Q&A: “Garage Logic”
Podcaster Joe Soucheray takes the Center’s John Hinderaker on a tour of Gumption County.
To my knowledge, this story has gotten no local attention. But it ought to be of concern to all Minnesotans, especially given that it involves the flagship Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota. A national outlet, the Daily Beast, found it newsworthy: “A Campus Conservative’s Year Facing Anger, Doxing and Intimidation.”
Madison Faupel…is the president of the University of Minnesota’s College Republican chapter. Her group sparked controversy last fall when it reserved space and painted a mural on the Washington Avenue Bridge to promote their student group.
Her group settled on three slogans: “College Republicans, The Best Party on Campus,” “Trump Pence 2016,” and “Build the Wall.” Within an hour, the panels had been vandalized, and protesters had surrounded the panels. Some of the vandalism included the following statements: “STOP WHITE SUPREMACY NOW” and “Hate Speech is not Free Speech.”
Supporting a border wall might be politically incorrect, but it hardly qualifies as “white supremacy” or “hate speech.” Moreover, a border wall does not, in and of itself, denote anti-immigrant sentiment. One can be pro-immigrant—and also believe that a nation must vigorously control its borders. That’s what Madison told me when I asked her why she included the provocative mural. … Regardless of how you feel about building a wall (I’m against the idea), the president ran (and won) advocating it—and the House recently voted to fund it. This is not an idea wildly outside he political mainstream. In 2006, Democrats like Hillary Clinton supported a border fence. …
As the protests grew, so did violent threats against the College Republicans and Madison, in particular. The group’s members were scared for their safety on campus. Madison and the rest of the executive board didn’t go out at night and tried to never be alone on campus. Many used campus security to walk home.
Rather than condemning vandalism and standing up for the First Amendment right of freedom of speech, many supposed adults in the administration instead lashed out at the College Republicans. Heather C. Lou, assistant director of the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence, said that the panel included a “xenophobic and racist” statement and that “the UMN bias incident team has been contacted.”
The College of Education and Human Development sent out a college-wide e-mail stating: “The rhetoric and xenophobic messaging negatively impacts many of our Latino students, immigrants, and others who see this as an act of hate against non-whites.”
University officials were essentially inciting anger toward a young, female student who pays tuition. The University of Minnesota did call for a “Campus Climate” conversation about the recent controversial events, but this, too, devolved into chaos. About 15 minutes into the event, more than 200 protesters came into the room chanting, “Hey hey, ho ho, racism has got to go,” surrounding those students who had come to the event to engage in a civil conversation.
The protesters took over the stage as the student body president stood at the front of the room with her fist in the air, leading the chants. Students took turns lamenting how their feelings were hurt, how writing “Build the Wall” amounts to hate speech, and how they want to be included in conversations on campus. At the end of the event, one of the protesters stood on stage and asked the crowd if any College Republicans had attended. Madison stood up and raised her hand.
When the “event” ended, she was swarmed by the mob. “They were completely surrounding me; I was unable to leave the event. They were screaming in my face calling me racist, xenophobic, and other unmentionable names. They were aggressive, and I just wanted to get out safely,” said Madison. “One girl was holding another girl back saying, ‘She’s not worth it. Don’t hit her.’”
Later in the school year, the fascist group called Antifa targeted Madison Faupel for the cardinal sin of promoting free enterprise and limited government on campus. Antifa publicized Faupel’s address, her parents’ address, and so on, encouraging violence against her.
“I endured a lot of violent threats throughout the year, but Antifa’s attack was the scariest,” said Madison. “When I was out in public I received messages that they were watching me, that they would continue to come after me until I stopped my ‘leadership of bigotry and hate,’ and that they were ‘on my ass.’ I was very scared to be home because they knew where I lived, but I was also scared to be in public because they claimed they were watching me.”
This kind of thing is going on across the country, as violent leftists try to make it impossible for anyone to disagree with them. Do we really want this climate of hate at the University of Minnesota? Why do the University’s administrators permit it? And why don’t Twin Cities journalists report on it?