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BERKELEY'S NEWS • FEBRUARY 03, 2023

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Deconstructing the liberal snowflake

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MARCH 06, 2017

A tipping point has been reached. In the course of seven days, Trump supporters have been sprayed with mace, had their signs destroyed on video and then have been called “racists” and “white nationalists” for suggesting that any of this censorious behavior might be uncalled for. In the wake of these atrocities, I realize that it serves no practical purpose to write mournful odes to free speech because my opponents have no admiration for freedom or for a truly liberal society. Instead, I believe that they have sunk to behaviors that are so primitive and banal in their nature that it is critically important to stop treating them as rational humans capable of engaging in dialogue.

I believe that a snowflake is uncannily representative of the way the more radical of my opponents make sense of the world around them. The gleam of a snowflake is symbolic of the moral superiority a radical liberal feels when he or she walks by the Berkeley College Republicans’ table on Sproul Plaza, screams “racist” or “fascist” at them and walks away without allowing them to respond. Just this week, a man, after engaging in an aggressive, unfruitful debate with a member of BCR , grabbed their sign and broke it into pieces. This demonstrates that these liberals react exactly as snowflakes when dealt with the light of an opposing argument and the heat of debate, by melting into a watery puddle of hysteria and rage.

The Berkeley snowflake is brought up in environments where there is great conformity in thought. Throughout their lives, they are indoctrinated by liberal professors, family members or friends that have been telling them, as if it were fact, that conservatives were evil and that everything they did was an attempt to move the United States closer to the days of segregation. As a result, the snowflakes cannot hold their end in the marketplace of ideas. For instance, an opposition to safe spaces will be deemed by a snowflake to be an opposition to “people of color,” an opposition to affirmative action will be deemed by the same competent authorities to be an attack on the African American community, and an opposition to illegal immigration will get you portrayed as “anti-Hispanic” and “pro-white.” By conflating criticisms of certain policies with attacks against certain victim groups, these snowflakes make up for their argumentative deficiencies in defending those policies. The snowflakes attempt to sully the motives of those that challenge them, and this relieves them of the burden of actually disputing their opponent’s arguments. Realizing they can’t shoot the message down, they turn around and hurl a spear at the messenger.

It is now abundantly clear that their tactics of censorship only make themselves more unpalatable. After the Milo Yiannopoulos riots, the group hosting the event, the Berkeley College Republicans, received a massive influx of new funds, new members and a great deal of media attention to go along with it. UC Berkeley is now in the national spotlight for its hostility toward free expression. Even mainstream liberal commentators such as Bill Maher and Van Jones strongly condemn the actions of the students or the administration in this regard. You would think that, after all this, the snowflakes would realize that shutting down speech they disagreed with was a tactic that was demonstrably failing. Unfortunately, they refuse to learn and this is what convinces me that they are not motivated by rational beliefs.

This is, however, where the similarities between Berkeley liberals and snowflakes end. Melting a snowflake and incensing a liberal are equally easy but have radically different outcomes. Melting a snowflake leaves a puddle of water, innocuous and unthreatening. Liberal snowflakes, however, melt into angry individuals who have the potential to form raging mobs of violent rioters. The greatest paradox about these snowflakes is that they claim to oppose fascism by utilizing tactics straight out of Mussolini’s playbook.

I acknowledge that not all liberals at UC Berkeley are snowflakes, and this makes me optimistic of the fact that a broad, bipartisan coalition can be created to combat the enemies of free speech. But almost all liberals have shown a remarkable level of complacency toward this issue. For instance, many students and members of the administration insist that the Yiannopoulos riots were caused entirely by outside agitators and hence, they feel no obligation to take any responsibility for what happened that fateful night. But let’s not pretend that we did not see UC Berkeley students actively encouraging the rioters, if not taking part in the carnage themselves. When faced with a threat to our fundamental liberties, complacency is complicity. If you’re not actively discouraging these assaults on the First Amendment, you are, in a small part, a participant in the atrocities.

I would like to conclude with a message to the snowflakes: It is in your best interest to grow up. The world outside Berkeley is hardly a safe space, and it will have a very low tolerance for your immaturity. If arguments alone can pierce your skin, you will have a tough time dodging the poniards the real world will throw at you.

Rudra Reddy writes the Monday column on resisting indoctrination. Contact him at [email protected].
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MARCH 06, 2017