Letters to the Editor

Letter: Yiannopoulos has no place at Brown

Friday, January 26, 2018

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the opinions column, “Milo shouldn’t be ‘dangerous,’” written by Fabiana Vilsan ’19 and published in the The Herald Thursday. I appreciate the writer’s time and thought put into this topic which is quite difficult to discuss.

However, I emphatically disagree with the piece’s thesis. The piece states, “(Milo) Yiannopoulos is dangerous not because his message is meaningful or worth hearing, but because it is amplified by controversy.” Of course, Yiannopoulos isn’t dangerous because his message is meaningful, but he is instead dangerous because he is spreading ideas and rhetoric which are violent toward many communities in this country. No person has the right to be hosted by a university to give a talk; when a university decides to invite a speaker, it does so because the speaker has insights or arguments to share that contribute to healthy intellectual discussions on campus. Yiannopoulos does not have any intelligent or useful insights. Moreover, his ideas and speech are fundamentally dangerous. The opinions piece refers to the protests at Berkeley, which “shut him down”; Yiannopoulos had threatened to publicly name undocumented students at University of California at Berkeley during his talk. Students who protest Yiannopoulos’ talks are not “vehicle(s) for Yiannopoulos’ pathetic ticket to fame and fortune.” We are students who reject Yiannopoulos’ deep hatred and violence toward our peers. Brown, and other universities, have standards for selecting speakers to come to campus. Yiannopoulos fails to meet them all.

Julia Rock ’19

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  1. As long as there is a significant base of support for his ideas on campus or in the country–students should always cater to the the state of consciousness of the population in order to change it–then open platforms on campuses are not a question of rights or standards, especially in an epoch in which governments, Internet monopolies and institutions are intent on censoring political discourse, but an open space to tackle the essential questions touched on by Yiannopoulos and other proto-fascists and to expose more widely their hatred, violence, and anti-democratic tradition and politics becomes a question of necessity.

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