Monday, November 11, 2019

One Event - Two Views

Donald J. Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle was on campus yesterday as part of a book tour. (Kimberly Guilfoyle is also Governor Newsom's ex-wife, but that a whole other story!)

Anyway, there are two different views of what occurred at the event available. The Daily Bruin emphasizes protesters on the left. The Guardian emphasizes protesters from the alt-right.

In the interest of being "fair and balanced," yours truly gives you both below. First, the Bruin:

Donald Trump Jr.’s book promotion attended by over 400, marked by protests

November 10, 2019, Daily Bruin, Bernard Mendez, Emily Macinnis, Tiffany Zha, Jintak Han

A campus visit from Donald Trump Jr. to promote his new book drew both crowds of supporters and protesters.

The event was hosted Sunday by the UCLA chapter of Turning Point USA, a conservative organization with chapters on college campuses across the country.

Trump, who came to promote his new book titled “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us,” was joined on stage in Moore Hall by Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA, and Kimberly Guilfoyle, an attorney, former Fox News host and Trump’s girlfriend. More than 400 attendees filled the hall.

Trump said during the event that he has faced discrimination for his conservative beliefs, which he said contradicts the principle of free speech.

“There are consequences for being a conservative, especially for being a vocal conservative,” he said. “There’s greater consequences, as we all see, for being a Trump-supporting conservative.”

He also spoke about visiting communist Czechoslovakia as a child, and criticized Senator Bernie Sanders’ support of democratic socialism.

“Waiting in a bread line is not as glamorous as Bernie would have you believe,” Trump said.

Dozens of protesters from Refuse Fascism, the Revolution Club UCLA, the Afrikan Student Union at UCLA and Young Democratic Socialists of America came to demonstrate outside the event. Refuse Fascism also later demonstrated on the Hill.

During the event, a woman wearing a hijab stood in the back of the venue with her fist raised and periodically chanted slogans. Guilfoyle suggested that the protester supported the recently killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi without offering any evidence.

“Individuals in the back, there are student health services available,” Guilfoyle said. “Why would you cheer someone that murders and rapes women and children?”

Guilfoyle’s comment was met with laughter and cheers from the crowd. The protester entered into a shouting match with Guilfoyle before being drowned out by pro-Trump chants from the crowd – there were no other active protesters inside the event.

Michelle Ohanian, policy director of Bruin Republicans and a third-year history student, said she thinks protesters should attend the event to listen to what Trump has to say.

“The best thing I think a protester can do is first to reserve a seat, sit down, listen,” Ohanian said. “If you’re not exposing yourself to things that make you uncomfortable, I strongly believe that you are not challenging yourself.”

The question-and-answer session planned for after Trump’s speech was canceled because Trump said attendees could take what he said out of context. However at the beginning of the event, organizers said the session was cancelled due to time constraints.

Esteban Villegas, a third-year political science and philosophy student from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, who attended the event, said he thinks the event contradicted itself for criticizing left-wing politicians who suppress free speech while not allowing a question-and-answer section.

Jacob Leventhal, a recent graduate of USC who attended the event, voted for the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Leventhal said he was entertained by the liberal activists protesting against Trump.

“I just think it’s kind of funny when you see these people losing their minds over seemingly innocuous things,” Leventhal said.

Daniel Blecker, a first-year global studies student, said he attended the event because he was interested in seeing what it would be like to attend a pro-Trump event. He said he thought the event was overwhelming and terrifying.

“(Trump is) scared of being triggered by the questions people ask,” Blecker said. “He came here because he knows he can get a reaction.”


Donald Trump Jr walks out of Triggered book launch after heckling – from supporters: Event at University of California is cut short amid anger at his refusal to take questions from the audience

Nov. 10-11, 2019, The Guardian, Andrew Gumbel

Donald Trump Jr ventured on to the University of California’s overwhelmingly liberal Los Angeles campus on Sunday, hoping to prove what he had just argued in his book – that a hate-filled American left was hell-bent on silencing him and anyone else who supported the Trump presidency.

But the appearance backfired when his own supporters, diehard Make America Great Again conservatives, raised their voices most loudly in protest and ended up drowning him out barely 20 minutes into an event scheduled to last two hours.

The audience was angry that Trump Jr and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, would not take questions. The loud shouts of “USA! USA!” that greeted Trump when he first appeared on the stage of a university lecture hall to promote his book Triggered: How The Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us quickly morphed into even louder, openly hostile chants of “Q and A! Q and A!”

The 450-strong audience had just been told they would not be allowed to ask questions, “due to time constraints”.

At first, Trump and Guilfoyle tried to ignore the discontent, which originated with a fringe group of America Firsters who believe the Trump administration has been taken captive by a cabal of internationalists, free-traders, and apologists for mass immigration.

When the shouting would not subside, Trump Jr tried – and failed – to argue that taking questions from the floor risked creating soundbites that leftwing social media posters would abuse and distort. Nobody was buying that.

In minutes, the entire argument put forward by the president’s son – that he was willing to engage in dialogue but that it was the left that refused to tolerate free speech – crumbled.

“I’m willing to listen…” Trump began.

“Q and A! Q and A!” the audience yelled back.

“We’ll go into the lion’s den and talk …” Trump tried again.

“Then open the Q and A!” came the immediate response.

Guilfoyle, forced to shout to make herself heard, told students in the crowd: “You’re not making your parents proud by being rude and disruptive.”

She and Trump Jr left the stage moments later.

The fiasco pointed to a factional rift on the Trump-supporting conservative right that has been growing rapidly in recent weeks, particularly among “zoomers” – student-age activists. On one side are one of the sponsors of Trump Jr’s book tour, Turning Point USA, a campus conservative group with a track record of bringing provocative rightwing speakers to liberal universities.

On the other side are far-right activists – often referred to as white supremacists and neo-Nazis, although many of them reject such labels – who believe in slamming the door on all immigrants, not just those who cross the border without documents, and who want an end to America’s military and diplomatic engagement with the wider world.

A number of the loudest voices at Sunday’s event were supporters of Nick Fuentes, a 21-year-old activist with a podcast called America First that has taken particular aim at Turning Point USA and its 25-year-old founder, Charlie Kirk. In a number of his own recent campus appearances, Kirk has faced questions accusing him of being more interested in supporting Israel than in putting America first. He has responded by calling his detractors conspiracists and racists.

On Sunday, Kirk appeared alongside Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle but said nothing.

Two Fuentes supporters, delighted with the outcome of Trump Jr’s appearance, later told the Guardian the pro-Trump movement was being infected with “fake conservatism” and that the president himself was at the mercy of a cabal of deep state operatives who wouldn’t let him do many of the things he campaigned on.

The pair, who called themselves Joe and Orion Miles, said: “It was an absolute disaster for them. We wanted to ask questions about immigration and about Christianity, but they didn’t want to face those questions.”

Also, if Trump Jr was expecting “triggered” leftwingers to clamour for his silence, he did not get it. No more than 35 protesters showed up and, despite making a lot of noise with drums and whistles and shouts of “Trump-Pence Out Now!”, resisted taunts and insults from provocateurs in Make America Great Again hats from across a line of metal barriers.


UPDATE: The video below comes from an alt-right Twitter account:

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