universities. This is a situation that cannot be allowed to stand.” They also demanded that university officials and students “who endanger students with their illegal alien-shielding policies be prosecuted.”
Horowitz has been a high level operative for the Republican party for decades. After Bush's 2004 election victory, Horowitz launched a highly publicized attack aimed at intimidating and silencing critical thinking and dissent within academia across the country. He played a key role in the attack on a Native American scholar and tenured Chair of the Native America Studies Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder. This became the opening salvo of a broad-sided attack on radical and progressive faculty around the country with the publication of his book in 2006 titled: The ProFessors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in the America.
Horowitz-led attacks on campuses continued in fall 2016 against students and organizations/movements that support the rights of Palestinians. Horowitz has been behind posters with students faces. The posters describe SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine] as “the chief sponsor of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish activities on campus” and accuse the named individuals of allying themselves with Hamas, which the center alleges is a “terror organization.”
Last night, February 1, thousands of students, professors, and others protested the appearance and organizing rally of Milo Yiannopoulis, a major fascist operative, shutting it down. This was righteous and much more like this is needed.
In response, widespread attacks, distortions, and threats are being issued, including from the Fascist-In-Chief Trump himself, who threatened to cut off all federal funding to UC Berkeley.
These dangerous threats must be vigorously exposed and opposed.
Let’s be clear: Milo Yiannopoulis is not engaging in “free speech.” He is consciously spearheading the Nazification of the American University.
One: In his speeches and writings, Yiannopoulis is not simply voicing opinions—and he is certainly not “courageously challenging political orthodoxy” as he would like people to believe. Rather, he spews forth hateful, crude, unthinking bigotry and low-level insults against marginalized and oppressed people, and he has a documented record of knowingly unleashing campaigns of harassment, stalking, and threats of violence.
Two: Even more fundamentally, Yiannopoulis is a fascist operative with connections to the highest echelons of the Trump-Pence fascist regime. He is a senior editor at Breitbart News, the home of the white supremacist, anti-Semitic, woman-hating “alt-right” movement whose former head, Steve Bannon, is now a powerful driver of Trump’s fascist regime. In his current tour, Yiannopoulis has teamed up with David Horowitz, a man with a decades-long record of attacking and working to get fired progressive and radical-minded professors for their political views and for challenging lies used to justify U.S. empire and its role in the world. An explicit mission of their joint effort is to end sanctuary campuses and target undocumented students.
Three: Yiannopoulis’ campus tour is part of a larger, rapidly escalating, society-wide fascist assault on critical thinking, science, the ability to discover basic truths about objective reality and to challenge fascist lies. The Trump-Pence regime is relentlessly lying, muzzling government agencies, threatening the media, and firing or threatening government officials who stand up to them. This is because their fascist program is violently at odds with both basic facts about the world and what most people think is just. It is part of preparing their fanatical thugs to mindlessly carry out atrocities in service of their program
In this context, the campuses pose a strategic problem for this fascist regime because they—more than the rest of society—expose students to the broader world, encourage people to think critically, and to explore contrary viewpoints. It is for this reason that fascists like Yiannopoulis and Horowitz have so viciously targeted the universities and why Trump himself jumped in so eagerly to give them backing.
For all these reasons, what happened at UC Berkeley is part of the kind of broad, powerful, and meaningful protest that needs to continue on an unprecedented scale to OUST this regime from power. These protests should be supported and defended by all those who value critical thought, the ability to pursue and debate what is actually true, science and scientific thinking, the space to dissent—and all who oppose this whole fascist direction and reordering of the world with its unparalleled threats to all humanity and the planet itself.