Wednesday, April 25, 2007

John Lewis and the Battle of George Mason

Now that's it's done, that's how I frame John Lewis' talk tonight at George Mason on the need to confront Islamic totalitarianism. There were probably 250 people in attendance to hear Lewis speak (although I use the word "hear" loosely, for a re-invigorated "Students for a Democratic Society" turned their backs in protest the second Lewis took the podium, and even more were simply closed to any of the arguments presented, whatever they may have been).

Never in my life have I been witness to such a seething display of hatred and bile in response to a calm, sober and rationally presented argument. All this for a man who argues for religious and philosophic freedom and against religious tyranny. Lewis is a hero just for having been willing to speak before such a rude and hateful audience.

At the same time, the GMU College Republicans who hosted the event conducted themselves with such grace and class that I haven't the vocabulary to express how grateful I am to them for all their efforts. I'm also grateful to the campus police and local law enforcement who gave Lewis the VIP treatment and were probably all that stood between the mob and an all-out riot.

I'm utterly drained by the evening, so I offer this following account of the night that was posted earlier on the blog:

I just got back tonight from Dr. John Lewis’ lecture on state-sponsored Islamic-Totalitarianism at George Mason University. There were countless police officers around the building providing security. Needless to say an entire mob mentality broke out as “demonstrators” in the audience disrupted the entire event. Islamofacist groups and their Marxist dhimmi associates hurled invectives, howled, and spat as if in a possessed frenzy. The professor and his supporters, much to their credit, behaved with complete restraint and respect for different viewpoints during the Q&A session. The same absolutely cannot be said of his opponents. So much for tolerance and diversity. Their attempts to disrupt and shut down the talk were a disrespectful, uncivilized display of hate that supported the argument that you cannot reason with or appease this kind of enemy.
I'd be hard pressed to disagree with this assessment. It was not a great night for the civil discourse of controversial ideas. I'll have more to say when I can put my thoughts together tomorrow.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Way to go Provenzo and Lewis! Did anyone film the event? Any pictures?

Lee

Edward Cline said...

Wish I had been there to "counter-demonstrate"! Congratulations to Dr. Lewis and Nick Provenzo for seeing this through. Obviously, the disrupters had time to prepare their "protest" because of the rescheduled event. Well, to paraphrase a line from "Lawrence of Arabia" (how ironic!), PPound them, John! Pound them!" And I'll do what I can on this end!

Ed Cline

Anonymous said...

I'm a student at GMU and I would like to express how embarrassed I am for my campus over the conduct of some in the audience at last night's lecture. *No scholar* should ever be subjected to the kind of treatment Dr. Lewis was subjected to by his critics in that audience. It's one thing to disagree with a person, but it is something altogether different to meet an opposing argument with expletives, rude interruptions and the outright unwillingness to conduct one's self with even a vague approximation of civility. I don't understand just what Dr. Lewis' critics were trying to prove by their behavior, and I hope that he will not be deterred from visiting our campus again.

And it's not I agree with or even understand all of where Dr. Lewis is coming from—it's that that audience did all it could to insure that I wouldn't even have the chance. I'm offended, and I think some people need to really think about who they are and how they conduct themselves when faced with people the don't understand or don't agree with.

Michelle Cohen said...

Dr. Lewis gave a great speech, anticipating and answering counter-arguments and keeping his demeanor and calm against the hecklers.

I was sitting right behind the College Republicans so the herd of standing dimmhis with their back to the stage did not block my view. The police did not tell them to sit down although they were preventing others from seeing the speaker.

At one point two of those standing next to me turn forward and gave the Nazi salute, which revealved their true feelings.

I think Dr. Lewis had the right to refuse answering questions from those who showed their back to him while he spoke. They did not deserve the respect they did not give him. The person who stood next to me disrupting the talk went to ask his question and stammered some confused remarks about freedom and speech and the importance of dialog and why Dr. Lewis does not respect it.

After the talk I watched how the disruptors walk away casually. Most of them did not stay to discuss what apparently did not matter to them once the opportunity to act like pigs was over.

