Cal State Cancels Ben Shapiro Speech After Activists Compared It To A KKK Meeting

200px-CSULA_sealI have been writing about the increasingly hostile environment for conservatives and libertarians on our campuses as professors and activists shutdown events and censor or sanction unpopular views.  The latest such case can be found at Cal State LA where officials canceled a speech by conservative journalist Ben Shapiro after students complained that they feared for their safety due to the mere fact of a conservative speaking on campus.  Activists further compared the event to an “undercover KKK meeting.” Emails obtained by the site Heat Street through the Freedom of Information Act showed both the successful campaign to bar Shapiro as well as the backlash from people who believe in free speech.

Shapiro is a  native of Los Angeles, California graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles.

One email on Dec. 7, 2015 was from Scott Bowman, dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences, who informed top administrators, including President William Covino, that a conservative group on campus planned to invite Shapiro to speak.  Bowman acknowledges that “Nothing he says is hate speech in my view but his critiques of the Left’s obsession with micro-aggressions and various tactics of groups (e.g., Black Lives Matter) would be labeled racist by them, which is his point, by the way.”  Bowman does say that students have a right to hear from him.

Bowman in another email suggests that the school should put Shapiro in a “designated place” because  “we don’t want to put him in a forum that will incite.”  Later, however, Bowman effectively cancelled the event after both professors and students rose up against allowing people to hear Shapiro.  The inclusion of faculty in this effort to silence opposing views is particularly chilling.  One student wrote “I DO NOT FEEL SAFE! . . . The fact that so many right wing conservatives that own guns RSVPd to this event makes me feel extremely uncomfortable.” The student added “We should be able to go to an event without worrying about our safety. And frankly this event sounds like an undercover KKK meeting. This event in general speaks volumes as to how little our lives matter…”

Shapiro showed up anyway and was met by protesters who sought to prevent him from speaking or prevent follow students from hearing his views.  Students who did not even attend the speech wrote the university about being traumatized by the fact that Shapiro spoke on campus.

The incident — including the involvement of faculty seeking to silence a conservative — reflects the growing intolerance and taste for speech controls on our college and university campuses.   We are seeing faculty who teach students that it is right and honorable to silence opposing views and disrupt events that you do not like.  Free speech is now viewed as the enemy of diversity as both academics and students seek to prevent the still ill-defined “microaggressions” on campus.  We are raising a generation of speech censors and bullies who believe that they have a right to stop others from hearing views that they find obnoxious or insulting.


What do you think?

68 thoughts on “Cal State Cancels Ben Shapiro Speech After Activists Compared It To A KKK Meeting”

  1. Getting back to the topic at hand, I think that Bowman and Pres. Covino should be fired since they have failed at their duty as educators on many fronts. They denied students their right to hear opposing political views, and they also denied the freedom of those students to have a speaker that they wished to have. I always found that hearing and discussing views with others who have differences is usually an education for myself, and benefits ME in learning what others think and challenging myself to address objections to my thoughts. It is the job of adults to protect kids from their own folly, and these administrators have failed at that, in addition to violating freedom of speech. The whole point of education is to challenge previous ideas and introduce new ideas to those who had not heard of them before. If you want indoctrination, you go to a seminary or Liberty U. It is not in my interest as a taxpayer and citizen to have poorly educated students graduate with no ability to think outside their limited and unchallenged beliefs. The WORST crime they perpetrated was not against the conservatives, but against those who protested and who think of themselves as hot house flowers who cannot stand up to different ideas.

    This reminds me of what Teddy Roosevelt did as Police Commissioner of NYC. An anti-Semite speaker from Germany came to town to whip up hatred against Jews. Naturally, they protested to him and asked him to ban the man from speaking. He correctly replied that he could not legally do that. Instead what he did was to find the biggest and meanest looking Jewish cops to police the mans meetings to keep the peace. He called this police force of Jews, the Macabees. They stood aside as the fool blasted the Jews, and provoked a lot of laughter as the audience could see the lies by their presence. The bigot left town vowing to never return. That is how one deals with the worst scum using freedom of speech.

