It turns out that if you are going to get anywhere as a political or social movement you need to be able to convince other people that your points are sound. It turns out, to convince people that your points are sound, you need to provide evidence for your arguments and make them in a somewhat reasonable way.
Activities like violence, vandalism, and preventing other people from traveling places or talking to people who they want to talk to only serve to make people close themselves to your ideas. To me this all seems common sense. Most people are not that politically involved or aware, so if you start off your pitch to them by shouting down a speaker or smashing some windows, you have already lost whatever chance you may have had to convince them to join your cause. In a Democracy, and to a lesser degree in other government types, the will and beliefs of the people are going to be reflected in the government. I am not so naive to claim that the government always reflects this will correctly or completely, but there is always going to be some connection because governments can only afford to piss of the people so much. If we woke up tomorrow and 75% of the population totally supported feminism, all sorts of feminist priorities would start getting passed. Convincing people to believe in and join your cause is how change happens.
Radicals, especially on college campuses, seem to really struggle with understanding this idea. Perhaps part of it is that they really can't get a majority of people to agree with them because their viewpoints are often poorly supported by evidence and logic. However, it certainly doesn't help when they throw pragmatism to the wind.
Let's take for example the now well-known incidences of students on university campuses shouting down speakers they disagree with. I have written an article about a BLM group shouting down the ACLU and I do not want to repeat everything I said in that article here, but suffice to say that such tactics only serve to highlight and promote whoever they were trying to shut down while also allowing them to claim victim status and sympathy. Whenever you tell people they are not allowed to see something, those people naturally become more interested in hearing whatever this forbidden idea is. Here is my article on that incident: https://steemit.com/freespeech/@pirateofthedtube/how-to-destroy-a-movement-blm-shuts-down-aclu-talk-on-college-campus Another great example is when Antifa tried to violently shut down a Sargon of Akkad event: https://steemit.com/sargonofakkad/@pirateofthedtube/antifa-are-complete-and-utter-morons-the-sargon-of-akkad-event
In other instances, protesters resort to property destruction to make their points. Take for example a recent incident where some students vandalized fraternity houses while attempting to argue that fraternities should be banned: https://steemit.com/college/@pirateofthedtube/the-idiocy-of-banning-college-fraternities
Normally anyone, especially if they are white or otherwise privileged, will be told to stop playing "respectability politics" and that playing respectability politics is racist. While there are certainly disingenuous people out there who only pretend to care about things like how vandalism, violence, or preventing other people from speaking is wrong, there are many reasons why considering how other people will view your methods is important to promoting any political cause.
Ironically, stifling discussions about how certain methods might be inappropriate leads to the left shooting themselves in the foot. Because so many radicals live in a bubble (although to be fair we all do to some degree) they end up continuing to engage in tactics that seem abhorrent to everybody except themselves. They end up becoming incredibly out of touch with what the average person thinks, and so they wind up being totally unable to convince anybody of their cause's legitimacy. Shutting down these discussions by denouncing all criticisms of their tactics as racist only serves to drive them further from ideas and methods that would allow them to advance their cause. They just retreat further into the bubble.
Every. Single. Time. Somebody does something stupid like vandalism, the whole discussion soon becomes about their methods, not their message. Soon, nobody is talking about the original reason the protest took place - we all end up talking about the actions taken by the protesters, and so the original problem goes unsolved.
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