Not physically ugly, but ugly deep in their souls. Georgetown University professor Christine Fair happened upon neo-Nazi Richard Spencer, who is not me, at a gym and began berating him. The gym then revoked Richard Spencer’s membership. I have no regard for Richard Spencer, as often as I am confused with him (even in the comments at National Review on this piece, some clown says that the article should have highlighted Richard Spencer’s remarks on white nationalism, not his criticism of Islam; in reality, he is the one who writes about white nationalism, and I am the one who writes about Islam, and we are two completely different people): he has more than once demanded that I reveal my “real” name, as he is convinced that I am secretly a Jew who has changed my name to fool good white folks like him.
So while I have nothing but disgust for Richard Spencer, I have even greater disgust for Christine Fair, who in this incident showed herself to be more of a Nazi than Richard Spencer could ever hope to be. Like the Nazis, she wants those whom she hates destroyed, full stop. Just destroyed. She doesn’t want them to be able to speak in public. She doesn’t want them to be able to hold memberships in gyms. She doesn’t want them to be allowed to live in the city she lives in. She doesn’t want them to breathe. This is quintessentially Nazi behavior, and is in direct contradiction to the principles that make a society free.
While Richard Spencer is indeed a Nazi, albeit in a different way from how Fair is one, and there is no excuse for that, as long as he is not breaking any laws he has as much right to be in that gym as Christine Fair has. But not as far as Christine Fair is concerned. She has apparently not reflected upon the precedent she is setting, or on the possibility, as remote as it is, that one day her views could be out of favor, and she could find herself getting poisoned, and forbidden to speak, and screamed at by campus fascists, and driven out of gyms, and the like, and that a healthier and freer society allows for the freedom of expression and doesn’t persecute or hound those whose ideas are unpopular or even unarguably obnoxious.
National Review writer Jeremy Carl brings me into this because I have been on the receiving end of Fair’s wrath before, and have found her to be a shockingly rude, unkind, angry, and remarkably unpleasant individual — all while she preens as an exponent of “tolerance” and “peace.” Carl is a bit hasty, in my view, to accept the claims of my critics without evaluating those claims or my work on their merits, but his anxiousness to distance himself from me is perhaps understandable in a piece that appears in the publication that Ann Coulter so famously observed years ago was run by “girly men.”
I would happily debate Jeremy Carl, or Christine Fair, or any serious analyst on the nature of Islam or any of the assertions I have made in my work, and I am confident that the claims about my work that Carl so readily embraces here would, in that event, be proven false. It’s certain, however, that neither Carl nor Fair will agree to debate me, and so that is that. Whatever the undeniable flaws of Carl’s piece, he is dead-on about the Left’s increasing authoritarianism and thuggery. Mark my words: I won’t be the last enemy of the Left that Leftists will try to kill.
Addendum: I just noticed that in her hate screed against Richard Spencer in the Washington Post, Christine Fair cites as factual the thoroughly discredited study claiming that “right-wing extremists” pose a greater threat than Islamic jihadists. This is what an academic is today: not a thinking individual, but a propagandist for the hard-Left.
“Liberal Bullies Threaten Free Speech,” by Jeremy Carl, National Review, May 24, 2017:
…Let’s stipulate that Richard Spencer is a man who has embraced values that are anathema to America’s, and that his vision is quite obviously not one that conservatives or Republicans share. But Fair publicly claims that Spencer’s very presence in the gym, because of his political views, creates an oppressive environment, which is a much more dramatic and potentially dangerous claim. If you are still cheering on Professor Fair, consider the case of another Spencer — Robert Spencer (no relation to Richard), a persistent critic of political Islam and a favorite of Steve Bannon and other figures in the Trump administration.After he spoke to a large audience last week in Reykjavik, Iceland, a leftist approached him as he was dining with companions and managed to slip a combination of MDMA (“Ecstasy”) and Ritalin into his drink, causing him to become ill to the point that he was hospitalized. Fortunately, police seem to have identified the perpetrator. But despite Spencer’s relative prominence and the dramatic nature of the crime, this political poisoning attracted almost no attention from the mainstream media.