I hope Dr. Lewis's talk will be available soon for those who could not attend but actually want to hear what he said. It is based on his article "No Substitute for Victory" but includes additional important comments.

Dare Balogun said...

I attended the talk at GMU -- I sat in the second row, right behind some of the College Republicans and Nick Provenzo.

I was stunned by how much irrationality was displayed by the disruptive students. I couldn't believe how much they were allowed to get away with.

Some of the more disruptive Islamists near the front were upset that I, and other supporters of Dr. Lewis, stood and cheered key points of his speech. In desperation, one stood up violently and hysterically accused me of "THREATENING" him when I told him, seated right behind me, to lower his voice (I had also warned I would ask security to remove him). I responded that I had done no such thing and stated my position to the audience and to "security" when they arrived on the scene. Knowing they couldn't take me out on such a flimsy lie, a "security officer" told me, in a very polite tone, that he would like to "talk" to me near the questioners beside the stage.

I asked him why; he said he would just like to "talk." I saw the move coming but decided not to make a fuss. After I stood up and walked toward the question area, he then asked me to come outside with him. I asked him why, and he said one of the university officials had asked them to escort me out. I didn't even bother to ask why...the official in question was very likely one fatuous twerp who had introduced himself as the "Director of Student Life with regard to Multicultural Affairs" or something like that. I suspect he was working hand-in-hand with the disrupters.

Outside, I took up my case with the "officers." One of them - not the one who'd escorted me out - had the gall to lie outright to my face that he'd heard me threaten to "break [the Islamist's] neck." Since he was a law-enforcement officer, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and reiterated my innocence several times in the most polite tone I could muster under the circumstances. He then told me to leave. Suspecting they were looking for something to hang me with, I left the scene.

If this is what is considered a successful talk, I shudder to think what the failed ones are like. The atmosphere was so charged I thought I was in the very early stages of a violent riot.

Dr. Lewis was under tremendous pressure, and it is my view that the talk should NOT have been conducted under those conditions. The disrupters interrupted throughout, and Dr. Lewis broke the tenor of his speech several times to respond to the noises of these barbarians. They were disrespectful in the worst ways, and the two questioners I heard before I left (one of whom was my accuser) were downright insulting. I did not, and do not, believe their questions deserved responses. I don't mean to come down on Dr. Lewis, whom I admire very much, but he may have granted the "dissenters" too much.

I found the affair taxing, but I did see a few rational students face down one or two of the disrupters, in order to hear the points being made by Dr. Lewis. If those rational few were reached, perhaps the evening was a success after all.

Anonymous said...

quoting from above comments:

"expletives, rude interruptions and the outright unwillingness to conduct one's self with even a vague approximation of civility. I don't understand just what Dr. Lewis' critics were trying to prove by their behavior,"
and

I don't understand just what Dr. Lewis' critics were trying to prove by their behavior

The dissenters prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that

- -when there is no accountability and there are no repercussions for such UNACCEPTABLE behavior ( such as academic dismissal or banning non-student participants from campus)- -

then this behavior is considered acceptable discourse.

Jim said...

The demonstrators in the audience brought disgrace on GMU, as an academic institution.

As an alumnus, I have serious concerns about the policies of admission, instruction, and student evaluation that allow such anti-intellectual thugs to fester on the campus.

I am appalled that Dr. Lewis received death threats regarding his appearance. Can anyone expand on his comment to that effect during the Q&A and whether Mason is fully investigating this matter?

Being an alumnus of Tech as well, I see parallel causes to the murders there.

Sitting next to these goons in the audience was an education in "D2" from Peikoff's DIM hypothesis.

jasper said...

