Do not rush to judge young David Blondin.
He's young. Plenty of years left, most of a lifetime, for some personal and philosophical growth. Maybe some day he'll come to regret that time in college when he wrote a deplorable essay and published it for all the world to read.
Really, Blondin's piece for the Minnesota Republic, a right-wing campus news organization for the University of Minnesota, is less of an essay and more of an extended metaphor. He and other conservatives are hurt by the swift blowback against a "BUILD THE WALL" sign Minnesota College Republicans painted on the Washington Avenue Bridge.
Even worse than criticism, someone graffitied over the pro-Donald Trump, anti-Mexican immigration message. Within days, spraypaint saying "STOP WHITE SUPREMACY" appeared on top of their original sign.
To Blondin, the vandalism was symbolic of another instance when an action is taken against someone's will. Rape.
As he explains in his piece, sexual assault victims on college campuses are routinely questioned about what they were wearing or how much they drank. Such questioning is (finally) becoming a shamefully inappropriate response. Blame the rapist, people say, not his victim.
Yet, Blondin sees some of this very same logic at play in the general shrug-off response on campus to the defacement of the "BUILD THE WALL" sign. Of course it got painted over. What did the College Republicans expect.
"We live in an intellectual rape culture. If you have an idea that differs from the academic establishment, you are automatically written off as a racist, bigot, or [insert ad hominem attack here]. To even consider censoring someone because what you find them saying is offensive is the mark of one of two things:
- A five year old
- A member of the communist vanguard"
And David Blondin does not want to go to college with either!
We've bolded the key phrase up there, "intellectual rape culture," just to make sure your eyes didn't conspire to shield your mind from it. Intellectual rape.
Let's discuss. Because David and pals aren't free to say something without getting called racists -- let alone "come out of the closet ... [as] a supporter of Donald Trump" -- they are, in this case, akin to rape victims. Their painting "BUILD THE WALL" was just like a woman who puts on a skirt and drinks too much. To the unsympathetic apologists for their attackers, both were "asking for it."
Sound logic. There's just one difference. The woman in this analogy gets raped. The College Republicans get their sign vandalized. She'll live with trauma for the rest of her life. They will live with trauma until someone can find some sponges.
Blondin goes on to praise University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, who backed the conservatives' right to free speech; and to thank Cesar Chavez, the Chicano rights activist, who has, in Blondin's essay, posthumously condemned the people who scribbled over the "BUILD THE WALL" sign.
Chavez, Blondin scolds his detractors, "would be ashamed of you." And surely Cesar would be out there on campaign stages with Donald Trump, echoing the candidate's suggestion that Mexicans are rapists.
Real rapists. Not the intellectual kind.