Campus Free Speech

Activists Try to Stop Conservative Writer Michael Knowles from Speaking at UMKC, Throw Liquid at Him

The left takes the bait.

|

Michael Knowles, a writer for the conservative Daily Wire, attempted to speak at the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Thursday. Protesters heckled him, and one hurled a liquid that smelled like bleach at him.

The substance was not actually bleach. Police arrested the attacker immediately. According to Campus Reform:

UMKC responded to the incident in a tweet, saying, "we have a responsibility to allow free speech, but we cannot condone physical disruptions of peaceful activities. We believe free speech can be exercised constructively in a way that doesn't put people at risk. We are gathering facts and will review campus policies & procedures."

Knowles was on campus to give a talk called "Men Are Not Women," presumably about his views on the transgender community.

Knowles is a professional provocateur and decidedly trollish rightwing figure. (His book Reasons to Vote for Democrats is just 266 blank pages.) It seems obvious that the best thing to do is ignore his talks, which are quite intentionally designed to get a rise out of lefties and trick them into making themselves look intolerant and cartoonish. True to form, the activist left greeted Knowles with the kind of stupid, self-defeating behavior that Knowles' ilk thrives on.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

95 responses to “Activists Try to Stop Conservative Writer Michael Knowles from Speaking at UMKC, Throw Liquid at Him

  1. Assault is a step above heckling. Baited or not, the condemnation here belongs with the protestors.

    1. Yes exactly and I don’t understand Reason’s support of a typical progressive stand on this. I have accused this author of being a progressive and with lines like this “Knowles is a professional provocateur and decidedly trollish rightwing figure.” it is proof positive. Who else talks/writes this? Regardless of motivation Knowles is not known for promoting violence and I thought Libertarians supported free speech that stimulated debate. Knowles does expose the tyranny of the left and apparently now Reason’s editorial staff.

  2. Literally shaking!

    Oh, wait. I’m not one of those who is allowed to literally shake. Sorry, my bad.

  3. “It seems obvious that the best thing to do is ignore his talks, which are quite intentionally designed to get a rise out of lefties and trick them into making themselves look intolerant and cartoonish.”

    Trick them?
    How does that work exactly, what trickery is involved here?
    Spells, incantations, suppression of free will etc.?

    1. “goad the foolish” may be a better fit.

    2. Exactly. How are they being “tricked”? Anyone saying anything that doesn’t completely coform to their dogma causes them to go insane and do something stupid and likely violent. What the hell is wrong with Soave?

      1. “Knowles is a professional provocateur and decidedly trollish rightwing figure.”

        “True to form, the activist left greeted Knowles with the kind of stupid, self-defeating behavior that Knowles’ ilk thrives on.”

        The answer might lie somehow in the above, but I’ll be darned if I can figure it out.

    3. Extraordinarily weak … especially for “Reason”.

      Where is the “reason” in the declaration that Knowles is a “professional provocateur and decidedly trollish rightwing figure”. What does that even mean?

      Are we to assume that Knowles says anything and everything just to provoke (like some idiot teenager)? When speaking to Leftist Crowds (does he ever do that?) he says only things that irritate Leftists? But when speaking to Conservative Crowds he says only things that irritate Conservatives? If that’s the case — if he speaks only to irritate his audience (like some sort of political Don Rickles) — then, yes — he is a “professional provocateur”.

      BUT — if his speeches are consistently Conservative in nature and irritate only the Progressive Left , then NO, he is not a professional provocateur….he is only a Conservative Speaker (albeit one who tends to the ‘less philosophical’ side of things).

      And “trollish”? Again — as others have noted — does he say these things only to annoy? Or does he say them (“Men are not women”) because they are true and obviously need to be said?

      And finally — WHY does “It seems obvious that the best thing to do is ignore his talks, which are quite intentionally designed to get a rise out of lefties and trick them into making themselves look intolerant and cartoonish.” Why is ignoring what he has to say “obvious”? Clearly he’s absolutely correct “men are not (and cannot become) women”, why should that truth be ignored rather than broadcast from the highest mountaintop?

