By Eric Beasley
I don’t know how you kids do this sometimes. I mean, scheduling a not-so-public forum at 9pm on a Tuesday? I’m exhausted, but I would imagine college students don’t have a toddler waking them up asking for “Wa-Waaaa” (Zane’s attempt to say “water”) at 7 am.
I managed to get myself down to Hood College for the discussion hosted by President Chapdelaine. Fortunately for me, I managed to find two other experienced individuals and we formed the old person corner.
Some observations from before the forum even started. First, they had a media sign in sheet. I went ahead and signed in, since radio is considered “media”. While signing in, some random faculty member told me that no recording was allowed. I thought that was a little strange for a public discussion, we’ll come back to this later.
Security was visibly present in the room. I counted 2 obvious guards and 1 not-so-obvious guard. I did not recall any security at the Sunday forum.
President Chapdelaine delivered some remarks, described by Flannel Hipster (yes, we’re still doing monikers and not names, we’ll also come back to this later) as obviously written by someone else. Chapdelaine stated that she wanted to move forward from this event and that her actions were guided by a commitment to all students. A commitment for students to express their viewpoints and feel safe.
On at least 4 different occasions, President Chapdelaine emphasized the concept of “Democratic principles”. It stuck out to me as odd, because the phrases was repeated numerous times during her remarks. She went on to describe two ground rules for the forum, which were put in place immediately before the start of the forum. First, only students, faculty, members of Hood, and alumni were going to be allowed to speak. Second, no recording. Which interestingly, resulted in significant jeering from the audience.
The first speaker was Peter Brehm, IT Department of Hood College. He’s a grown man, so he doesn’t get a moniker. Mr. Brehm stated that as a gay man, he was been discriminated against and harassed over his lifetime. He went into the expected “Everyone is Hitler if you don’t agree” talking points, inferring that everything on the board is cruel hate speech, meant to demean and vilify segments of the population.
Mr. Brehm, in an effort to reiterate that his speech was nothing more than partisan talking points peddled by the radical Alt-Left, went into a monologue about privilege, abortion rights, the alt-right (which actually has like 200 real members in the entire country).
Just a little tidbit here. On this same board in which everyone is complaining about hate speech was an overlooked quote from Alex Jones, which stated “I don’t give a damn what the queers do, and don’t give a damn what Christians do. Just get the hell out of my way because I want to live my life and I don’t want the government sucking 60% of my wages off my ass”
Flannel Hipster was back at it again. Not wearing flannel this time, but I’ll keep the moniker for continuity purposes. She asked the President if there was going to be requirements for future postings that might be “damaging to the community.” Chapdelaine responded by saying that there have been no discussions about future requirements.
Let me borrow a word from the radical left here. “Requirements” for free speech is a dogwhistle for censorship.
Another student, let’s call him Mangin. He stated that free speech is needed and proposed that moving forward there should be a workshop about how to bridge the polarized gap.
A good start would be to not donate money to Planned Parenthood in the name of a devout Catholic. That would be like me donating money to the NRA in the name of a devoutly anti-firearm Democrat.
Bandana Feminist came up to speak. She stated that she did not feel safe on campus and specifically said “I want to feel safe in the bathroom.”
I literally have no idea where these comments came from, I do not know what bathrooms have to do with the discussions. Does she not feel safe because trans women are using the same bathroom? Did Hood College implement a Heinlein bathroom system? Very vague on details, but President Chapdelaine stated that student safety was paramount.
Flannel Hipster got a hold of the microphone again. This time, she was upset that Hood College has made it’s way into the public forum and that she doesn’t feel safe, mentioned the “outside infiltrators.”
Welcome to adulthood, where when you make a statement you can be held accountable for your statement.
Hagrid decided to grab the microphone. He took the diplomatic approach, encouraging the student body to look at this from both sides and how to address the issues going forward. He made emphasis on being proactive and supporting minority members of the community.
I actually chatted with Hagrid after the forum. Good guy, even though he’s a Democrat. It was clear to me that his comments were rooted in a sincere belief that both sides can get along, that being friendly and cordial is not a function of political agreement.
I’m going to just all this next speaker Short, since that is how she described herself after standing up on a chair so that everyone could see her. I’m sure someone is going to accuse me of being Heightest, but meh? In her perspective, she believed that diversity is preached at Hood College but not practiced. She would like to see more minorities on campus and does not feel wanted there. She also reiterated a previous talking comment, apparently some students feel unsafe that made public comment about this saga and she wanted to know how she could protect them.
This is where the President stated that she banned recording in order to create a “safe space” for students to express their views.
