On Monday, Michael Knowles discussed his ordeal at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where a group of Leftists disrupted his speech and one attempted to spray him with an unknown liquid. Not only has the faculty refused to apologize, but some of their staff have openly endorsed the actions of the students. A local newspaper even theorized that Knowles deserved it. Knowles breaks it all down in a special episode of “The Michael Knowles Show.”
There was this event last Thursday at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Many of you watched it. I was invited to give a lecture there on the topic, "Men Are Not Women." Pretty basic topic. If you took a time machine back to five years ago and told people that that would be a controversial topic in five years, they would laugh in your face. So, I go there, and I give this talk, I try to give this talk. From the very beginning, there was a group of about a dozen leftists screaming like banshees, screaming so loudly that the other people in the room could not hear it. Some of the people on video could hear because I was speaking directly into a microphone that was being broadcast.
People in the room couldn't because these leftists screamed like hyenas consistently for about 20 minutes. Eventually, they get up and they go to leave, and they are screaming all these crazy things at me. And then from behind me, out of my periphery, some leftist thug wearing a face mask and bandana, comes in and squirts some unknown chemical at me which had a very strong smell and it had a weird color. What he didn't realize is that the police were right by that door. They dropped him to the ground in a matter of seconds and they arrested him very quickly. He was fighting back. He did not count on there being any consequences to this. So, I went on and I made some jokes about it and tried to push on with the speech.
It was first then reported that it was paint that the guy tried to spray on me. That's kind of what I thought it was. Then a lot of people in the room who were closer to where the super soaker full of this chemical was were reporting that it was bleach. So obviously, it seems like the authorities in the room thought that this could be a dangerous chemical, which is why they responded so quickly. We later found out it was a non-toxic household chemicals. Seems pretty clear that the kid, this attacker, was trying to give the impression that it was some sort of dangerous chemical, but he wanted to avoid multiple felonies on his record, so probably that was smart for him. Regardless, the point of this is pretty clear.
First of all, it could've been anything that he was hurling onto a conservative speaker and what it really seems to be is a warning shot. Which is that if you don't shut up, if you don't kowtow to leftist orthodoxy, you will be intimidated, you'll be shouted down, and ultimately, you'll be physically attacked. Don't forget they didn't start out trying to physically attack me. They started out just trying to scream me down and hoping that I would leave and shut up. Only when I didn't do that, did this guy bust in and try to hurl some liquid on me. That was the ultimate point. So we know that this kind of violence has happened at universities. I'm not the first conservative speaker to be attacked, Charles Murray has been attacked. I think Christina Hoff Summers was attacked. This has happened at other places.
The more shocking thing here was the response. The response of the university, the chancellor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Mauli Agrawal and the response of the Kansas City Star, and the mainstream media more broadly. What the left is doing here is trying to equate violence with nonviolence; that's the big takeaway. They've been doing it not just to me in this story over the past three days. They've done it to President Trump; they've done it to Dan Crenshaw. They're trying to equate violence with nonviolence. The university's reaction: the next morning a letter comes out from the chancellor's office. I expect there to be an apology to an invited speaker who was harassed and then assaulted… No no no.
Here's the letter from Chancellor Mauli Agrawal: "A student group brought a speaker to campus, a speaker who's professed opinions do not align with our commitment to diversity and inclusion and our goal of providing a welcoming environment to all people particularly to our LGBT community."
First of all, what's my stated opinion? The topic of the speech is "men are not women" and the university doesn't agree with that. Does the university think men are women? Also, the irony they said this doesn't speak to our values of diversity — I'm the only one talking about diversity. I'm saying there's a diversity of sexes. I'm saying there is diversity between men and women. You're the one saying that the sexes are completely homogenous. There's no such thing as women. There's only one sex, and we're all the same. There's no difference between men and women.
More broadly this guy opens up his letter not by condemning violence on campus, not by condemning the heckler's veto in these banshee behaving students who should be expelled from the university… No no no. He opens up the letter by baselessly smearing the invited speaker as some sort of bigot, and he said my opinions are not welcoming to the LGBT community. I'm some sort of anti-gay bigot. Now does he cite any of the opinions that are apparently so bigoted? No, of course not because he can't. What could he say? But that's how he begins.
So you can see where the letter is going to go from there. He says, "Upon learning of the speaker's visit members of the UMKC community responded in the best way, by organizing and conducting a counter event across campus Thursday afternoon focused on positive messages about diversity and inclusion."
First of all, that's not the best way to respond. The best way would be to go and listen to the speaker and then at a different time hold another event where people who disagree with you will go and then you will discuss these differing ideas, and people can come to their own conclusions. But to try to just distract from the event and try to pull people away from that actually isn't the best way to respond. He goes on: "Even during the speech some peaceful protesters stood and expressed disagreement with the speaker's views. Then, unfortunately, some others crossed a line."
No, what happened during the speeches from the very moment that I started to speak, these activists shrieked so loudly that nobody could hear the speech.
If a university chancellor believes that is one of the best ways to respond, then he is a disgrace to higher education. Mauli Agrawal is a disgrace to American higher education, to liberal education. He should resign. He should be pressured by the trustees and the alumni and the governor and the students to resign. That is an outrage. What he is saying in that letter, is that the best way to engage with ideas that we might not understand or that we might think that we disagree with or that we maybe never have heard before, is to scream at the top of our lungs like little children, like toddlers, until they are cowered and intimidated into leaving.
Mauli Agrawal, the chancellor of UMKC should resign or else the trustees, the alumni, and the governor are sending a message to every other college in the country, that it's perfectly fine to shout down speakers and to shout down views that are not trendy or faddish at the time. So, this disgrace to higher education, Mauli Agrawal goes on, after defending the heckler's veto after baselessly smearing an invited speaker as some sort of bigot he goes on. Imagine the message this university is sending out to say — hey speakers we'd like you to come to campus, we'd like you to fly across the country, take time out of your schedules to come here and give a speech. And by the way we're going to defend harassment and the heckler's veto. We're not really going to condemn political violence at least not primarily. We'll get to that eventually maybe. And by the way, we're going to baselessly smear you as a bigot. But come on. That's what the university is for.
He goes on, he says, "UMKC must maintain a safe environment in which all points of view even extreme ones are allowed to be heard."
I mentioned this one because in 2019 the opinion that men are not women is an extreme point of view. We hear a lot of sort of moral equivalence between the left and the right. Oh well you know the left they do their crazy things and the right they do their crazy things and come on… No no no. The chancellor of an American university, a state university, who is a left-winger is saying that the point of view that men are not women is extreme and then the right is saying men are not women. Those are not equally extreme crazy viewpoints — one of those is radical and the other is common sense. No equivalence whatsoever.
He says, "We continue to urge everyone in our UMKC community and the broader community to stay true to our values in the face of provocation and to respond to bias and intolerance with reason and courage to hardened attitudes with open minds and honest questions to false statements with calm fact-based challenges."
Listen to what this disgrace does in this letter. He says that the students need to respond to provocation in this way as though I was begging to go visit UMKC. I was begging to fly across the country to give the lecture, please let me come, please. I'll pay you to let me come. I was invited to the school, your school Mauli Agrawal, the school that you represent, invited me to come. You provoked me if anything.
Provocation? You invited me to speak on a specific topic, which I then did. And for that grave mistake that I apparently made taking Mauli Agrawal on face value, for that crazy mistake, I was harassed and physically assaulted.