‘Don’t be hypocritical!’: The Young Turks condemn Gaines attack

Ana Kasparian called the incident ‘incredibly counterproductive for anyone who actually gives a damn about transgender rights in this country.’

Cenk Uygur said, ‘I don't care if I agree or disagree with her opinions. [Gaines] should be allowed to speak, of course.’

On Tuesday night, progressive commentators Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian from the leftist outlet The Young Turks (TYT) condemned the violent protest and alleged assault against NCAA champion Riley Gaines that occurred at San Francisco State University (SFSU).

Campus Reform has extensively covered the events that transpired at the SFSU event on April 6, during which trans rights activists attacked and trapped Gaines on the California public school’s campus for three hours until San Francisco city police threatened criminal charges against those who did not disperse.

Although the university has called the protest peaceful, the event has been widely criticized, including by members of Congress.

Uygur and Kasparian also identified the incident last Thursday as crossing the line from civil discourse into mob rule.

[RELATED: Disruptive trans-activists escorted out of Cabot Phillips event by police]

Kasparian classified the violent elements of the protest as “incredibly counterproductive for anyone who actually gives a damn about transgender rights in this country.” 

In her coverage of the incident, Kasparian clarified that protestors inside the room where Gaines spoke were peaceful until the end of the speech, holding impromptu signs in demonstration and remaining silent. 

“I know exactly where it went wrong in my opinion,” Uygur surmised. “This is broken down, in my opinion, into two very distinct protests.” He suggested that the initial non-violent exchange prior to and during Gaines’ speech was “a pretty good exchange on a college campus in America, but when she’s leaving, you gotta let her go. You can’t get in her way. Guys, that’s terrible.”

Uygur also noted, “I don’t care if I agree or disagree with her opinions. [Gaines] should be allowed to speak, of course.”

Kasparian agreed, noting that civil debate is the healthiest way to “change hearts and minds.”

“Most humans are good,” Kasparian said, “and most minds can be changed through persuasion, through understanding, through engaging in these exchanges. Now look, there are people out there who don’t engage in good-faith debate; I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about ordinary people who are open-minded to some extent.”

But the tactics of the transgender community, argues Kasparian, “turn a lot of people off.”

“If you think that you’re gonna win by intimidating and bullying people, that’s also not gonna work,” Kasparian notes.

[RELATED: Professor calls it ‘admirable’ to murder ‘racist, homophobic, or transphobic speakers’]

Uygur pleaded with his audience not to engage in violence, urging them to consider their reaction if the situation was reversed and a trans activist was attacked by conservatives.

“Don’t be hypocritical, please I’m begging you!” Uygur added. “I know it’s so hard. We get into … individual camps. Not everything on the left has to be right or everything on the right has to be right. No, that protest got out of hand the minute it became physically unsafe. Do not lose the moral high ground.”

Campus Reform contacted TYT for comment, and this story will be updated accordingly.

Follow Gabrielle M. Etzel on Twitter.