Lesson from the Left: Hurt people should hurt people

Lesson from the Left: Hurt people should hurt people

Lesson from the Left: Hurt people should hurt people

As shocking as it may've been for some to see a college professor bullying pro-life students and threatening to "chop up" a reporter, a veteran attorney says her actions are a reflection of what's being taught in classrooms.

Caleb Dalton, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), told "Washington Watch" on Wednesday that it is no longer uncommon to see conservative speakers shouted down on college campuses.

In April, Riley Gaines, a former All-American swimmer for the University of Kentucky, was forced to take cover in a San Francisco State University classroom after her speech against biological males competing in female sports ended with a violent outburst from the crowd.

In 2017, protestors at the University of California in Berkeley caused six-figure damage when conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos spoke on campus.

Six months later, the school celebrated the safe environment it provided for Ben Shapiro, another conservative media figure. But keeping Shapiro and those in attendance safe required the presence of police in riot gear and a huge perimeter to be set up around the auditorium.

Dalton, Caleb (ADF) Dalton

"Some of it, you have to go back and look at ideology," Dalton told show host Jody Hice. "What is driving this, a lot of it goes back to a philosophy that is being taught on campus. That philosophy is speech that you don't like actually physically harms you, and because it physically harms you, it's acceptable to engage in violence to stop speech."

As AFN recently reported, video footage shows Shellyne Rodriguez, a now former professor at New York's public Hunter College, placing a machete to the neck of New York Post reporter Reuven Fenton after he knocked on her door and requested an interview. [See update to this story]

Fenton wanted to talk to her about trashing the pro-life display table a group of college students had set up in a common area on campus earlier this month.

Rodriguez threatened to "chop up" the reporter, expressing her displeasure with multiple expletives, just as she did when bullying the pro-life students.

Later, Rodriguez had no comment for a New York Post reporter or other media as she left a station house after being charged with harassment and menacing.

Left says conservatives are the free speech threat

Rodriguez' actions are not the first time Dalton has seen a liberal college professor suppress free speech on a campus.

"We even saw this out in California a few years ago with another Students for Life group that we represented," he told "Washington Watch."

In that instance, the professor did not threaten anyone with a machete, but he showed his aggression against others' speech on campus.

"A professor sent his class out to erase pro-life messages that students had written on the sidewalk in chalk," Dalton recalled. "He not only sent his students out there; he came himself and started erasing these messages and told the students, 'You don't understand. A college is not a free speech area.'"

"That's a dangerous philosophy to be prevalent at universities today, because that's the opposite of the truth," the ADF attorney continued. "Universities are to be the free marketplace of ideas."

Meanwhile, a columnist with the student newspaper The Harvard Crimson wrote earlier this year that the real threat to free speech is "a nationwide culture war that systematically censors educators who dare to speak on subjects that conservative lawmakers deem off-limits."

Dalton says both sides want to claim the moral high ground on the free speech argument.

"Free speech is a bedrock of every society to remain free," he asserted. "It should be even more so on a university campus."

Instead, a lot of students are being taught this philosophy that it is ok to react violently against speech that they do not like.