As Spencer put it ruefully, “The lesson I learned was that media demonization of those who dissent from the leftist line is a direct incitement to violence. By portraying me and others who raise legitimate questions about jihad terror and Sharia oppression as racist, bigoted ‘Islamophobes’ without allowing us a fair hearing, they paint a huge target on the backs of those who dare to dissent.”
Spencer, the author of two New York Times bestsellers on radical Islam, is certainly controversial — and has his fair share of critics even on the right. But one should be able to be controversial without being poisoned. In the wake of the bombings in Manchester, are critics of political Islam really the people who should be beyond the pale of civil discourse?
hat does all this have to do with Professor Fair? Well, it turns out that Robert Spencer too has had his share of run-ins with Professor Fair, who according to Spencer called him a “lunatic” and likened him to Charles Manson while “refusing (of course) to debate me on questions of substance.” Robert Spencer says he has never met Fair in person, which has not saved him from being a repeated target of Fair’s ire.
Very well, you may say, but Spencer’s harsh and cherry-picked criticism of Islam may have stirred up legitimate anger — there’s no reason to defend him.
Well, how about Asra Nomani, a liberal Muslim immigrant woman, former Wall Street Journal reporter, and Georgetown professor who committed the mortal sin (to Christine Fair) of voting for Donald Trump and then writing a piece in the Washington Post explaining her decision. In response, she was brutally harassed by Professor Fair on Twitter for the better part of a month. As Nomani subsequently wrote to Georgetown in a formal complaint against Fair: “Prof. Fair has directed hateful, vulgar and disrespectful messages to me, including the allegations that I am: a ‘fraud’; ‘fame-mongering clown show’; and a ‘bevkuf,’ or ‘idiot,’ in my native Urdu, who has ‘pimped herself out’ . . . this last allegation amounts to ‘slut-shaming.’”
But while a quick perusal of Fair’s public statements reveals her to be an extreme case, a virtual parody of liberal intolerance, she is hardly the only liberal behaving badly. In just the past year, many conservatives, libertarians, and other assorted right-wingers, from Ann Coulter to Charles Murray to Heather Mac Donald to Milo Yiannopoulos to Ben Shapiro, have been shouted down and prevented, often by violence, from sharing their views, most often on America’s campuses. And so far, almost without exception, those universities have declined to give any significant punishment to the perpetrators. It is all well and good for conservatives to point out that there is a yawning gap between the Richard Spencers of the world and the Charles Murrays and Heather Mac Donalds. But for the Christine Fairs of the world — and an increasing number of her ideological soulmates on the left — they are all the same. None should have the right to speak — and increasingly, they are not even free to lead private lives free of harassment and threats. All of the people named above have been called “Nazis,” “white supremacists,” and similar epithets. If the Right, through silence, decides it’s okay to harass or physically attack Richard Spencer because he is a “Nazi” (a video clip of an Antifa member sucker-punching Spencer has become a favorite Internet meme on the left), they should not expect that the punchers will stop at Richard Spencer — or Robert Spencer, or even Asra Nomani. If we won’t fight for the free speech of those who anger the Left, no matter how distasteful we find their views, because we are afraid that the Left will wrongly ascribe their views to us, then conservatives are little more than feeding red meat to the ravenous left-wing lion in vain hopes that they will be the last ones eaten. And the lion is getting stronger and hungrier.
In his comments on Fair, written long before his poisoning incident, Robert Spencer wondered, “Why are the loudest proponents of ‘tolerance’ and ‘peace’ so frequently ugly, hateful people?” It’s a question the Left doesn’t want to answer — and too many on the right, afraid of being labeled as bigots by the most intolerant voices on the left, are scared to even ask.