      As far as “making the Left look intolerant and foolish” — my God, man, they ARE intolerant and foolish. How can you not be characterized as intolerant and foolish if every time someone says “men can’t be women” you have a temper tizzy?

      I expect better from Mr. Soave…and much better from Reason.

      1. You sir are a better man (not a woman) than I am, for expecting better. Robbie has become a hack, with no apparent journalistic integrity.

      2. +1

      3. “I expect better from Mr. Soave…and much better from Reason.”

        Actually, this is exactly what I expect from a hack like Soave.

        What disappoints is that Reason seems to agree with Soave’s position.

    4. “Trick them?
      How does that work exactly, what trickery is involved here?
      Spells, incantations, suppression of free will etc.?”

      No use repeating; you beat me to it.

    5. the author is a progressive what do you expect? It is a shame what has happened to a once fine magazine.

    6. Soave can’t help his progressive silliness and hypocrisy.

  4. A thought on process rather than the subject matter: Maybe we should have a way to demark “news” items and “opinion” items. Or maybe there is one and I missed it. Anyway, this article starts off as if it is news, describing the events. Then it takes a sharp turn past opinion and into team-based strategy document. (actually a strategy I agree with, but the point remains)

    1. Perhaps Robby could have made it as a PowerPoint presentation.

  5. Knowles was on campus to give a talk called “Men Are Not Women,” presumably about his views on the transgender community.

    Knowles is a professional provocateur and decidedly trollish rightwing figure.

    So stating the obvious truth now makes one a troll? Exactly how would a person object to transgenerism without Robby calling them a troll?

    Sorry Robby but saying something that the morons on these campuses don’t like does not make you a troll.

    1. “Objecting” to transgender identity is no more scientifically valid than objecting to cisgender identity, or objecting to red hair for that matter.

      #TransWomenAreWomen

      1. To close to the literal truth of what these idiots believe to be funny.

        D+

      2. A VERY dry sense of humor, my friend.
        But remember — Per Poe’s Law, it’s no longer possible to distinguish satire from actual Left Progressive Nonsense (like #transwomenarewomen). People will actually think you’re serious.

      3. For the love of Pete..who is the provocateur? Trans women are transwomen (meaning they still have most of the chromosomes that label them as a male ) unless they still have their junk. In which case they are simply cross dressers. This is the real scientific basis for identifying as a woman or a man. This simple biological science the rest is just silly progressives composition.

    1. You just can’t check to make sure they work.

      1. They added this “feature” for SugarFree, so he wouldn’t feel bad about link troubles.

  6. Sure, the protestors engaged in assault and battery, but come on, he was asking for it, wearing that short skirt.

    1. He tricked them by giving a speech and saying something they don’t want said. Robby really is pathetic sometimes.

      1. Did Reason change their motto? Seems the first two words no longer apply to the writers.

    2. very funny..

  7. Reason may have gotten a makeover but Soave’s tiresome ‘to be sure’ shtick remains.

    Throwing liquid at someone. Waiting for the ‘conservatives do it too!’ angle.

    I don’t see what’s so ‘provocative’ by what this guy says and it certainly doesn’t merit this kind of retarded reaction.

    But keep giving an out to retards Robby.

    Me? I’ll keep the blame firmly where it belongs: With the progressive left and their ILLIBERAL stances.

    1. Rufus,

      What is up with the Lightening and the Pens? I can’t believe they are both down 3-0. For all of the crap they give Ovetchkin, I don’t think one of his teams has ever been swept out of the playoffs. If the Pens go down in 4, will that mean the sacred Canadian might actually be criticized?

      1. I’m a bit at a loss. The Tampa thing is nuts. But Torts has CBJ believing and when a team believes they’re dangerous. Tampa simply couldn’t rise to match their intensity. The talent level is through the roof but no guts for the glory I reckon. Inexcusable really. Stamkos disappears in the playoffs. Some players rise and kick ass like Marner with the Leafs. It’ll be interesting to to see what happens with Cooper at the end of the year.

