Monday, October 21

Submission: Intolerant policies warrant nonviolent protests, not civil discourse

In the context of a fascist regime in power, you cannot have “civil discourse” with fascists.

Conservative campus groups like the Young Americans for Freedom, an appendage group of the Young America’s Foundation, receive millions of dollars in subsidies and backing to fund speakers who do not recognize the humanity of whole sections of people, such as throughdenigrating undocumented immigrants. These speakers include David Horowitz and Ann Coulter, and act as the intellectual hitmen of the presidential administration, providing justifications for the crimes of the fascists in the White House.

To advocate for civil discourse at a time when these ideas have the backing of the state – such as through threatening tweets from the president in support of these speakers – serves to fan the flames of fascism.

The fascist President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence regime holds the reigns of power in the U.S. today. The regime is made up of outright white supremacist ghouls like Jeff Sessions – a senator condemned for making several racist comments as a U.S. attorney – and others such as Scott Pruitt and Betsy DeVos, all of whom intend to subordinate women or push forward a xenophobic program aimed at mass deportations.

These are anti-science theocrats threatening to destroy the world by waging a nuclear holocaust against countries such as North Korea. They have demonized, criminalized and unleashed violence against Muslims, immigrants and people in inner cities. They have taken measures through word and deed to reduce women to breeders, such as through rolling back requirements that employer-provided health insurance covers birth control methods for women and through fighting against women’s rights to abortions.

Denying millions of U.S. citizens healthcare by refusing to pay subsidies to insurance companies threatens their lives. Trump’s administration also threatened to deny any real form of aid to Puerto Rico after the two recent hurricanes that hit the country, putting Puerto Rican lives at risk. Administrators have expressed disdain for the truth, attacking the science of climate change and evolution, and the scientific method overall. They have assaulted civil rights and liberties in various ways, such as through practices that limit certain communities’ abilities to vote and attacking the press.

Trump spoke at the 2017 Values Voter Summit put on by an anti-LGBTQ hate group, the Family Research Council – an event the Southern Poverty Law Center described as a “rogue’s gallery of the radical right.” Trump told the audience, composed of anti-LGBTQ activists, that its voices would “not be silenced any longer.”

He used an expletive to describe Colin Kaepernick, the football player who took a knee during the national anthem in response to police brutality. At the same time, the FBI labels “black identity extremists” as domestic terrorists, and the administration attacks consent decrees aimed at correcting egregious abuses of police power by claiming they are part of a “war on cops.”

Refuse Fascism is putting forward a challenge on Nov. 4, and a call to all to recognize this regime for what it is: a grave danger to humanity and the planet. Our challenge is aimed at ending this nightmare by having thousands across the country pour into the streets and engaging in mass, nonviolent resistance until our demands are met. We refuse to accept a fascist America.

In Los Angeles, the sustained resistance starts at Pershing Square at 1 p.m. The following week, we at UCLA will participate in protests, including walkouts. Students have played a key role in almost every social and political movement, and their support is needed now more than ever. The future of the world is in our hands, and we have a responsibility as those being trained as the future leaders of society not only to voice our opposition to the horrors unleashed by this regime, but also put an end to it.

I am proud to have disrupted the panel, “What Is Civil Discourse? Challenging Hate Speech in a Free Society,” where good people were denouncing what they called “student censorship of ideas they disagree with.” These people make no distinction between those advocating for and those opposing reactionary ideas with state backing, and make the harmful argument that we need to hear each other out.

I agree with the university motto “Fiat lux” – “Let there be light,” but this fascist regime – not student protests – is what tramples on the light. There should be light for the millions of immigrants, for people of color in the inner cities, for women, for LGBTQ people, for refugees, for the people of North Korea – for everyone. In the face of the reality we confront, to say to students “You’ve got to hear these ideas out,” or, “You can change things with the sheer power of pointed questions,” is to normalize fascism.

These arguments are tantamount to arguing the freedom fighters of the civil rights era should have had “civil discourse” with the Ku Klux Klan instead of disturbing the air and disrupting business as usual. Pretending civil discourse will solve anything in this context only serves to put people on the defensive while the regime steamrolls over people’s lives and rights.

We refuse to go down that road. Imagine the difference it would have made if the people in Nazi Germany had sounded the alarm in this bold way and organized millions to put a stop to fascism while they still had a chance. Let us learn from history, confront the very serious stakes we face and act with all our creativity and determination to drive out this regime before it’s too late.

Deloria is a fifth-year geography student.