So there’s a few things here. First off, Hood is a private college with $35,000/year for tuition. Living and dining on campus raises these costs to over $41,000/year. The average income of a Maryland resident is $69,000 a year, meaning that Hood College costs for attendance compared to the average income is 59% of the average household income. People cannot attend your institution without significant financial aid, burdensome student loans, or having rich parents that make well over the average income for the state. The lack of diversity in your school has a causal relationship with the costs to attend.
Second, the idea that banning recording creates a safe space to express opinions is the exact opposite value that students should be taught. This entire premise ignores personal responsibility for an individuals actions. If you are willing to say something in public, then you should be willing to accept the consequences of your actions. This is why I put my name at the top of every article I write, my name is attached to my radio show, and I do not cower behind a cowardly cloak of anonymity.
A member of the HCRs took her turn to speak. She apologized for people who were hurt or felt unsafe, but still stood behind the display. I felt an inference that in the past, there have been objectionable Liberal displays on campus that also bothered her, but there were no forums or public outrage over said displays.
So this guy, we’re going to call his Broah. Broah highlighted a significant fact of the matter, which most people have been overlooking. Compare these events at Hood with the events at UC Berkeley. There have not been any riots, actual violence, or alt-left insanity during the last week.
A Professor took their turn to speak next. So I was actively listening, then I heard the professor drone on about the usual Liberal talking points, Islam is a religion of peace, Transgerderism is not abnormal, blah blah blah.
I am sure the people who planted those IEDs in Bakr Village that killed two young Americans right in front of my eyes were not using Islam to justify violence. They were planting flowers to beautify Iraq. Lemme guess, #NotAllMuslims? Given that logic, I am sure the Professor has no problem with the #NotAllMen movement, since not all men are rapists or privileged, right?
Another student, whom I could not think of a good moniker, complained about mean comments on an uploaded video of the Sunday meeting of the Hood College Republicans.
The next speaker, we’ll call him Plumber, said that this was the first time ever seeing a conservative viewpoint on campus in his 4 years of attendance at Hood College. He stated that he would like to see greater diversity in viewpoints.
Ponder that for a moment. In FOUR years, there has not been conservative views expressed on Hood College. Talk about an echo chamber…
I originally assigned this speaker with the moniker of Drunk Guy, but I am changing it. My writing, my prerogative. We’ll call him “Wants to Punch Nazis But Too Emasculated To Actually Do It”. Mr. Wants to Punch Nazis But Too Emasculated To Actually Do It said that the entire board was mere propaganda that has a correlative relationship with violence and genocide. There was the expected Hitler reference, yawn. He decried the display as violent hate speech.
Of course, he never got the memo that homosexuality is a crime punishable by imprisonement or death in multiple Muslim-majority countries. Also, words are not violence, not in any practiced court of law, federal, state, or local laws. Nor is there any actual legal definition of hate speech, it is a nebulous term devoid of meaning. Apparently he listened in his sociology class, but not his Government 170 class.
A handful of younger students spoke about involvement in campus activities, how the same 15 people do everything (just like politics), and community involvement bridges divides.
Two alumni were present and spoke. There comments were hardly noteworthy, other than more regurgitation of this whole “everyone feels unsafe” malarky.
Here’s a speaker that intrigued me. She spoke at the event on Sunday and my note-moniker for her was the Mainsplainer’. I didn’t include her comments on Sunday since they had been stated by others. However, this time she made a poignant statement that I feel highlights this saga. She stated that her conservative friends have been feeling unsafe. That her friends have requested security escorts, that they are being harassed online and in person.
This same sentiment has been echoed by every member of the HCR’s that I have spoken with. You cannot decry a picture that makes you feel unsafe while stalking and harassing the person who is part of the organization that put up the picture. Just like you cannot decry racism while making racist comments yourself.
Queen Mera said a few words about different opinion. Stating that having a different opinion does not make people inferior.
Obligatory transgender speaker took her turn. I’ll say it again, I wish Trish had been there instead as a stronger and intellectually honest voice for this marginalized community. As I expected, her comments were actually the second-most dehumanizing, right behind Wants to Punch Nazis But Too Emasculated To Actually Do It. She basically pointed the finger at the HCR’s and said that they need to re-evaluate their humanity.
For all this talk about dehumanizing and hate speech, the pinnacle of hypocrisy would be to turn around and accuse someone of being less than human. Here’s the reality, there is scientific evidence that supports the concept that transgenderism is a mental illness and there is scientific evidence that supports the concept that transgenderism is NOT a mental illness. Believing one over the other does not make you inferior or less than, and to use this logic while accusing others of doing the same is absurd.