        As for the Pens, our pal Fist could offer insights but they’ve been inconsistent all year. Sid did get 100 points this year and he generally is productive in the playoffs (185 pts. in his career). I think they just ran into a really tenacious defensive and well coached (Trotz is among the best) team in NYI. They just can’t seem to get it going. I think he’ll get a pass – as he should.

        1. Oh. When has the NBA ever produced such upsets? You may as well just chalk in one or two teams in the finals in that sport.

          Hockey? Forget it. It’s the wild west.

          Even the Blues/Jets is now on. The Leafs/Bruins will go either way. And don’t think the Sharks are out of it despite Vegas beating them down twice in a row.

    2. America is so great that you have to hire two Nigerians to throw bleach on you!

      1. I’ll take a dump truck full of “to be sure” over that garbage.

    3. Thank you for an insightful response. I have been wondering what is going on at Reason and it is nice to know I am not the only one.

  8. Reason-now new and improved!

    Looks More Like Huffington Post

    Reads More Like Democratic Underground

    1. thank you!

  9. Knowles is a professional provocateur and decidedly trollish rightwing figure. (His book Reasons to Vote for Democrats is just 266 blank pages.) It seems obvious that the best thing to do is ignore his talks, which are quite intentionally designed to get a rise out of lefties

    Like looking in a mirror, eh Rico? Good work.

  10. If you believe that free speech provokes violence, as the arrested protesters did, then you don’t believe in free speech.

    Do you get violent when doctors object to illness?

    Gender Dysphoria is the mental illness and required diagnosis for being considered transgender.

    1. Your historical ignorance is showing.

      The next step is to chastise the psychology community into removing such things from the DSM. This strategy is tried and true. They have already parsed out “gender nonconformity” from “gender dysphoria” and are explicit that “gender nonconformity” is not a mental illness.

      1. You’re tripping over your bullshit.

        The mental illness diagnosis is required before doctors are allowed to start injecting, cutting and sterilizing.

        1. I think you missed my point.

          That’s how they do it… if they pressure the psychiatric community to say so… pooof, no more mental illness. And by extension, you are an evil bigot if you say otherwise. As if their book changes reality in any way other than changing the book.
          I’m sure there are loads of other disorders and human variances that are far enough out-of-normal to be considered “mental illness” that have been downgraded due to such social pressures.

          Holding the idea that “that is not normal for a human” in their heads at the same time as “you should not mistreat them or deny them their right to live as they see fit” is impossible. You must completely validate their wiring in every way, or you are a bigot, and evil.

          So you can’t say that their is something “abnormal” or even “different than the majority” about a person’s brain. You end up having to say “yup. You are just fine. No problems at all”.

          From one angle I get it. Your brain is essentially who you are, so if you are permanently wired to feel as if you are female, despite your male outward appearance, what are you to do? Even if there is a pill you could take that would change that wiring, would you really want to change the very core of who you are? The idea is a pretty big assault on one’s personhood. So I get why you’d be radically opposed to calling something that personal a “mental illness”.

          Still, I think the professional community has a responsibility to be honest and systematic in their work. And “some people find this insulting” probably shouldn’t be a basis for DSM listing. But it is.

          1. I agree with your clarification.

            When you’re sarcastically parroting retards, maybe don’t do it so well.

            1. well put!

  11. Robby, what did Michael Knowles say about his motives when you interviewed him (which I presume you at least tried to do)?

  12. I clicked through to find the video. You don’t get to see anything provocative. In fact, the assailant enters through a side door wearing a mask and paraphernalia common to to Antifa. He quickly turns the corner and sprays something and is almost immediately tackled by a uniformed officer.

    There is one woman in the front row with a bit of common sense who grabs her belongings and hightails it out of the area.

    Then the comedy ensues. A few (presumably far-left) students begin chanting/yelling “hands up, don’t shoot!”, the motto of #BLM. Which is multiple funny since this guy ran into the room to commit an assault and was being subdued without use of firearms or other “non-lethal” methods, but rather what appeared to be a choke-hold – at least for the initial takedown. Extra layer of funny – the “hands up, don’t shoot” chant was in response to a false claim that even the Holder justice department debunked.

