Last week, students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst redefined mass hysteria at a discussion on political correctness hosted by the College Republicans.
The discussion titled, “The Triggering: Has Political Correctness Gone Too Far?” almost immediately turned into a screaming match as some in the audience attempted to deny the panelists a chance to speak.
The panel was moderated by Kyle Boyd, president of the UMass Amherst College Republicans, and consisted of Milo Yiannopoulos, a British journalist, Steven Crowder, Canadian comedian and political commentator, and the “Factual Feminist,” Christina Hoff Sommers.
“We have organized tonight’s event to explore a single question – has political correctness gone too far?” Boyd said over shouts of support and disgust. However, the panelists didn’t back down and purposefully made provoking opening comments.
“Feminism is cancer,” Yiannopoulos said.
Hoff Sommers was greeted with shouts of “racist!” from the audience as soon as she approached the microphone.
The full YouTube video (contains NSFW/K language) of the ordeal is confusing, and I can’t imagine how members of the audience who were there to listen could follow along.
Student protesters interrupted the panelists, accused them of being racist, and told them to get their “hate speech” off of campus. Supportive audience members did cheer while the guests talked about heightened sensitivity on college campuses and microagressions.
The most widely-viewed clip (contains NSFW/K language) from that night was of a single protester who shouted every time Yiannopoulos tried to speak.
Hoff Sommers tells her to “calm down, young lady.” Instead, the protester responds with an impassioned expletive.
Then, the woman begins loudly asserting that “hate speech is not welcome here” and demanding that the speakers “keep your hate speech off this campus,” all while insisting that she is the true embodiment of free speech.
“Stop talking to us like children!” she yelled.
“Stop acting like a child and I will,” Hoff Sommers coolly replied, who is currently a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC.
One of the organizers of the panel, senior Nicholas Pappas, said their panel had drawn more attention than any previous event they have hosted – the online videos have more than a million views. He told the Massachusetts Daily Collegian that the discussion was intended to “give other students our perspective.”
It is very discouraging to see how overtly disrespectful these students were to this panel – especially when they couldn’t go more than 20-30 seconds without interruption! The purpose of the college experience is to grow and expand beyond one’s own worldview. If these students can’t sit through a two-hour panel on ideas they may disagree with, how will they ever be expected to hold their own after graduation in the real world?