Debate or Physical Violence?

On April 2 there was a very lightly reported incident about a student at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill who physically attacked a member of pro-life group Created Equal. The only places I could find the story were Fox News, The College Fix, DailyCaller.Com and Western Journal. The attack was caught on video. Here is a link to the story with the embedded video (Warning: NSFW – Not Safe For Work):

Incident description:

The act was perpetrated by 19-year-old Jillian Ward. At one point in the video she announced she was triggered by photographs of aborted babies. The pictures were used by pro-life group called Created Equal. Created Equal said on its website the pictures illustrate

“…the gruesome reality of abortion and to engage students in conversation about this human injustice.”

Apparently, at least for Ward not liking someone else’s photo display is sufficient provocation to justify physical violence.

The video shows Ward approaching the display. You can hear Ward say on the audio, “Did y’all put these up?” as she approached the display. A member of the group, answered yes. Ward then rushes the group, physically attacking them. You can hear Ward yelling on the video, “F—ing terrible person… You’re a terrible person. You — this is not okay. This is not okay. This is not okay. Shut the f— up right now. This is wrong. This is triggering. You’re not an innocent human being. You’re a terrible person.”

Choosing incivility:

In America today we are being faced with increasing incivility. In this particular case an adult female punches an adult male. The male, prior to the assault, is exercising his right of freedom of speech. He is demonstrating in a manner that does not appear to be overly aggressive or intrusive. His cause was protection of the unborn. It is definitely advocacy of a political position. For this activity he was subjected to physical violence. He endured punches to the face and the stomach. What happened to the days when college campuses were places where ideas were debated?

The aggressor, Ward, will be charged with misdemeanor assault. She was issued a citation but not taken in by police. The Daily Caller reported having obtained a copy of the citation. It is hard to understand why this assault was handled this way. If the physical violence had been perpetrated by the male on the female there is no doubt he would have been cuffed and stuffed into a paddy wagon to be taken away. Instead, the female was given an arrest by citation and released. Aside from the bad behavior; aside from the suppression of free speech; this is an example of unequal application of the law.

Why incivility accelerates:

Sure there is an argument for prosecutorial discretion… Probably that extends to police on the beat. But maybe there is a reason why we have laws against physical violence… Maybe there is a reason why it is increasingly the case today that people are acting out publicly. Maybe the reason we have groups like Antifa is the kind of tepid response exhibited in this situation. Perhaps the response is part of the problem. Perhaps it is this exact type of response that encourages more violence.

This incident is not isolated or uncommon. The Left whines incessantly about incivility and intolerance. Yet, this is how they behave. The Left is increasingly supportive of censorship of and violence against those with whom they disagree. I’ll spare you a listing of such incidents but we all should have a list of them and if we do not we should consider questioning out sources of news. Physical violence and vandalism are inappropriate ways of resolving our differences. This trend does not end on college campuses. Rather, it extends throughout society and to our political operatives.

Conclusion:

With greater and greater frequency we are witnessing incidents where the excuse offered as expressed by Western Journal:

“…he may have done something bad, but the real enemies were those exercising their right to free speech…”

This woman’s actions seem to be the result of that dangerous line of thinking.” For her it is okay to kill babies. It is not okay to show pictures of the dead babies. To emphasize her point she exercised her perceived right to physically assault someone who disagreed with her politics… That’s where we are headed if nothing changes. Which side was Dr. King on? Which side are you on?