In all honesty, I have never read or looked at the conservative Breitbart website. Another blog follower recently sent me a YouTube clip from a Breitbart Editor named Milo Yiannopoulos. At first, my fine-tuned gaydar went off, but I was thinking to myself “a gay conservative?” I kept listening and actually couldn’t believe my ears. But then I stopped myself short of becoming somewhat like sheep and falling into the trap of listening to sound bites to sought out more of a full speech site to make my final determination.
Folks, it is no hidden fact that I am very liberal. But in certain situations, I cannot follow the party line all of the time. I remember my time as a college student senator where I vehemently voted against an expensively overpriced Talley Student Center. I was the liberal that was trying to save students money and stop a student government organization and faculty from continually practicing campus cronyism (which continues to practice). My lone ‘no’ student senate vote was squashed because the “sheep” of student government wanted to impress school leadership and its compeer relationships disregarding a popular vote against funding a new Talley Center. I remember distinctly hearing other student senators and campus faculty advisors that wanted to control, accuse, intimidate, or impeach me because I didn’t follow the majority in student government and campus administration. An apparent blow to democracy and similar to those that protest Yiannopoulos at his campus events. Back to Yiannopoulos.
When I heard this guy speak I couldn’t help but think he is lecturing in an unfiltered manner. Of course, he is popular because he is voicing and rallying against the very institutions that have created safe spaces or the practice of becoming sheep before the slaughter. Do I support everything Yiannopoulos says? No. However, I do subscribe that he brings an excellent and compelling argument that both sides should have an opportunity to be heard. Do I think Yiannopoulos is a member of the Alt-Right or supports white supremacy? Emphatically no! What I do think he does, and efficiently but perhaps not academically, trigger what we have hidden as our inner voice and begin to reassess if that voice is not being challenged effectively. Naturally, Yiannopoulos has a trolling way of inciting a discussion and keeping his cool. What seems to occur on nearly a frequent basis is opposing audience members fall prey to appearing self-centered in hopes they are viewed as social justice warriors with poor to sad results. One thing I will say positive about Yiannopoulos is that his assessment of the Republican and Democratic U.S. parties are spot on. He has plausible arguments about Title IX laws (as I previously blogged about). I can see where he has an active following. But let me be clear, Yiannopoulous doesn’t represent either major political party in the United States. Instead, he focuses on the whitewash of policies that may have strayed from the original design that favor particular groups or interests. The design of system policies should avoid fluctuating for protected classes. Rather policy should be designed to equally and adequately safeguard and preserve all matters with the same level of scrutiny.
A problem for liberals like myself is that a majority of those that represent the left fail to properly listen to the opposing side and try to learn from its perspective. I, on the other hand, seek to follow my conscience and levels of compromise to look for a middle ground. This is the art of diplomacy and something we should learn to re-engage with. Sure it’s heated. Sure it’s divisive. Yes, sometimes it becomes personal. But hopefully, we walk away after the debate that we can build a bridge towards compromise or understanding. Yiannopoulous said something rather interesting in one of his videos. He mentioned that two of the top billed comedians wouldn’t appear on college campuses because “college kids are too politically correct.” He is right that we have become a society of censorship and liberalism with its importance of equality and creativity is being redefined as an a la carte safe space where laughter is punishable. This concerns me and should concern you. I am still a liberal and human with good intended qualities. My hope is that you will be human too and allow speech to continue regardless of our differences.