Bob Marley advocated for a Robert’s Rules debate club. Walter Olson and I agreed this was a great idea.
Another Professor spoke, Dr. Marcus. She is a Professor of French at the university. She stated that we need to educate people about the difference between free speech and discrimination. Also stated that gender identity was added to Policy 55 (Harassment policy) 2 years ago.
Democrat Wonder Twin stepped up to the podium. He gets a qualifier because his twin brother is involved with the Hood College Republicans and I can’t tell them apart if they are wearing the same color. He believed that Hood should be applauding the HCRs for starting this conversation and expressing a viewpoint.
Since I was sitting in front of Flannel Hipster, I overheard most of her vitriol during the event. She outright refused to give such consideration and was very vocal about it. We are raising an entire generation to hate other viewpoints and not support the principles enshrined in the Constitution.
OMG, let me tell you. This next speaker was one of my second favorite. I’m going to call her Sombra. Sombra stated that she is a Chilean bisexual woman. She is also proud to live in a country where you are free to express your opinion, in contrast to Chile. Where a mere 50 years ago, dissidents disappeared.
Of course, she was talking about the actual-Fascist Dictator Pinochet. Not the “fascists” that people see in the shadows today.
Now we get to talk about my favorite speaker. A slightly older gentleman, we’ll call him SSG. I’m pretty sure that was his rank before he left the military, I have a hunch. He talked about his time in the military and that he had experienced racism in his life. As everyone in the military learns, it doesn’t matter the race, creed, national origin, or gender identity of the person in the foxhole with you.
I CANNOT SAY THIS ENOUGH. Everyone bleeds red. In the foxhole, you just want to know that your buddy is going to shoot back and drag you to safety if you got shot. It doesn’t matter if they are a sexually ambiguous trans man, Asian bisexual woman, or pansexual Hispanic. What matters is your rifle qualifications and ability to carry heavy loads out of the line of fire.
Iris West killed my buzz after SSG. She recycled the same talking point that kept being mentioned, words hurt. Asked how trans folks or someone who had an abortion would feel after reading the board. She also made a point to claim that information should be true in order to be presented in public display.
Beyonce came up next, with full blown hyperbole and fear-mongering. She said that the board was a celebration of non-facts. Then she asked, in a circuitous manner, how can you have a conversation with someone that wants you to die.
Absurd. Plain absurd. Nothing on that display even remotely implied that we should round up anyone and murder them. It is not conservative beliefs that lead to elimination of undesirables. It is Socialist and Communist beliefs that lead to mass murder, as demonstrated in the USSR and China. Some estimates place the numbers murdered over the 20th Century by Socialist and Communist regimes at over 100 million. If that was truly your concern, you should be decrying Socialist and Communists.
I know this is long folks, but it was a long forum with lots of misinformation and rhetoric. But stick with me.
As I was leaving, I overheard a conversation that really intrigued me. The 3 security guards that had been in the room were talking among themselves. One of them stated “I haven’t heard of any security incidents” and the other 2 agreed. Why is this important? Because these are the people that are actually responsible for ensuring the safety and security of Hood College.
Think about this comment like a resident in a community saying their community is not safe, then the police officers in that area saying “Well, we haven’t received any calls for assistance in the last 3 months. Why aren’t you calling us if there is a problem?”
I found this anti-recording narrative to also be interesting. Now, I did not record any of the forums nor did I have any intention of recording them. However, the very fact that someone can say mean words on the internet and Hood College students can express a sincere threat and feel unsafe just shows how far our society has degraded. When I was college age, I got to experience real danger. The danger of going into a warzone, the danger of being shot at, and the danger of dying. Those were real threats that a reasonable person would agree with.
This only matters to me because in the next 5 years, I will be responsible for managing this generation at work. I will have to deal with their sensitive snowflake feelings. If I tell them that they configured that firewall wrong and that you have to block telnet on port 23 at every network device, I do not want them to cry that I was being micro-aggressive and mansplaining their job.
There’s also this little gem. Which makes me think someone was actually trying to bait me:
A perfect example of a Catch-22. Had I used real names, I would have been criticized as an outside agitator inciting violence. Not using real names, I am accused of being a bad reporter.
A shining example of the cognitive dissonance of the Alt-Left radicals.
Eric is a former officer in the Republican Club of Frederick County and Frederick County Republican Central Committee between 2015 and 2018. Former guest host on WFMD and showrunner on WTHU. Avid gardener and food preserver. Graduated from Libertarianism to Anarchism as the corruption level in the state requires us to start over from scratch.