A professor at Loyola Marymount University has penned an essay celebrating “violent or destructive demonstrations” because they effectively “draw the attention of the wider public.”
The professor, Stefan Bradley, is the chairman of Loyola Marymount’s African American studies department. His 1,728-word tribute to “destructive demonstrations” appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education last week.
Moral persuasion and the “so-called marketplace of ideas” are useful “only when the opposing party is sympathetic and willing to act upon that which is just,” Bradley writes in the essay, titled “Civil Debate Is Fine. Protest Is Even Better.”
On the other hand, “violent or destructive demonstrations” are great because they grab “national attention.” Violence also “motivates decision makers to act,” the Loyola Marymount professor says.
A year of tuition, fees and room and board on Loyola Marymount’s palm tree-laden campus in Los Angeles costs $60,202.
Bradley does admit that “inflicting physical harm (not counting self-defense) on opponents and property often derails a just cause.”
However, he charges that “moral suasion historically has not been effective” for “black students” and black people “in particular.”
In any case, Bradley suggests that the key to political success for protesters is often to cause random people to experience pain, suffering and inconvenience.
As an example, the African American studies professor cites a campaign at Yale University to change the name of Calhoun College.
“Taking their cue from a black custodial worker who had broken a stained-glass panel depicting enslaved people,” “the young agitators chose disruption by blocking traffic, among other protests, drawing further national attention,” Bradley explains.
“Reasonably, some black students become frustrated when they observe administrators, hoping not to offend donors and critics, moving lackadaisically on issues of racial bias. So, they employ the disruptive tactics of yesteryear, even if it makes the campus community — and American society — feel uncomfortable.”
Bradley received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. (RELATED: Mizzou Black Activists Demanded A TOASTY FIRE PIT As They Protested Poop Swastika)
“I am fascinated with the efforts and abilities of black college students to change not only their scholastic environments but also the communities that surrounded their institutions of higher learning,” Bradley says in his Loyola Marymount faculty biography. “Amazingly, young people, by way of protests and demands, have been able to influence college curricula as well as the policies of their schools.”
The biography mentions the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri 14 times.