Foes should ig­nore ran­cor of white su­prem­a­cists

The Mercury News Weekend - - OPINION -

Re­gard­ing white su­prem­a­cist speak­ers and the Berke­ley cam­pus, whether they should be al­lowed to speak, and the ex­pec­ta­tion of vi­o­lent clashes erupt­ing when they do: Let me rec­om­mend a dif­fer­ent line of think­ing. Free­dom of speech nei­ther re­quires nor guar­an­tees speak­ers an au­di­ence. It’s the au­di­ence, how­ever, that white su­prem­a­cists and an­tifa an­ar­chists crave; to be seen and to re­cruit.

Sup­pose in­stead of TV, ra­dio, news­pa­pers and cam­eras greet­ing white su­prem­a­cist speak­ers on cam­pus, they meet a blar­ing empti­ness as the rest of us meet for con­ver­sa­tion and com­mu­nity else­where. Leav­ing the haters to speak only to them­selves, we would pun­ish them where it hurts.

— Jean Lyth­cott, Palo Alto

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