As most anyone who’s watched the television show “Portlandia” knows, the city of Portland is where “the dream of the 90′s” (IE comfortable living without anything resembling work in the real world) is still alive. The city has become one of America’s most potent symbols of radical Leftism. Moreover, the modern university system has itself become a hotbed for Leftist thinking, especially on issues pertaining to Israel, Palestine and Islam.
So when an avowedly Christian, pro-Israeli anti-terrorism expert comes to speak at a university that’s located in Portland, fireworks should be expected. Unfortunately for a group of protesters who decided to stage a walkout against terrorism expert Erick Stakelbeck, those fireworks blew up in their face.
Stakelbeck spoke at Portland State University this Monday on the topic of developments in the Middle East and the growing threat against Israel. The speech was organized by Portland State’s chapter of Christians United for Israel. Naturally enough, controversy dogged the event far before Stakelbeck even set foot on-campus. For instance, fliers advertising the event were defaced with Swastikas and the inscription “Never again includes Palestinians.”
Stakelbeck himself took note of the defacements, and decried them as anti-Semitic propaganda. However, he was at least forewarned of what the reaction would be like, which means he knew precisely what to anticipate when he arrived at Portland State. As he puts it:
It was mostly a motley bunch of hijab and skullcap-clad Muslims, aging ex-hippies and tie-dyed stragglers who looked as if they just rolled in from the local Occupy protest. There were, it must be said, a handful of reasonably normal-looking people with them as well. Normal, except for their brainwashed, aggressive Leftist views.[...]
I locked eyes with a few of them–who were staring a hole through me—gave them a big smile, and said “Hey, thanks for coming out! Be sure to stay for the whole speech—I’d like to talk to you during the Q and A.” They just looked at me, dumbfounded. You could almost hear them mumble through their tape. “Doesn’t he know he’s supposed to be rattled by us?”
Stakelbeck was, as it turns out, anything but rattled. Then again, that’s not surprising, given he was facing this motley crew:
Yes, that’s right, Stakelbeck publicly dared the protesters to debate him, rather than simply sitting silently or walking out. The result was that, instead of looking like courageous protesters against intolerance, the protesters looked like cowards who would rather make public shows of hurt feelings than actually confront what they saw as dangerous ideas.
But don’t tell them that. A cameraman who caught video of their post-protest debriefing caught them exulting that they had forced Stakelbeck to “curb his racism,” while spouting ad hominem attacks about his “white privilege” and anti-semitic talking points about Israel. Witness the unintentional comedy below: