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BREAKING: Visiting Scholar Mark Bray Endorses Violence Against Opponents

College lecturer Mark Bray, a visiting scholar at the Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth (GRID), has put the College into the national spotlight once again — and not in a good way. In an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, August 20, while promoting his forthcoming book, Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, he endorsed radical leftist movement Antifa’s violent tactics:

Mark Bray1.jpg

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has classified previous actions taken by Antifa as domestic terrorism.

Bray’s remarks included this exchange with Chuck Todd, the show’s host:

Todd: You seem to be a very small minority here who is defending the idea of violence considering that somebody died in Charlottesville. Why do you defend confronting in a violent way?

Bray: Well, first I would contest the notion that I’m not that small of a minority. I think that a lot of people recognize that, when pushed, self-defense is a legitimate response to white supremacy and neo-Nazi violence … And the way to stop that is what people did in Boston, what people did in Charlottesville. Pull the emergency break and say you can’t make this normal.

Bray later doubled down:

If you get fascist to be powerful enough in government, they’re simply not gonna listen to the kind of public opinion that non-violence can generate. That’s the argument for resistance to Nazis, and the other point that I’ll make is that a lot of people don’t have the choice whether they can defend themselves or not.

His other controversial statements, of which there are many, include the claim that “fascism cannot be defeated through speech.”

Bray’s position is so extreme that NBC brought on Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) President Richard Cohen as a counterpoint — the SPLC is a strongly left-leaning organization. Here’s what Cohen had to say, in part:

I think it’s a spectacularly bad idea to give one group of people the right to silence another group of people. It’s contrary to our values embodied in the First Amendment. It’s likely to drive the people who are trying to censor underground where they may resort to illegal means to express themselves, like bombs. And lastly, it’s likely to lead to a terrible spiral. We saw that in Berkeley. The Antifa came and shut down a speech. The next time the white nationalists brought their own private army and so, you know, where does something like that stop. Yesterday in Boston, you know, when we saw thousands and thousands of people peacefully protest, that seemed like a much stronger answer to white supremacy then, then clubs and guns.

Take a look at the corresponding footage here:

Ironically, Bray’s views are protected by the ideals of academic freedom and free speech that he opposes. So long as he does not directly incite violence, the First Amendment safeguards his right to make these statements. But by endorsing violent acts against people holding positions that are detestable to many of us, he has only ceded the moral high ground to a constellation of racist and bigoted groups. Unfortunately, more bloodshed may soon follow.

Addendum: A full transcript of Bray’s appearance can be found here.

: GRID is the same College organization that hosted anti-Semite Jasbir Puar, a scholar notorious for her claim that Israel is harvesting Palestinian organs for its own medical use.

Addendum: Bray had a lengthy piece on the Antifa movement in the Washington Post on August 15.

Addendum: A reader writes in:

I was so glad to read your post on Mark Bray.

Color me highly-startled when I looked up from my laptop to my TV, and saw that Dartmouth backdrop as the accompaniment to the “expert opinion” of young Mr. Bray there. You’ve slightly relieved me in emphasizing that he’s on campus due to the kind invitation of GRID and not, say, by the considered judgment of other departments I’d tend to hold in higher esteem.

I saw him again, on cable, last evening, again counterbalanced by Richard Cohen of SPLC (whose Mark Potok I’ve always seen as equally wild-eyed to Mr. Bray), and by golly Mr. Bray has the look about him of the young Khmer Rouge.

When will our children learn the force of economic choices wielded as a club? I know that’s a touchy subject for you, and Dartblog—BDS has been a major topic for your ire. But boycotts do work, when used and not just bruited about fashionably (see Birmingham bus boycott for notable example); they’re not fun because they require discipline.

Please do continue calling out lunacy wherever and whenever you see it. (We can judge for ourselves if we think you’re right…)


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