The protest was not led by SDS, it was organized by MSA and SDS. The participants were not all Marxists and Islamofacists. Most were Muslims who felt a need to stand up to bigotry and intolerance. SDS is not a Marxists organization, although many members are familiar with his works, we are not a group of communists. We have Liberals such as yourselves, but we also have socialists, and anarchits as well.
All in all, I'd say your anger about our protest comes from the fact that out of the maybe 200 people that were there, at least 80 turned their backs on lewis, and the remaining majority were composed of students yelling things out and faculty and staff members who were appalled that the college had paid such a racist to come speak on our campus. You guys, at the absolute most, had 30 supporters, we had the power and that angers you.

Anonymous said...

Jasper, is this how your group behaves when they have the "power"? What happened to being polite? If you have the high moral ground, would you accept the same treatment to your speakers?
Global warming is not the greatest threat to mankind, Islam is.

Anonymous said...

Hate to break it to you Jasper, but Islam is NOT a race. Opposing those who wish to kill, yes KILL, all non-Muslims is not racsim, it's self-preservation. SDS is a group of ignorant thuggish kids, or kids who refuse to grow up.

I know these words will fall upon deaf ears, but I thought I'd try to edify you so you don't go through your WHOLE life as an ignorant poser.

Getting in bed with the Islamist movement will only get the pinkos of SDS beheaded last. Grow up doofus.

Anonymous said...

Orwell must have been thinking of Jasper and his ilk when he penned:

“So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot.”

Anonymous said...

I just read Dr. Lewis' “No Substitute for Victory”, or at least the article online.
Wow. No wonder the Islamists and their cohorts are protesting him. He has it exactly right and the only way to end radical Islam. Call it 'tough love'.

Anonymous said...

"Main Entry: big·ot
Pronunciation: 'bi-g&t
Function: noun
Etymology: French, hypocrite, bigot
: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance"

From what I read, the people displaying bigotry were the protesters.

Jack Galt said...

>The participants were not all Marxists and Islamofacists. Most were Muslims who felt a need to stand up to bigotry and intolerance.

By acting like a pack of intolerant bigots? Not a very well thought out plan, eh?

>SDS is not a Marxists organization, although many members are familiar with his works, we are not a group of communists. We have Liberals such as yourselves, but we also have socialists, and anarchits (sic) as well.

Yeah, kinda like NMBLA is not a pederast organization on the grounds that it includes the itinerate advocate of bestiality.

>All in all, I'd say your anger about our protest comes from the fact that out of the maybe 200 people that were there, at least 80 turned their backs on Lewis, and the remaining majority were composed of students yelling things out and faculty and staff members who were appalled that the college had paid such a racist to come speak on our campus.

Please explain how defending religious liberty against religious tyranny makes a person a racist.

>You guys, at the absolute most, had 30 supporters, we had the power and that angers you.

So you are saying that out of a 200 person audience (including faculty), maybe only 30 had the wherewithal not to act like a pack of savages. Nice.

Keep bragging—I want to understand more about how the adherents of the "religion of peace" and "social justice" really think an act.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Mr. Provenzo and the GMU College Republicans for making this event possible. Congratulations to Dr. Lewis for delivering the lecture while braving such a rude, disrespectful, uncivil segment of the audience, consisting obviously of Islamists and their Leftist apologists!

AH

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I heard Dr. Lewis speak and his work was not credible AT ALL. That comment about the precent of good muslims and bad.. yeah who knows where he came up with that statistic.

He knows nothing about the "Qu'ran" as he pronounced "KO-RAN" and he only stated things that he believes that can be viewed as radical.

And that comment about the little boys and girls bowing down to ALLAH? THAT IS THE WAY OF PRAYER. IM SORRY BUT REPUBLICANS TOO GO TO CHURCH AND YOU TOO PRAY TO GOD. YOU ARE NOTHING BUT IGNORANT FACISTS WHO ONLY WANT THINGS TO GO YOUR WAY OR KILL OFF THE ONES WHO OPPOSE.

Oh and by the way, you should have seen the looks in the audience while YOUR speaker had not only bashed the president in which your party elected but attack most common views of the republican party.

A woman came in to hear John Lewis speak and by the middle of his speech, she too stood and turned her back. IF those who were in opposition of hearng John Lewis did not attend, the only crowd that would have been there were the two rows of seats reserved held for the college republicans.

