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Disruption on Campus

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By: Christina Hoff Sommers – wsj.com – March 14, 2018

When I arrived at Lewis & Clark Law School to give a talk, a security officer asked if I had a gun. She’d heard rumors on social media. I didn’t, but my friend Andy Ngo, a Portland State grad student, was armed with an iPhone.
A letter from several leftist student groups had demanded the Federalist Society disinvite me. It described me as a “known fascist” whose speech would constitute “violence” against victims of “gendered oppression.” I didn’t take the letter too seriously, nor did my hosts. Law-school students are usually older and more sensible than undergrads, and they’re supposedly learning how to argue for a living. Most Lewis & Clark students—progressives and conservatives—are easygoing and committed to free expression. But that didn’t stop the bullying minority from turning up the volume.
As we approached the lecture hall, we saw protesters blocking the entrance, so we walked in through an adjacent door. When I reached the podium, several sign-wielding students dashed to the front of the room. The ringleader, a blond woman in a “Stay Woke” jacket, read chants from her phone: “Microaggressions are real!” “Black lives matter!” “The gender gage rap is real!” I think she meant “wage gap.”

About a dozen women and two men repeated the slogans, sounding more rote than woke. They faltered while trying to sing a ditty called “No Platform for Fascists.” When one started playing loud recorded music, the dean of diversity and inclusion, Janet Steverson, seized the Bluetooth speaker.
The demonstrators were ridiculous, but they got their way. Ms. Steverson gave up, cut my speech short, and urged me to start taking questions. At first I resisted. This was supposed to be a lecture, not a deposition. But she was adamant. She seemed like a middle-school principal trying to restore order during a playground brawl—but these were law students in a classroom.
After a reasonably sane Q&A with the nonprotesters, Andy and I were escorted out a back door into a campus police car. Andy began releasing his footage on Twitter and Facebook .After four days of bad publicity, Lewis & Clark released a statement: “On March 5, Christina Hoff Sommers was disrupted by a few protestors at the beginning of her speech. After a few minutes, she was able to continue and students engaged in a vigorous discussion.”
In fact, it was more than a dozen, the interruptions were constant, and I wasn’t able to finish my lecture. The statement did affirm the school’s commitment to free speech and promise “appropriate disciplinary action” against the disrupters.
Next Wednesday my colleague Charles Murray is to speak at a Federalist Society event at Florida’s University of Miami. There is already talk of protests. My advice to the law students: Be civil. Andy may show up, and if so, he’ll be packing his iPhone.

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Source: ‘The Gender Gage Rap Is Real!’ – WSJ