Recently at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (UIUC), there was an incident involving a Ph.D. candidate Tariq Khan, who taught multiple classes at UIUC. Tariq Khan is a radical communist anarchist, who believes the national anthem is a white supremacist song and that you are racist if you stand for the anthem.
One of the victims, student Joel Valdez, described the event. Valdez asked Khan, who was speaking at the rally, “Don’t you have kids to look after?” This question triggered Khan and he, for some inexplicable reason, took this microaggression as a threat to his students. Then, according to Valdez, “Khan immediately charged us, pushing us, throwing punches. We then attempted to defuse the situation and remained calm, but Khan was uncontrollable and unhinged. I’m certain that Khan knew there was no threat; he just wanted to look for a fight. I wasn’t interested.”
Tariq Khan took speech as equivalent to violence, which is a disturbing trend among the radical left because if speech is violence then you can justify attacking someone for their beliefs. Khan, in one of his articles, Masking Oppression as Free Speech: An Anarchist Take, argued that free speech is inherently bad and protects bigotry. Khan states that, “In the present-day United States, a shallow idea of “free speech” is often wielded by the privileged as a way to direct attention away from critiques of existing conditions and systems; particularly critiques of capitalism, imperialism, white supremacy, and patriarchy.” Thus Khan views free speech as helping or even causing bigotry. With radical and authoritarian views on free speech, it is little surprise that he assaulted students for their speech.
This incident reflects a wider problem at the University of Illinois where conservative voices are being silenced and marginalized by university employees. TPUSA flyers were vandalized by employees of the school before a Charlie Kirk appearance on campus. In another incident, a school employee disrupted a meeting held by the College Republicans. The fact that in these cases it’s not SJW students but actual school employees that are trying to silence conservatives is especially disturbing because colleges should be places where all ideas are discussed and debated so that students have the opportunity to have a well-rounded worldview.
In the future, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign must make sure that the employees they hire believe in free speech and the sharing of ideas. There is no way, given Mr. Khan’s views on free speech, that Khan should be teaching students. Based on Khan’s radical beliefs, there is zero chance that conservative students are able to speak openly in his class without fear of condemnation and potentially being punished by receiving poor grades.
Colleges should be places where all views are learned and where as much information as possible is spread. It is time for UIUC to become a bastion of knowledge again.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.