UW students launch ‘Coalition Against the Ultra Right’
A newly-formed “Coalition Against the Ultra Right” at the University of Wisconsin hopes to combat the “Islamophobia,” “xenophobia,” and “misogyny” that President-elect Donald Trump apparently “has promised.”
In a letter sent to the entire “UWM community,” members of the group assert that Trump has not merely incited Islamophobia, as many contest, but has actually “promised” “more” of it.
"We know that Milo’s words are not about free speech, but about intimidation and hate."
“We write this letter in the aftermath of an election in which the now president-elect has promised more Islamophobia, more xenophobia, and more misogyny,” the email obtained by Campus Reform contests, before equating the conservative activism group Turning Point USA to the alt-right, saying their upcoming event with Milo Yiannopoulos ought to be cancelled by the school’s administration.
“As students, teachers, workers, and members of the UWM community, we know that Milo’s words are not about free speech, but about intimidation and hate,” the letter continues, noting that “he tries to minimize his harassment as youthful banter, but his ideologies are dangerous, not because they are smart, but because they promote violence.”
The letter goes on to call for the cancellation of Yiannopoulos’ appearance on campus by asking all students, faculty, and staff to “join us in opposition to Islamophobia, racism, misogyny, and anti-trans hatred,” then advising recipients of the letter to contact the school’s administrators to let them know that such an event would not “contribute to a respectful and inclusive learning environment.”
“Ask them if this is how they will encourage students to join and continue learning on our campus. Ask if this is the image they want to provide to alumni and donors,” it adds.
The group has also circulated a petition that it will send to the school’s chancellor in an effort to cancel the event, arguing that faculty members associated with the “Coalition Against the Ultra Right” are “afraid for [their] students.”
“When we inform our students that their classroom is a safe space, we are not only emphasizing that ‘all are welcome.’ We are also asking students to welcome and engage struggle [sic] with those viewpoints that confront them,” it adds, before encouraging the school’s administration to disinvite Yiannopoulos on the basis of his “viewpoints.”
While the university has yet to make any public statement on Yiannopoulos’ appearance, which remains scheduled for December 13, the coalition plans to disrupt the event with a public demonstration.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski