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VIDEO: "Oh my God" - San Francisco Students React To Trans "Kidnapping" Of Swimmer Riley Gaines

SHELLENBERGER: Why would she need to be held for three hours if she wasn't in danger? TRANS LEADER: I think that things just might have gone a little crazy there. I think rightfully so.

The students and faculty of San Francisco State University, like people in the San Francisco Bay Area as a whole, pride themselves on their tolerance, both to different people and ideas. It is also a city that prides itself in being supportive of the #MeToo movement and its slogan, “Believe all women.”

And yet anything but tolerance or belief in women was on display last Thursday when an angry mob of trans activist students physically assaulted college women’s swimming champion Riley Gaines and trapped her in a room for three hours. Gaines says she intends to sue the school for assault and kidnapping.

San Francisco State University insists it did nothing wrong and even praised the students. “Thank you to our students who participated peacefully in Thursday evening’s event,” wrote "Jamillah Moore, Ed.D.  Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management.

Gaines responded, “I have no problem with ‘peaceful’ protest. I actually welcome it. I was grateful to see a diverse crowd in the room during my speech which I expressed multiple times. We had great dialogue and listened to each other. But that ambush was the opposite of peaceful.”

Neither SF State’s Moore nor any other University official has yet condemned the assault upon and and trapping of Gaines. Instead, Moore sympathized with the students and justified their behavior. “It took tremendous bravery to stand in a challenging space,” she wrote.

But it’s clear that the students incited violence. They screamed dehumanizing language at Gaines, including “transphobic bitch,” repeatedly. And the incitement of violence is, notably, the rare kind of speech that the Supreme Court says is not constitutionally protected. That’s because it leads to the kinds of assault that occurred on Gaines.

Moore wasn’t alone in defending the students. San Francisco State Alumni and former Trustee of the Board of City College of San Francisco, Tom Temprano, tweeted he was “proud of the students” and “disgusted that a virulently transphobic person like Riley Gaines would be welcomed by anyone at State.”

It’s the kind of event that should have shocked San Franciscans. Instead, the San Francisco news media suggested that Gaines was making a fuss. NBC Bay Area opened its segment by calling Gaines a “controversial speaker” and framed the whole thing as “a heated debate.”

But by all accounts, including Riley’s, her lecture was calm. That’s because the activist students had decided to let her lecture occur and, only after it had ended, pounce.

“It was terrifying for me,” said Gaines. In an interview with Public on Friday, Riley said she was “pushed and shoved into the podium. I had no idea where the police were or even if the police were there. I was struck twice, hit in the shoulder and face. And this was closed-fist.”

As such, the event brought together the worst aspects of San Francisco right now: its gross intolerance for diversity of views, the de-policing of the city by progressives, and the gas-lighting of citizens by the news media.

The two of us dashed over to San Francisco State University as soon as we saw the video on Friday morning. We interviewed the president of the University, who insisted that “everyone is welcome” at SF State. And we interviewed one of the leaders of the radicalized students, Levi Allen.

Allen: I've seen the videos. I was there. No one laid a finger on her. There’s videos of her running.

Shellenberger: So no one touched her? She claims she was hit multiple times.

Allen: I know.

Shellenberger: Do you think she's lying?

Allen: There's no video, there's no evidence of her, her being touched.

Shellenberger: So if there's no video means she wasn't touched?

Allen: I, I can't say. You know, I'm not gonna say there's 100% no chance that she was touched. From what I've seen, and the people that I know, I think I trust, uh, I guess eyewitnesses more than Twitter.

Shellenberger: But you've seen the video though, right?

Allen: Yeah, I've seen, I've seen all the videos circulating. You know, she wasn't touched. They were screaming and stuff, obviously.

Michael: Did they trap her in her room?

Allen: The police… everyone inside…. I was talking to police, trying to figure everything out. And they were like, ‘Hey, what do you want us to do to get her out of here safely?’ The students were saying, ‘How do we get her out of here safely?”

Shellenberger: Okay.

Allen: And they said, ‘You know, line up against the wall, be still.’ They sat there for hours lined up against the wall.

Shellenberger: Why would they be there for three hours?

This must-watch video, which provides crucial context to the violent assault of Riley Gaines, was only possible because Public is a reader-supported publication. Please subscribe now so we can expand Public’s cutting-edge investigative work.

The full video is for paid subscribers

Michael Shellenberger
Leighton Woodhouse