I hope you learned your lesson in addressing the public with what your views are because not only did you ruin the name of the college republicans, but the name of George Mason as well.

Jack Galt said...

>Oh and by the way, you should have seen the looks in the audience while YOUR speaker had not only bashed the president in which your party elected but attack most common views of the republican party.

I was there and I did. Unlike the SDS and Muslim savages present, the CRs acted with the utmost of respect toward the speaker, even if they may have disagreed with him.

What was your excuse (other than that you are vile and seemingly more willing to tolerate Islamofacisim than freedom of conscience)?

Anonymous said...

"And that comment about the little boys and girls bowing down to ALLAH? THAT IS THE WAY OF PRAYER. IM SORRY BUT REPUBLICANS TOO GO TO CHURCH AND YOU TOO PRAY TO GOD. YOU ARE NOTHING BUT IGNORANT FACISTS WHO ONLY WANT THINGS TO GO YOUR WAY OR KILL OFF THE ONES WHO OPPOSE. "

What the heck makes you think only Republicans hate to be killed by Islamists? Or that posters here are even religious? I'm not, at all. But I will say that when 99% of all terrrorists are Muslim, then the Qu'ran and Islam OBVIOUSLY have more problems then any other relgion I've heard of. Clearly, Islam is the religion of haters, bigots, ignorants, behearders, rapers, genocidal maniacs, baby killers, etc.

Straw Man" arguments are only successful if you're talking to yourself, putz. Your comments only show the blazing ignorance of the young. Instead of berating what you don't understand (I realize that accusing the other side of exactly what YOU do is standard leftist/Islamist practice), get a clue before you show your lack of intelligence to the world.

Papa Ray said...

I wasn't there, but I have read some of the good Professors writings.

He presents a good argument against Islam and it's radical followers. He also identifies the mistakes and the misonceptions of the President and his administration.

But, in the end, no matter if he is right or wrong, he should be listened to, questioned in civil manner.

This as posted earlier, is the front line of liberty. If discourse is to be had instead of violence, I suggest that the Islamics and the left set down and behave themselves.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

Michelle Cohen said...

>IF those who were in opposition of hearng John Lewis did not attend, the only crowd that would have been there were the two rows of seats reserved held for the college republicans.<

There were in fact three rows reserved for the college republicans. I was sitting behind them and joined them in supporting Dr. Lewis. There were many sitting among the disruptors who listened to Dr. Lewis and did not join in the disruption.

Anonymous said...

WHO ARE THE TERRORISTS NOW?

I don't know how anyone who is against the views of John Lewis or is Muslim feels safe on this campus anymore because I know I sure don't.

Wait until this hits the press.

Anonymous said...

Always room for Orwell

"The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to the taking of life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists whose real though unadmitted motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration of totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writings of younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States. Moreover they do not as a rule condemn violence as such, but only violence used in defense of western countries. The Russians, unlike the British, are not blamed for defending themselves by warlike means, and indeed all pacifist propaganda of this type avoids mention of Russia or China. It is not claimed, again, that the Indians should abjure violence in their struggle against the British. Pacifist literature abounds with equivocal remarks which, if they mean anything, appear to mean that statesmen of the type of Hitler are preferable to those of the type of Churchill, and that violence is perhaps excusable if it is violent enough. After the fall of France, the French pacifists, faced by a real choice which their English colleagues have not had to make, mostly went over to the Nazis, and in England there appears to have been some small overlap of membership between the Peace Pledge Union and the Blackshirts. Pacifist writers have written in praise of Carlyle, one of the intellectual fathers of Fascism. All in all it is difficult not to feel that pacifism, as it appears among a section of the intelligentsia, is secretly inspired by an admiration for power and successful cruelty. The mistake was made of pinning this emotion to Hitler, but it could easily be retransfered."
Notes on Nationalism, May 1945

Anonymous said...

I despair.

Simple really.

However, I now understand why the facists were essentially drawn from the middle classes.

