In truth, I applaud the students from the Portland State University Student Union (PSUSU) Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MECHA), Marilyn Buck Abolitionist Collective (MBAC) United Indian Students in Higher Education, Muslim Students Association (MSA), and the other groups for their willingness and patience in permitting space to the Trump people to speak. There is much the greater society can learn from those folks about building dialogue across ideological lines and having difficult and constructive conversations. That doesn't mean they were perfect in how they took over the meeting. It was a highly charged emotional situation, but all that considered, the degree in which the students painstakingly made sure every voice was heard was inspirational and praiseworthy.
I'm saying that because I don't think intelligent people are under any obligation to be subjected to the backward views expressed in that meeting by the people supporting Trump. I believe that there is free speech and then there is right and wrong and your right to bump your gums doesn't outweigh our rights to be safe from an environment of oppression. In other words, expressing hate speech and perpetuating oppression - both painful trauma for oppressed communities - isn't free speech no more than shouting "fire" when no fire exists in a crowded theater is free speech. What do I mean? If you have children, and one of them said "one plus one equals 40" you would be my nominee for bad parent of our generation if your response to your child was to say "that's your right to express your views!" Of course, the correct response to that child is that they are incorrect and to instruct them on the correct equation. This is no different when it comes to Trump, Cruz, Clinton, Sanders, George Washington, the Alamo, the Pilgrims, or anything else. For example, one young Trump supporter got up in the video and spoke about how people of color are responsible for most of the violent crime and therefore, that was his justification for why more people of color should be incarcerated. He underscored his statements by saying "that's fact" yet he could not say how those comments are fact because of course no such facts exist. What we do know is that most rapes are never reported because most women don't want to subject themselves to the trauma they will be forced to experience by a patriarchal society that believes on many levels that if they are sexually assaulted, they must have done something to fuel that traumatic experience. So, since most rapes are never reported, how the hell can anyone claim to know who commits most rapes? Since many murders are unsolved, how can anyone claim ti know what race most murderers belong to? The truth is no one knows what race commits most crime. The only thing we do know is that Africans and Indigenous folks are convicted of an overwhelming percentage of crimes. Of course, committing crimes and being convicted of crimes are far from the same thing. Why? Because, sentencing disparities based on race are proven beyond a doubt. So is the disparity in representation and the fact 94% of cases don't go to court (plea bargained). Many of those go to poorer and darker defendants who don't have the resources to fight their charges. This doesn't mean they are guilty. Not even close. So, we know many people of color are in prison while Europeans (White people) who commit the same crimes roam free. We are talking about literally millions of people who are adversely impacted by this discrepancy in this society. We are talking about millions of lives that are destroyed as well as the continual and generational impact this injustice reaps upon our communities. Its easy for some ignorant student to make those statements, but by permitting that type of behavior to exist and acting like that person's rights are somehow being infringed upon when his ignorance is confronted is actually saying that its ok that so many people are being wrongly incarcerated, or at least you either don't care that its happening, or you support it happening. If you can look me in the eye and say you would be perfectly fine if your loved one was wrongly convicted for any reason (although I'm speaking specifically about reasons related to white supremacy and systematic discrimination within the injustice system) then I'll accept your position, but you and I both know no one is going to do that. So, for someone to get up and express that people of color commit more crimes to those of us who are suffering as a result of the inequities of this system is like taking a knife in our back and twisting it to increase the pain. As a result, that type of speech should be interrupted because its not free speech, its ignorant speech. And its not just speech. Its an ideological framework that protects and perpetuates the system of oppression against so many people and that is the reason such speech shouldn't ever be permitted to exist unchecked and uncorrected. What should be happening instead is that ignorant young person should be respected enough to be provided a real education where he can develop an analysis of what's going on that is based on science and data and not fear and stupidity. By not providing that to him, this society demonstrates that it not only doesn't care about us people of color, but it clearly doesn't care about White people either.
Aside from that, its comical that Europeans actually have the nerve to walk around talking about they are being disrupted and denied something in a society where African people, and others, who stood up and simply expressed their rights to exist peacefully as human beings were subjected to systematic and institutional violence and oppression as the rule of the land for hundreds of years. So, the fact this real history isn't even acknowledged today is further proof that these people are not interested in free speech.
Look. We know White people are pissed. We believe they should be pissed. The question is whom they should be pissed at? Most of them seem to believe their anger needs to be directed in some way at us. Why do they believe this garbage? Because the super rich - the capitalist classes - have always depended upon pulling the wool over the eyes of European people, white people, as the last line of defense for their vicious capitalist system. Since capitalism is in such a severe state of decline around the world, this tactic of fanning the flames of white nationalism and convincing the masses of Europeans that their self identity is 100% tied up with the capitalist system is the most potent weapon the power structure has to insure it stays afloat. That's the only thing that makes sense in explaining how so many working poor White people have actually convinced themselves that some billionaire truly has the solutions to the problems they face everyday. Its the only reason they actually believe that if they continue to work hard for the super rich, one day those rich people will create an avenue to cease their suffering. This is nothing except pure fantasy.
For someone to say that America can be great again is like saying a maryjane weed can grow into a blossoming rose. America was never great. What it was, and is, is an empire that was built and is maintained on the backs of humanity, primarily people of color. And, what those Trump supporters are doing is working overtime to create a wall of denial to avoid facing the truth that this country's days are numbered, as they should be. What should be happening is an educational system that provides those Trump supporters with enough real information to understand that America ending doesn't mean they are ending. It means we are starting a new and better beginning.
So, thank you to the youth of Portland who stood up the other night and took over that meeting. The capitalist media and all the mindless minions on youtube and everywhere else are going to call you all types of names. What you actually represent is hope for the future. You demonstrated how to respect the people you vehemently disagree with. That was worth you taking over the meeting all by itself. After Africa is free and all of humanity is liberated, if people want to stand on the highest mountain and express whatever view they want, I say more power to them, because then, their words won't reflect a perpetuation of our oppression, but for now, your actions were warranted and greatly appreciated. You took a stand in bringing so-called higher education where it should be - higher. Your facilitation of that meeting should be required viewing in all public schools. You may not have done everything perfectly, but that's ok. You never got the proper instruction within this system in the first place. So, thank you for starting the process of figuring it out on your own. All the rest of us have to do is help you more and we are probably on to something here.