I know, strange title, but I think the idea will become clear. Earlier this week, this blog, among others ran videos showing two professors teaching a class on labor relations. I ended that post as follows…
And BTW, waiting for the claims that the video was taken out of context in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
It took a few days, which I found surprising, but it happened none the less.
Now, there is a spirited defence of these professors in the lefty blogosphere. It is summed up rather nicely at Crooks and Liars. They are relating the professor’s claims that the video was cut to create a false context. Here is their take on the edited version of the video…
Beginning with the first cut [:44 to 1:33] which appears to depict Giljum calling for union violence where warranted. Here is the edited version in transcript form:
GILJUM: And I think if you look at labor’s history over the years, you’ll find that we’ve had a very violent history with violent protests and certain instances strategically played out for certain purposes that industrial sabotage doesn’t have its place. I think it certainly does, but as far as — you know, and I can’t really honestly that I’ve never wished, that I’ve never been in a position where I’ve never wished harm on somebody — inflicting pain and suffering on some people —
[cut to Judy Ancel]
ANCEL: Violence is a tactic. And it’s to be — it’s to be used when it’s appropriate, the appropriate tactic.
And now for the unedited…
Transcript of unedited video. Parts in bold are missing from Breitbart’s posted video:
I tend to agree with you, because if you look at labor’s history over the years, you’ll find that we have a very violent history, with violent protests reaction to suppression. Okay? But as time has changed, the tactics have changed or the need for those have changed. Okay.
Now, that’s not to say that in certain instances, uh, strategically played out for certain purposes that industrial sabotage doesn’t have its place. I think it certainly does. But as far as — you know, I can’t really honestly say that I’ve never wished — have never been in a position where I have wished real harm on somebody or um…uh…inflicted any pain and suffering on some people that
[cut away] STUDENT, off camera: We’re all human
GILJUM: You know, didn’t ask for it but it certainly has its place. It certainly makes you feel a helluva lot better sometimes but beyond that, I’m not sure that as a tactic today violence or reaction to the violence we had back then would be called for here. I think it would do more harm than good.
OK then, Crooks and Liars bolded the area that were edited out. I put sections of that same information in red. Because, when you read the comments, the added content only confirms the original premise. It’s kind of like a robber saying, “I really didn’t want to rob that convenience store, but it had to be done.” You can’t say that you really don’t like something, but it “certainly has it’s place,” and then turn around and say you aren’t advocating for it.
Now, as for the advocating of violence, Crooks and liars again publish the unedited information…
Here is the full unedited transcript version of Ancel’s remark with sections in bold which were omitted from the Breitbart version:
ANCEL: The one guy in the film, one of the guys who had been one of the young, um, SNCC types, said
— he represented the kind of thinking that went into this student on the coordinating committee and then later probably — well, coinciding with the Black Panthers. You know, he said violence is a tactic and it’s to be used when it’s appropriate, when it’s an appropriate tactic. Whether — they never come back to him to ask him what he thought of the window-smashing in that march or whether or not that was done by them or others or provocateurs. We don’t know that.
If those unedited remarks are read as they stand, even without surrounding context, it’s clear the Breitbart video was edited to make it appear that Giljum and Ancel said the exact opposite of what they actually did say.
For the response to that I’ll quote the response to the claims posted by the maker of the video in question, Insurgent Visuals
Ancel is wrong. She distorts the quote from the film, as well as the context of the class discussion, in a transparent effort to divert attention from the damning content of our videos.
In fact, the activist she “quoted” from the 1993 film At The River I Stand, Coby Smith, said, “…we saw non-violence as a tactic, and a tactic alone,” not, as Ancel erroneously claims,”violence is a tactic, and it’s to be used when it’s appropriate, the appropriate tactic” (our emphasis). Smith’s original, full quote appears at 1:02 – 1:15, below:
If, as Ancel claims, those words were not hers, then they apparently weren’t the words of the activist she claims to have quoted, either.
Furthermore, the context into which she introduced the misquote was not, as she claims, a discussion of nonviolence, but a discussion of violence.
Just over a minute earlier, in discussing the act of smashing windows and looting, someone in the class had declared: “I’m not willing to put any tactics off the table.” Another student then declared: “When they’re willing to give up violence, I will, too, you know.”
That’s when Ancel introduced the idea that “violence is a tactic.” In our view, the fact that she was referring to the film was irrelevant–especially given the fact that she misquoted it, perhaps deliberately.
The very next statement was by a student following up Ancel’s point: “I don’t necessarily want to be a part of capitalist society. I want to take over the state with a revolutionary movement, which doesn’t exist.” Ancel did not comment on his call to overthrow the government.
Arguably, the only criticism Ancel made of violence during that lecture was implicit, when she spoke with approval about union “militancy,” “in-your-face tactics,” and breaking the law:
…true militancy means high levels of participation and willingness to undertake creative and in-your-face tactics, I think. And the American labor movement never would have had the successes it had without that kind of militancy. There isn’t any major labor battle in this country, clearly, before the era of the 1950s that did not, in fact, break the law. And–but they didn’t do it by destroying property and smashing windows. They did it tactically, by violating the laws they had to violate if they were going to be able to continue their movement…
So, the activist’s arguments are paper thin. I’d encourage you to read both articles, and judge for yourself. It’s my opinion that the context of the videos posted on Breitbart holds. Additionally, while these professors, to my knowledge, had nothing to do with the protests in Madison, there certainly was a great deal of violence there, as well as in other location. In fact, we’ve had an abundance of source material from the unions and their tactics.
And now for the last. I thought you might like to see a textbook example of projection from the Crooks and Liars post…
Also, Media Matters points out that for all Breitbart’s bluster over free speech, he shows himself as the hypocrite we know he is. He is suppressing free speech in because in his world, only Tea Partiers have the right to it. The rest of us can live under their totalitarian regime for all he cares.
I was tempted to let this statement stand on it’s own fail, but I can’t resist.
How is Breitbart supressing free speech? He is incapable of it. Or is he having the rent-a-mob show up to shout down people he disagrees with? Oh wait! The left, including the unions, do that.
Tea Party members, at least all that I know or have read, are in favor of free speech. For myself, I want “progressives” to speak loud and proud. I do have to admit, however, that this assertion is born of a dual purpose. First, I do believe in freedom of speech. Second, their speech provides me with an abundance of source material.
And finally, “totalitarian?” You mean like the government owning companies, controlling health care, causing inflation, telling companies where they can build a factory, telling people how much they can be paid, running education, energy policy, violating privacy, and yes, advocating for forcing individuals to join unions? Oh wait, that isn’t the Tea Parties. Hmm, help me remember, who just might advocate for such things?
Of course, it’s just projection, but it is fun to destroy their points from time to time.