I just hope they bury me before all this intolerance becomes the norm.

Shame on SDS.

Anonymous said...

More Orwell

"INDIFFERENCE TO REALITY. All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage -- torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians -- which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by "our" side. The Liberal News Chronicle published, as an example of shocking barbarity, photographs of Russians hanged by the Germans, and then a year or two later published with warm approval almost exactly similar photographs of Germans hanged by the Russians. It is the same with historical events. History is thought of largely in nationalist terms, and such things as the Inquisition, the tortures of the Star Chamber, the exploits of the English buccaneers (Sir Francis Drake, for instance, who was given to sinking Spanish prisoners alive), the Reign of Terror, the heroes of the Mutiny blowing hundreds of Indians from the guns, or Cromwell's soldiers slashing Irishwomen's faces with razors, become morally neutral or even meritorious when it is felt that they were done in the "right" cause. If one looks back over the past quarter of a century, one finds that there was hardly a single year when atrocity stories were not being reported from some part of the world; and yet in not one single case were these atrocities -- in Spain, Russia, China, Hungary, Mexico, Amritsar, Smyrna -- believed in and disapproved of by the English intelligentsia as a whole. Whether such deeds were reprehensible, or even whether they happened, was always decided according to political predilection.

The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them. For quite six years the English admirers of Hitler contrived not to learn of the existence of Dachau and Buchenwald. And those who are loudest in denouncing the German concentration camps are often quite unaware, or only very dimly aware, that there are also concentration camps in Russia. Huge events like the Ukraine famine of 1933, involving the deaths of millions of people, have actually escaped the attention of the majority of English russophiles. Many English people have heard almost nothing about the extermination of German and Polish Jews during the present war. Their own antisemitism has caused this vast crime to bounce off their consciousness. In nationalist thought there are facts which are both true and untrue, known and unknown. A known fact may be so unbearable that it is habitually pushed aside and not allowed to enter into logical processes, or on the other hand it may enter into every calculation and yet never be admitted as a fact, even in one's own mind.

Every nationalist is haunted by the belief that the past can be altered. He spends part of his time in a fantasy world in which things happen as they should -- in which, for example, the Spanish Armada was a success or the Russian Revolution was crushed in 1918 -- and he will transfer fragments of this world to the history books whenever possible. Much of the propagandist writing of our time amounts to plain forgery. Material facts are suppressed, dates altered, quotations removed from their context and doctored so as to change their meaning. Events which it is felt ought not to have happened are left unmentioned and ultimately denied. In 1927 Chiang Kai Shek boiled hundreds of Communists alive, and yet within ten years he had become one of the heroes of the Left. The re-alignment of world politics had brought him into the anti-Fascist camp, and so it was felt that the boiling of the Communists "didn't count", or perhaps had not happened. The primary aim of progaganda is, of course, to influence contemporary opinion, but those who rewrite history do probably believe with part of their minds that they are actually thrusting facts into the past. When one considers the elaborate forgeries that have been committed in order to show that Trotsky did not play a valuable part in the Russian civil war, it is difficult to feel that the people responsible are merely lying. More probably they feel that their own version was what happened in the sight of God, and that one is justified in rearranging the records accordingly."
Note on Nationalism, May 1945

After reading these quotes ask yourself: "Do these quotes in any war describe my attitude?"

Anonymous said...

I despair.

Simple really.

However, I now understand why the fascists were essentially drawn from the middle classes.

I just hope they bury me before all this intolerance becomes the norm.

Shame on SDS.

Daniel said...

I can't imagine that a university sanctioned club could organize and execute such an uncivil disruption without consequences... Those in attendance that are also students should file complaints against MSA and SDS. Look up the rules and regs. personally, don't expect help from the bureaucrats that run the student centers, and take the necessary steps to report this blatantly threatening and anti-academic behavior. Any law students in attendence willing to head this up? I'm sure that there is a contract that the organizer of a potential campus club has to sign (along with boiler-plate language that must be included in the club's charter) that SPECIFICALLY forbids the actions (not words) taken by SDA and MSA.