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  • dhorowitz10

    Tala is an Orwellian idiot, who obviously has learned nothing whether from history or UCLA. It was the Nazis who wrote articles like this, finding justification for suppressing opposing views and avoiding any engagement with the facts.

    • Sam Cummings

      This coming from the anti immigrant macarthyite who trained Stephen Miller…

      • Kenneth

        Stephen Miller is a fantastic guy, so Horowitz clearly knows what he’s doing.

      • roccolore

        You support illegal aliens because you hate America.

  • dhorowitz10

    BTW “Refuse Fascism” is a creature of the Revolutionary Communist Party. Apparently, 100 million deaths and whole continents reduced to poverty was not enough for these people.

  • Kenneth

    I truly cannot wait for the anticlimax that will be taking place on November 4.

  • Kenneth

    Tala Deloria is a moron. There’s a reason why she’s a fifth year, and it’s not because she’s staying around to finish up an honors thesis, that much I can tell you.

  • mike oxhard

    “Our challenge is aimed at ending this nightmare by having thousands
    across the country pour into the streets and engaging in mass,
    nonviolent resistance until our demands are met. We refuse to accept a
    fascist America.”
    Does Deloria know how the presidency works? Trump isn’t going to resign because some college kids walked out of class, and even if he did, the VP would take over. Unlike Trump, Pence has legislative experience and would actually be pretty good at enabling that agenda she dislikes so much.

  • Vince Tagliano

    The legislating and enforcement of laws that seek to regulate and stipulate the flow of foreign nationals into a sovereign country do not make that country “fascist” by any stretch of the imagination.

  • D_Mitchell

    This op ed is an example of civil discourse. So think twice before you want to downplay its value.

    • garyfouse

      Value? The writer has no clue as to what fascism is. In addition, she clearly does not respect the free speech rights of others with whom she disagrees. That’s one element of fascism right there.

      • D_Mitchell

        My comment on value was addressed to the author of the op ed who paradoxically uses civil discourse to question civil discourse. Apparently, the author does value the opportunity to use civil discourse since the op ed was written using it.

    • If Email

      Civil discourse is a right that is available to both fools and scholars. Discourse is not automatically valuable as you imply. This particular piece of discourse is not valuable because it is inaccurate. It is also dangerous because it is intolerant and designed to mislead.

  • roccolore

    Democrats like Tala Deloria are the fascists who hate free speech.

  • jmburca

    The ONLY thing abnormal people like Tala is push back…she wants revolution? The take your revolution off safe college campuses and into the real world where American citizens will not accept and take her she come armed or not…but, oh, please come armed as there are tens and millions of Americans who are also armed.

  • Maximus300

    How ironic is it that the author reserves to herself and those who agree with her the right to decide who is a fascist. I reclaim my right and declare that Tala Deloria is a fascist and anarchist. As long as you write articles like this and demonstrate relatively peaceably, no one will bother you or pay much attention. However, if you think that the millions of people who voted in the past election will let you get even near the prospect of creating a “revolution” to topple the duly elected government of this country, you will need a reservation at Bellevue in NYC. I predict your “revolution” will fall flat due to disinterest and fatigue. Try getting out of your cloistered bubble at UCLA and come into the real world where we are not afraid to fight back against tyrants and fascists like you.

  • JimmyD

    A spoiled millennial narcissist says we shouldn’t have civil discussions with ‘fascists’? Let me point something out to you Captain Clueless, actual fascism involves silencing your critics and intimidating your opponents with violence, attempting to justify it by slapping false vilifying labels on anyone who disagrees with you to act as though you have the moral high-ground and convince your followers that you don’t need to treat non-believers as human because they’re ‘evil’ (kinda like every single member of the regressive left). People who embrace fascism do so because they know that in a civil debate where they and their opponent can both put their arguments forth, theirs will always lose, which is why they seek to gag their opponent and declare themselves the winner by default.

  • Mark Dietzler

    Her turn on the helicopter will come soon enough.

  • Man with Axe

    The author does not realize that her “disruptions” are the use of force to silence others, and those others have the right to use force to keep from being silenced. She has been lucky so far that her opponents have been too pusillanimous to use proportionate force against her and her kind, but that will come before too long as the adults start to realize that they need to fight back or lose control of their institutions.

  • ActivistAngel

    I urge Bruins to note that not a single comment (so far) supports this person and her Orwellian “op-ed.”
    My question, as always is this. What are her “demands?”
    What is it that could happen where she would say “I won?” Trump resigning and Mike Pence as president? Does she think that would be a good thing for her various causes? I have no idea why she and the “take a knee” athletes are protesting, honestly.