We spoke to the RHUL student who appeared on Channel 4 News to discuss the alt-right
“The tolerant left is dead”: Jakub Jankowski gives his take on modern politics
As part of their ‘Fake News Week’ Channel 4 News aired a segment on the rise of the alt-right among young people in the UK. First year PIR student and self-identified libertarian, Jakub Jankowski, appeared in the documentary to talk about his own political views in relation to the alt-right.
We spoke to Jakub before last week’s protest against President Trump’s executive order preventing citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from travelling to the United States. Jakub spoke to us about his controversial political views, the backlash he has received as a result of them, and his opinion on the ‘Muslim Ban’.
You’re pretty open with your political views – mainly your support of Donald Trump. Have you ever experienced any retaliation from students because of your views?
“I am open about my views and I receive a lot of flak from the less conservatively-minded folk at our university. I come from a family of Polish anti-communist activists, so I see myself as almost duty bound whenever Trump or the right in general are misrepresented. I don’t play the victim; nobody’s going to force me to through a Ścieżka zdrowia – a kind of communist torture – on campus.
My character has been attacked on campus, however. At a recent debate, I asked the Left Forum why, despite self-identifying as anarchists, they support the enlargement of the state by dissolving tuition fees. In response, the debate representative said that they would not take questions from white supremacists. I was taken aghast; it’s a giant logical leap to go from being a libertarian conservative to being a white supremacist.”
(Jakub also informed us that there have been a few more issues which he would prefer not to mention.)
The term ‘white supremacist’ is used quite liberally today and directed towards so called ‘professional trolls’ like Richard Spencer and Milo Yiannopolous. Why do you think that these potentially damaging phrases are used to shut down debate rather than engaging with political opponents?
“That’s a very pertinent question given the anti-Milo riot on 1st February at UC Berkley. People were assaulted for their political beliefs and this was all in the home of the post-war American free speech movement… The ‘tolerant left’ is no more. They engage in gratuitous displays of violence in the name of the ‘99%’ and egalitarianism, meanwhile, the ‘proletariat’ rejects them.”
Could you give a few words on your views on the so-called ‘Muslim Ban’ and on the protests such as the one which took place on campus?
“The seven nations listed on the so-called ‘Muslim ban’ were chosen by the Obama administration for harsh vetting due to their propensity for proliferating Islamic terrorist activity. Furthermore, six of those countries do not permit entry to those with Israeli passports. If they can do it, why can’t Trump for legitimate fears over national security.”
During the protest on campus, Jakub unfurled his Make America Great Again flag which lead to serious backlash from the protestors. They called him a Nazi and “fascist scum” with one girl calling for someone to “just punch him”.
How did the documentary find out about you?
“I was approached by the documentary filmmaker and asked to participate after being recommended to her by an acquaintance.”
How has your appearance on the documentary changed everyday university life? Has there been any backlash on campus?
“It hasn’t changed all that much, I do not personally feel persecuted for appearing on the documentary. That being said, I’ve been observing the kinds of things fellow students have been saying about my appearance and about me personally on social media and of course it isn’t too kind. I never expected this amount of unwarranted vitriol, libel and lies to come out of people who participate in the same tolerant and inclusive environment that makes Royal Holloway the great university that it is. However, I don’t blame them for it. The documentary portrayed me in a way that made me look as though I am part of the movement and share any or all of their beliefs, this lends itself to becoming hysterical about ‘fascists on campus’ and similar boogeymen, whilst I was speaking about the movement in a purely descriptive sense. Nevertheless, some students have taken it beyond simple and partially understandable hysteria, feeling the need to mass-mail administrative departments at our university crusading for my expulsion.”
To hear more of Jakub’s views and watch his interview with Channel 4 follow this link: https://www.channel4.com/news/fake-news-and-the-alt-right