Good job to Dr. Lewis, Nick, and the College Republicans. Its an uphill fight, but one well worth the effort.

stevieray365 said...

To everybody except 'Jasper':
Have you noticed the way hard-core lefties use the words 'racist' and 'bigot'? They use them exactly the same way Islamists use the words 'heretic' and 'apostate'. Hmmm... interesting, yes? Could there be a connection there? Perhaps an ideological convergence?

Of course there is! They are tools to quash debate. Simply tools. Simple tools for simple minds.

Nicholas Provenzo said...

Dare Balogun,

Please drop me an e-mail today so I can chat with you about you being removed from the venue.

nprovenzo##at##capitalismcenter##.org##

--Nick

Anonymous said...

Did anyone get video? The WaPo and the GMU pres say nothing happened....


Socialismo Es Muerte!

Doc Savage said...

jasper wrote, on April 25, 2007 12:55 PM :

"All in all, I'd say your anger about our protest comes from the fact that out of the maybe 200 people that were there, at least 80 turned their backs on lewis, and the remaining majority were composed of students yelling things out and faculty and staff members who were appalled that the college had paid such a racist to come speak on our campus."

Clearly postmodernists (pomos) are behind this, after all this is where the spurious charge of “racism” comes from. Postmodernists are notorious for wild-eyed vilification of anyone with good ideas. The more rational and insightful their opposition, the more they feel they have to scream and vilify. Their anger stems from the fact that they are vacuous of ideas, so their simple minded “solution” is to shout people down they can’t defeat intellectually. They are the essence of close mindedness. They’re rabid dogs.

The fact is Lewis is against Islamo-fascists because of their deadly ideas, not because of race, not that this wasn’t obvious. Clearly, Islamofascists can be of any race, because the ideas can be held by a person regardless of race. But, even aside from all of this, Iranians are Caucasians, and I presume pomos see nothing wrong with attacking Caucasians, since they are basically anti-white anyway (pomos are racists).

So,your entire premise for opposing Lewis has just been completely refuted.

Lewis went after the Iranian regime because it is driven by those thuggish ideas, and is at war with us. And, interestingly, there are quite a few Iranians who would scoff at you, because they are pro-American, and many of them wanted us to bomb that repressive regime.

Anonymous said...

The GMU administration was complicit in the disruption of Dr. Lewis. I attended, and on the way out asked a policeman why the seemed to have a hands-off policy to people standing and shouting at Dr. Lewis. The policeman said they had instructions to take no action of any kind against a protest unless there was violence.

Jack Galt said...

> The policeman said they had instructions to take no action of any kind against a protest unless there was violence.

I wonder what GMU's posture would have been if instead of John Lewis, the speaker had been from CAIR and members of the audience turned their backs to him and berated him with charges of abetting murder, irrationality and the like.

Then again, I can't even imagine such a scene in the first place. The heckler's veto is the tool of cowards and not of people comfortable with the facts.

Michelle Cohen said...

>You guys, at the absolute most, had 30 supporters, we had the power and that angers you.<

There it is in plain words: the power of the majority, not the truth. The same power of the majority that lynched African-Americans in the South.

Kafir_Kelbeh said...

By stevieray365, on April 26, 2007 1:06 AM

Have you noticed the way hard-core lefties use the words 'racist' and 'bigot'? They use them exactly the same way Islamists use the words 'heretic' and 'apostate'. Hmmm... interesting, yes? Could there be a connection there? Perhaps an ideological convergence?

Nope, it's just the way of those who've supplicated themselves at the alter of Ism.


"Why should we bother to reply to Kautski? He would reply to us, and we would have to reply to his reply. There’s no end to that. It will be quite enough for us to announce that Kautski is a traitor to the working class, and everyone will understand everything." -V. I. Lenin

avi said...

Other than being the collectivists' village idiot - someone they get amuse their students with - I wonder what does an objectivist intelectual have to do with irrationalist universities.
I also wonder whether the Hugh Akston way applies to us all.