Editorials

At UMKC, a D-List conservative was sad to be squirted with the makings of a bubble bath

BREAKING: OK, so that wasn’t bleach that one of a handful of protesters squirted on a D-List conservative speaker at a poorly attended event at UMKC on Thursday, as the speaker first tweeted.

Instead, well, it was “lavender oil and some other non-toxic household liquids,” according to a statement from Chancellor Mauli Agrawal.

The speaker, Michael Knowles, who writes for Ben Shapiro’s website, The Daily Wire, was on campus for a Young Americans for Freedom event. Video of it shows rows and rows of empty seats at his talk, “Men Are Not Women.”

Knowles couldn’t wait to claim victimhood: “This is what conservatives on campus are up against,” he said after the event. “This is the kind of violence conservatives on campus stand to face if they state plain facts and refuse to kowtow to leftist fantasy.”

Protesters with signs that said, “Trans rights are human rights” and “Trans men are men” had originally planned a silent walkout from the event.

The disruption was the event, which would otherwise have been a non-event.

Knowles later tweeted that, alas, he’d only been pelted with the makings of a bubble bath by “a hoaxer who was fine getting charged with assault but wanted to avoid a felony.”

This tiny tit for tiny tat — and no, we’re not complaining that it wasn’t a more serious attack, or that only one student was tackled, tased and charged with assault — really just shows the extent of the mutual trollery sometimes referred to as the debate over free speech on campus.

Everyone has the right to speak and everyone has the right to protest.

But at a certain point — one we passed a while ago — the outrage kabuki is not so much provocative as it is predictable.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, for one, is not yet bored, tweeting that, “This kind of behavior is unacceptable & shouldn’t be tolerated — toy guns and fake chemicals or not, these actions put ppl at risk. All students deserve free speech protections & shouldn’t be persecuted for political beliefs. Appreciate local police for defusing the situation.”

But persecution so ardently sought shouldn’t be so reliably conferred.

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