Monday, October 30, 2017

UCLA' s Daily Bruin and the Meaning of Fascism

Gary Fouse

"Hat tip" Daily Bruin

As a frequent reader of campus newspapers online, I usually tend to go easy on student writers.Yet, it is disturbing to read the intellectual rot that fills the pages of so many campus publications. They are a mirror of what is going on in campus life. Those professors who teach journalism should hang their heads in embarrassment at what student journalists are putting out.

One of the worst campus papers I have seen is UC Berkeley's Daily Californian. UCLA's Daily Bruin is not much better. In the current edition of the Daily Bruin, there is an op-ed that I have chosen to cross-post here not to embarrass the writer or single her out for any backlash. I post it here to illustrate how absurd the discourse is at the university level. The writer accuses the Trump administration of being fascist in nature. That is a silly charge in that if it were true, she would not be able to write such an article. She also reveals her own intolerance to opposing views in the article.

*As is my wont, I have added a couple of reader comments. The longest one is pending editorial moderation.

One thing that is encouraging is that reader comments often show common sense and take issue with articles like this. The problem is that it is difficult to know if the readers who comment are students or community members.

*Update: Apparently, the DB has seen fit not to publish my longer comment. I have re-submitted it. Here it is in case it is censored again.

"If this were a fascist state, you would already be in jail for writing this absurd piece. Instead you are free to write such nonsense. That is because you live in the freest country in the world. In addition, your reference to Nazi Germany is silly. The Germans were not able to rise up and remove Hitler from power because they were living in a total police state where dissent was crushed. Within weeks of taking power, the Social Democrats and Communists were rounded up and thrown in camps like Dachau where they were held under brutal conditions. The rest is history. Read the story of Hans and Sophie Scholl, Munich university students who were arrested distributing anti-war posters. Within three days they were put on trial in a kangaroo court, convicted and guillotined. You cannot compare the Trump administration to that. It is not fascist to oppose illegal immigration. I myself am married to a Mexican, but I oppose illegal immigration. I support legal immigration for anyone who assimilates and embraces our traditions and values of freedom and democracy. Similarly, it is not fascist or homophobic to oppose gender neutral restrooms and same sex marriage. Moreover your characterization of the Trump administration as white supremacists is unfair and inaccurate. Finally, by your own language, you show your own fascist tendencies. You oppose the right of speech for those with whom you disagree. That is fascist itself. So go ahead and protest all you like. That is your right. However, when you disrupt and try to shut down the speech of others, you are being a fascist yourselves. The society you wish to bring about would be totally fascist because it would not tolerate the same dissent that you freely exercise. I hope you will keep a copy of your article in a safe space (no pun intended) so you can take it out 20-30 years from now and re-read it. Hopefully, you will have enough sense then to realize just how silly you sound now."