Hot on the heels of the Jussie Smollett debacle, the debate regarding which side of the political divide holds the most violence is raging once again. At UC Berkeley, California, a young man on campus signing up fellow conservatives to join Turning Point USA was viciously attacked. Is this just another example of the leftist violence that is becoming more pervasive in an intolerent ideology? Or is there more to the story than first appearances suggest?
The video below shows what seems to be one young man attacking another, using aggressive language, and even threatening to shoot the conservative.
The fellow on the receiving end of the abuse is Hayden Williams; the attacker has yet to be publicly identified. According to Hayden, he was attacked because his sign-up station featured a sign stating: “hate crime hoaxes hurt real victims.”
As political tempers fray in the heart of Washington D.C., the rest of the nation is also feeling the divide. Donald Trump Jr. was quick to point out the hypocrisy and selective blindness of the left-leaning media:
“When a liberal like Jussie cries wolf and fakes an attack he receives unmatched coverage, sympathy & support creating a tsunami of attention. When a conservative student literally gets punched in the face, and it’s caught on video it barely makes a ripple.”
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R) also took the time to decry the escalating political violence:
“This is abhorrent behavior against free speech on campus. No form of violence is acceptable! Conservative activist assaulted at UC-Berkeley campus during recruitment drive.”
It is difficult not to see a connection between the Smollett incident and the attack at Berkeley. Both have been tied to politics, and both seemingly representing the worst character aspects we have come to expect of either side. That one of the events turned out to be a hoax does little to change the constant narrative the American public has to deal with day in, day out.
Free Speech Attack
Speaking to Campus Reform soon after the attack, Williams said: “Some students nearby tabling were laughing, even one guy was smiling while I was being attacked and trying to hand me his flyer as a joke.” He went on to describe the assault as an attack on the First Amendment, saying the “idea is free speech has consequences…. which include you getting assaulted if they find you promoting ideas others don’t agree with.”
And what of our illustrious members of the press, who were so keen to cash in on the Smollett situation? As of publishing time, CNN, The Washington Post, and other such bastions of freedom have yet to mention the name “Hayden Williams.”
A Cautionary Tale
Yet now is not the time to march indignantly against biased coverage in righteous anger at one side’s easy use of violence and propaganda; that would be falling into the same trap as those who swallowed the Smollett story hook, line, and sinker.
…now is not the time to march indignantly against biased coverage in righteous anger…
Is this episode of violence at UC Berkeley, perhaps, a little too perfect? Is there a chance that this event could also have been staged to push a particular narrative?
Hayden himself, although manning the table for Turning Point USA, is not an actual member of the organization. The extra footage that is coming out, much like with the Covington MAGA hat kids, may yet rewrite the mythos behind what we believe and what actually happened. Perhaps it is time to start treating such highly charged incidents with a degree of skepticism until the full story unfolds, and not jump on the bandwagon as so many have done in favor of Jussie Smollett.