Response to Juniperangelica X. Cordova-Goff’s “Campus must prioritize safety of marginalized over free speech”
There is no doubt that Juniperangelica X. Cordova-Goff’s article is narrow-minded. Of course, there is no doubt because she begins with the ever-clever affirmation that there is no warrant to worry about the loss of freedoms pertaining the violent riots in Berkeley. Of course, not because freedom of speech shouldn’t be an absolute priority for any liberal concept of a civil society, but because freedom of speech is (and has always) never been “alive”.
Predictably, Cordova-Goff fails to validate this perspective and instead, anxiously broods that the speech generated by minorities in America is not valued as would the speech by the majority. However, this is not an issue to have pertained in the first place because it assumes that there is to be an equality of worth within all spectrum of political thought or worse, that certain voices ought to be filtered through some mechanism to ensure this ‘equality’ of a sort. What is this assumption that African American female senators are discredited not on the basis of partisanship or merit but on the basis of their gender and race? Or that Trump supports white nationalism in the United States in the first place, and not that he is legitimizing the misguided concerns of his base support? Are these not remarks that are often confronted with embittered backlash, especially in this tense political climate? It is through our constitutional rights that Cordove-Goff is able to say such intellectually dull remarks without the fear of retaliation from an authoritarian state.
A resonating idiom from the comment sections, “A political activist calling for the suppression of speech is like a fish complaining about the dampness.”
You are not living in a genocide; circumstances are cruel, I know. I am a proud child of illegal immigrants who have worked day in and night out from the motels of East Los Angeles to the security forces of Las Vegas, Nevada to the highways of California itself. We face obstacle after obstacle, but this is natural; this is to be expected because our families came here illegally, knowing it will be tough. The natural response, for those born outside Mexico yet so familiarized with the sorrows of undocumented immigrants, is mutuality, but through what means? Of course, I support comprehensive, sensible amnesty and immigration reform, but if our means to that goal include the Antifa, a violent force conflated with the ranks of anarchism and communism, then I am happy to accept the status quo with open arms rather than invite forces who refuse to abide by the law and order that this “white supremacist, capitalistic and patriarchal” society follows.
However, the most presumptuous sentiment would that I, as a minority, would be any safer because radical left-wing authoritarians are safeguarding my delicate ears from controversial speech. Yes, I am not a fan of the rather rehashed accusation after accusation from rightwing pundits, but will these intimidating officers throws eggs (at times indiscriminately), a general pain in the ass to wash off the next morning? Will these intimidating officers heckle you for recording without their consent or for engaging with the “wrong side”, before smacking your keys on the floor and running away gleefully like a petulant child out of control? Will these intimidating officers assault you in daylight with a U-lock amidst peaceful engagement, and then have you, the bleeding man on the floor, then called the oppressor, the fascist, the villain of this reality?
This sudden impression of state force is not a clever attempt to unpack your lifetime of “state violence”; it’s to rebuff the anarchists and communists who not only decide that my voice, my minority voice, is not only theirs to represent but that it’s worth destroying and whining at any cost, including our campus’ political climate that we so love to reference. After all, it was your “lighter fuel” that may cost me the quality of education and community support, when the protest is over and the bill is paid.
PS: To my amusement, I realized that I came out in one of those videos whilst searching for evidence to support my claims during the riots.