    But yeah, I suppose the speaker is the Troll here…. (he says, admitting that he’s never even heard of the guy before)

    1. Ours in the universe of the crazy, illiberal progressives. We just get to live in it.

    2. If a speaker is invited to give a talk, lead a discussion by a recognized group how can he be considered a Troll? If true then then we could be populated with a lot of Trolls.

  13. New and improved but commenting system still sucks? Maybe it’s trivial, but the thing I want most is the ability to like comments.

    1. I would have “liked” this if there had been a “like” button.

      1. Yeah, the “like” feature provides a level of interactivity for comments that are generally agreed with but don’t leave much room for comment other than “Exactly!”, which most people won’t bother to post.

        It can lead to carma-whoring in the comments, but it generally leads to a more civil and interactive experience.

    2. I think the new formate is good, but at least one troll disagrees.

  14. The local media is also going for the “agitator provokes nice campus leftists” angle”

    https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article229180734.html

  15. I agree with the article’s advice about ignoring Knowles. I’m bothered by the Chancellor’s notion that interrupting the speaker and not letting him speak is free speech. See https://m.facebook.com/notes/umkc/umkc-statement-from-chancellor/10156493074582545/

    1. I’ve seen university audiences give a polite reception to actual communist speakers. No booing, no hand-held signs of the Gulag or the various famines, no spraying the speaker with 13 kinds of deodorant, nothing like that.

      Perhaps this means that actual communists are less controversial than this conservative guy?

      1. I went to see a couple of Farrakhan disciples at UNC back in the 80’s. Openly, flaming racists. One dude even told me and a couple of other white people to leave, that the speech was “blacks only”. I left without incident. My roommate stayed and reported further on what was said – up until he was so annoyed and bored that he left too.

        Nobody disrupted the event. Nobody was castigated for their virulent racism either. We are a very tolerant society. Except for those on the far left. They expect a high degree of lion-towing.

        1. Only those insecure in their beliefs resort to disruption and violence to silence their opposition. That is why most progressives / socialists are neurotic nitwits.

  16. the funny thing about Knowles book is it reminds me of Hillary’s book with all the literally empty pages in it. seems like a case of copyright infringement

    1. Sorry Ron. I clicked on the flag to see if there were options. Apparently not. So expect a knock any minute…

    2. I believe HRC actually used more trees to reach the same conclusion

  17. Chairman Mao would be proud of their actions!

  18. Men are not women btw.

  19. I’m pretty sure all transgender people are just trolling for sympathy and should be explicitly ignored at all turns. Their methods are pretty explicitly as part of the larger LGBT community’s specific MO of trolling. We’re at the point where homosexuals are literally just wandering into cake shops and pizzerias to find and out the ones that won’t kneel to serve their particular brand of idiocy.

    Remember Reason pretty openly mocking it’s own principles and cleaving to the ‘transgender bathroom panic’ narrative? Some might say that they were selling out and trolling, others would call it progressivism.

  20. Well it’s true that men are not women. That’s why there are two different words for those two different things.

    “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, “You are mad; you are not like us.”
    Anthony the Great

  21. disorder
    Etymology: L, dis, apart, ordo, rank
    a disruption of or interference with normal functions or established systems, as a mental disorder or nutritional disorder.
    Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 9th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

    Our normal function and established system for reproduction is mating, pairing of members of opposite sex and raising the children in a genetic nuclear family.

    Only heterosexuals can achieve this, all other sexual relationships are disordered.

    1. So, all worker bees and ants who don’t reproduce are “disordered”?
      All wolves, meerkats, and mongooses who are not one of the alpha pair and so do not reproduce are “disordered”?

      1. The topic is about humans.

        If you choose to emulate a lower form of life, fill your boots, but be clear about it.

