Defend Free Speech In Class? Get Sent to the Hallway

Out of personal courtesy I won’t name names, and I hope no one else does as well. With that said, some of these experiences really say a lot about our educational system. Many others and I have personally been subject to the ire of teachers which hold Marxist views, and here is one example of it.

It was junior year. We were getting assignments where we had to read a short passage about a historical event, and then answer questions about it. Very simple, so far. This time, however, the story was about the Battle of the Bridge, which happened locally in Maine in the 1920s. For some background, this was a time of ethnic tensions between Protestant Anglo Americans and Catholic Franco Americans. Maine, adjacent to Quebec in Canada, has always had a sizeable Franco population.

The response among the Anglos included the formation of a local KKK chapter, which planned a rally on a bridge connecting two rival cities, one predominantly Anglo and one predominantly Franco. Now, allow me to preface this by saying I unequivocally disavow the KKK and all acts of violence that the group has committed nationwide. I lean Catholic and am half French, so they wouldn’t have liked me either. However, the story went like this: They showed up at the rally on the bridge, and before they were even given the chance to possibly touch anyone, they were forcibly removed by counter-protesters to the other side, who threw rocks, bottles, and other things. Regardless of the views of either side, one side committed violence against a non-violent demonstration.

That was my response, that one side turned to violence when the other had not. As a French person with an Irish last name, I was hoping that would be enough evidence to prove I was not a KKK sleeper agent or something…

The thing about the Battle of the Bridge, though, was that it closely resembled what Antifa groups do today, and how they justify it. If the Francos violently retaliated against racist murderers, (which you could label the national KKK as) then it was perfectly fine for communist counter-protesters today to violently assault anyone who they deemed as racist murderers. To a teacher who sympathized with Marxism, this meant that instead of this passage being meant to objectively inform the student, it was meant instead to persuade the student to think that anyone deemed “racist” should be crushed.

Questions on the packet included “Why do you think the Francos were right to retaliate?” and worst of all, “What should be done about similar groups today?” A call for violence? Is that what my teacher wanted me to respond with? Instead, I said that unless they got violent first, no one has the right to assault any group, as everyone has the First Amendment freedoms of speech and assembly.

For my troubles, I was pulled out of class. To make it worse, there was 5 minutes left in class, and I was trying to finish some schoolwork so I wouldn’t have to do it at home. Instead, I was interrogated in the hallway.

“Did you know that you’re defending hate groups?” I was asked. I said, “No, I’m defending the First Amendment.”

My teacher’s answer was that “white nationalism” was on the rise today, even encompassing the Presidency, and that unless I did my part in opposing it, I would never be able to get a job or be accepted into college. And while the second part was occasionally true, it was only because “anti-fascists” like my teacher mass report people to businesses and schools, effectively shutting them out of society. Moreover, how could my teacher try to act as a neutral mediator when they honestly believed that President Trump was a white nationalist?

I don’t remember if it happened in this instance, but in this class, we have heard the SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER used as a source for these kinds of claims in the past. In case you didn’t know, the SPLC is a mysteriously-funded “watchdog” group which slanders anyone to the right of Mitt Romney as white nationalists, fascists, racists, sexists, homophobes, transphobes, every name in the books. They will even go as far as label Christian charity organizations as hate groups, something which strikes me as despicable to the bone. They have singlehandedly destroyed so many people’s lives by blacklisting them on the Internet, that I personally consider them a hate group. Consider the fact that they are the source for many people calling other people racists, including my teacher.

So this conversation extended past our block, and lunch had started. I said what I had in response, eventually gathered my things, and left. I was fuming. Who gave my teacher the right to hold me in the hallway for political disagreements? After telling the story, many were sympathetic. This shows the disconnect in opinion between the teaching staff and the students, because most of everyone who heard the story thought that I was treated unacceptably. In contrast, if any other teacher did openly say that I was treated unfairly, it was most likely just to save face. As far as I am aware, however, no one has mentioned it since.

Occurrences like this show how much further to the left the staff is compared to the students, which isn’t a coincidence. I’m reassured of this because of my experiences showing that other teachers sympathized with Marxism as well. That’s why this was just one of many such cases of political feuds between teachers and I, and why there were many more to come…

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