Lucian Wintrich is the intolerable conservative nuisance – and victim – who was arrested by UConn police and charged with breach of peace for having made an unsuccessful attempt to exercise his First Amendment rights at Connecticut’s flagship university. Wintrich had been invited to speak by the University of Connecticut Young Republican Club on campus.
A raucous crowd – seeded, one commentator noted, with fascists – prevented Wintrich from delivering his thoughts on “It’s OK To Be White.”
The speech, which no one appears to have read, is a defense of a slogan launched by 4chan, the anonymous meme center of the internet, “It’s OK To Be White,” the title of Wintrich’s address. It contains one screamingly offensive, intentionally provocative line – “There are currently two Americas, one full of cherry-trees, apple pie capitalism and pragmatism and another, bizarro, America run by illegal immigrant tranny communists" – that Wintrich’s Mom, had he consulted her, probably would have edited out. But otherwise, the address is an attack on leftist identity politics.
Wintrich closed his speech on an anti-alt-right note: “Now I don’t want you running off and joining the alt-right. As conservatives, we should all reject white nationalism on principle. It’s collectivist for all the wrong reasons and it’s anti-capitalist. It says race is more important than the individual and doesn’t want competition from other races.” The speech was ended by fascists in the crowd before this declaration. Wintrich’s preferred slogan, “It’s OK to be White,” the speaker noted, “is not a white nationalist one. Don’t let the media fool you. It can’t tell racism from anti-racist.”
The fascists were successful in preventing the speaker from delivering his remarks, later printed in full by the Gateway Pundit. And when a woman, disputing with Wintrich at the lectern, stole his speech and ran up the aisle with it, Wintrich pursued her in an attempt to recover his property. A struggle ensued, UConn police intervened, Wintrich was arrested and hustled by police to a “safe space,” away from disruptive fascists who were prepared to make life difficult for the departing Wintrich when he exited the building, a common tactic among Antifa fascists at other universities. Why does no one consider it odd that universities these days should provide “safe spaces” for disrupters of the peace, but not for speakers whom the disrupters successfully shout down? And why must speakers be arrested to protect them from fascists? Why not arrest the fascists?
A fair-minded prosecutor last Tuesday dropped all charges against Wintrich who, accompanied by his lawyer, Norm Pattis, met the media outside the Vernon Superior Courthouse in which Wintrich and First Amendments rights were vindicated. Charges have been brought against the thief, Catherine Gregory, a student adviser at Quinebaug Valley Community College.
"I think it’s wonderful that finally the system corrected itself," Wintrich said. "We don’t want to set a precedent where people can walk up to speeches they find disagreeable and steal them. I mean that’s really not what America is about.”
Pattis, possibly the most effective counter puncher within Connecticut’s legal community, added , “I’m happy to report that the young woman who stole my client’s notes has been arrested by way of a warrant over the weekend. We will be asking the court to impose some brief period of incarceration in this case.”
This is precisely what the Greek tragedians used to call “a reversal of fortune.” One may wonder how it will figure in President of UConn Susan Herbst’s moral and constitutional calculations.
Managing Editor of the Journal Inquirer Chis Powell provides a disturbing gloss on a letter written by Herbst to UConn Students and faculty: “So, Herbst says, UConn will make rules about the people student groups can invite to speak. Student groups will have to ‘appreciate who exactly intends to come here, what they intend to do, what the costs associated with that visit will be, and how a speaker may impact the campus community.’”
These are the usual weapons deployed by Grand Inquisitors. Unlike Herbst, the court had no difficulty distinguishing aggressors from victims.
Powell offers a different remedy, one more in keeping with Constitutional free speech provisions: “The fascism on any college campus will end quickly wherever an administration summons the courage to announce that students and faculty members disrupting any event will be removed by police and, upon a due-process finding of misconduct, expelled. This fascism is happening only because colleges refuse to confront the totalitarian and self-righteous impulses they are nurturing. When this coddling on campus stops, the violence of the political extremes will move elsewhere in Weimar America.”