        1. I missed the part where you presented evidence that it is “normal” for all human beings to reproduce in a “nuclear family”. You just rectally pontificated that assertion. I challenged that assertion by pointing out that it is normal among other social animals for not all individuals to reproduce. Those individuals are not “disordered”, but rather are essential to the survival of their community. It is not self-evident that individuals in social species who do not reproduce are “disordered”.

          1. A human nuclear family has become our normal and established system because it is best for both children and parents.

            Life is a continuum. When one living egg and one living sperm combine at conception a new life is created from the continuous living genetic histories of both. We not only share hair colour and looks but the entire genetic histories of our biological parents and only them.

            Denying children this relationship is abuse.

            Choosing not to reproduce ENDS your contribution to our future. Suggesting to my children that that’s “normal” or “OK” ensures our conflict.

            Choose your end. Fuck off.

            1. Gibberish. Which is what I should have expected.

              1. It’s no surprise that the mentally ill perceive science and logic as gibberish.

                Nobody wants to be like you.

                That’s why you’re called names, like faggot, retard.

                1. Spouting unsupported pontification and name-calling in response to facts and reasoning is not “science and logic”.

    2. It simply is not sporting to haul out medical dictionary. Most in the LBGTQRISOUV “whatever” community have their own dictionary that you have to refer to because the rest is pseudo science. If you don’t then you are a troglodyte.

  22. Free speech left American campuses right around the time bell bottom jeans left the fashion scene.

  23. Knowles effectively uses humor and snark to advance a conservative message, therefore he is a troll. Unlike, say, Remy or Heaton.

    1. Look, if you can’t brand and exclude uptight conservative trolls like Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Mel Brooks, and Jonathan Cleese, who can you exclude?

  24. “Hate speech is not possible without free speech, so any defense of free speech is a form of hate speech.”
    Titiana McGrath

    1. I believe she is a comedienne engaging in parody.

      1. It’s either comedy or really bad logic.

  25. Robby Space; “It seems obvious that the best thing to do is ignore his talks, which are quite intentionally designed to get a rise out of lefties and trick them into making themselves look intolerant and cartoonish” Trick them? Really? Describe to me how this trickery is accomplished?

    Lefties gonna act a fool, stop searching for excuses.

    1. The best thing to do is listen to what he says from a logical and scientific perspective and then do the same for his opponents.

      Then use whatever capacity you have to discern which is true.

      The opposite of ignoring either or both sides of the argument.

      1. Are you arguing that a writer on a site of this name actually USE reason?

  26. Commie nut jobs don’t need Michael Knowles, a ‘professional provocateur,’ to make themselves look retarded.

  27. If you want some background on the perp, google ‘Jamie Jammer’.

    1. Jamie Jammer is a 20-year-old autistic mtf tranny snowflake who perfectly embodies the social justice warrior movement: Lazy, entitled, free-loading, confrontational and passive-aggressive to the extreme. Jamie was born in Hawaii to a military family and the form of privilege that it provides.

  28. The person who tossed the liquid should be punished.

    The College Republicans — are there more than a handful at this mainstream law school? — who paid this small-time provocateur to speak on a campus should be pitied. They are destined to spend the remainder of their days watching American progress effected against their bigoted wishes and lame efforts, capped by an old age of muttering bitterly about all of that damned improvement in America.

    1. So all Republicans are bigots because of what this guy thinks, then I guess I get to call all Democrats homophobes. She took millions of dollars from countries who put my community the one you apparently support to death for favours. Funnily enough though Democrats voted, donated, and backed her.
      You can’t even question me on that because I am using your logic.

    2. “men are not women” == bigotry. lol

  29. “which are quite intentionally designed to get a rise out of lefties and trick them into making themselves look intolerant and cartoonish.”

    Tricksy hobbitses… Making the radical leftwing activists look intolerant and cartoonish…

  30. This is great advertising for libertarian laissez-faire. Fascist versus communist standoffs remind voters that the one-dementional socialist kleptocracy is still wedged firmly between Hitler and Stalin versions of Altruria, with the initiation of deadly force as the only conceivable approach to running their brand of government.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.