  2. Isaac……for better or for worse, the two parties’ nominees are de facto leaders of their party.
    They are chosen primarily through the primary system.
    So in a parliamentary system, the leaders of the party are the ones in line for national leadership.
    There are actually similarities in the “party leaders as candidates” roles with the two systems.
    I don’t think you addressed the “third party candidates don’t have a chance” similarities.
    Comparison of the electoral history of the U.S. and Canada shows that to be true for both countries, so your previous, so your previous claim that 3rd party candidates fare better in Canada is off the mark.
    I don’t know if you are familiar with American history, but you can look to numerous elections in the U.S. where 3rd party candidates have had an impact.
    (You can check 1912, 1924, 1948, 1968, and 1992 for examples).
    And in spite of your claims, I don’t see the parliamentary system as being more “3rd party friendly ” than the U.S. system.
    We already know from your numerous posts that Canada is superior in every way, shape, or form to the U.S.
    And are therefore damn lucky that you reside in the U.S.
    But you’re wrong about the supposed favorable environment for 3rd parties in Canada.

  3. tnash

    You can’t compare the dysfunctional American system with the parliamentary system of Canada, Great Britain, etc. In a parliamentary system there is no individually elected leader. Even though an individual’s charisma and position on issues may sway voters he or she who becomes Prime Minister is elected Prime Minister uniquely because he or she happens to be the leader of the political party that gets the most votes.

    Often that party does not get fifty percent of the votes and has to compromise with another smaller party to run things. This way two perspectives unite to represent the people. In situations like this the assisting party might separate on an issue and there will be a vote of confidence on the issue. If the vote does not represent more than 50% the government has to hold new elections. This way weak an ineffectual governments that get in can be gotten out before they do much damage. This is a check and balance system America lacks and could have used, many times.

    The leader of the party in power also has to win his or her constituency. That is to say they need to have been democratically elected in their own riding. There are mechanisms used to fit square pegs into round holes, such as when Joe Clark was elected Prime Minister as head of the Conservative Party but lost his riding and another member gave his up to Joe, but this Parliamentary system encourages more than two parties and makes it possible for marginal parties to have a say.

    The American system does not work for two reasons. Firstly the entire procedure is rigged with money. Special interest groups and concentrated money can smear and defeat someone, the earlier the more easily, and promote someone to the limelight. This is not democracy regardless of how perversely interpreted the Constitution might be at the time regarding one’s right to spend whatever however. Secondly for any third or fourth party to emerge means the defeat of one or the other of the two main parties. Ross Perot cost Bush the election when he ran as an independent. Ralph Nader cost Al Gore the election, when he ran. If Perot had not run it might have been a toss up. However, if Nader had not run Gore would have beaten the shrub and we would be in less dire straits now. There would have no doubt been an Afghanistan war but next to no chance of the Iraq war and all that fallout.

    The Parliamentary systems of Canada and Great Britain morphed out of two party systems of Conservatives versus Liberals. The instrumental factors were the reduction of private spending and the need for private spending and straight transfer of the issues from the candidates to the public over public media primarily. It costs far, far, far, far, less in Canada or Great Britain to get the necessary information across to the public. Without the circus people tend to focus on the issues. In the US nothing gets across but rancor, hate, lies, exaggerations, and moronic sideshow.

    Take a break from the carnival and research other systems of electing representatives. It will make you ashamed. But, we’re number one, bigger military, cheaper gas, cheaper big screens, and live alone in this world of ours. Hey, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? The big question is in light of all the times the US has been wrong and corrected itself, creating its greatest strength, will it be strong enough to take on this pathetic, dangerous, wasteful, and unfortunately sacred system of expressing itself, using the word democracy?

    Now let the slings and arrows fly.

    1. I don’t like any of the political systems to tell you the truth, but from where I am sitting people in the UK and much of the world have not had their rights protected nearly as well historically as they have been in the US.

      I will not disagree that we are currently been losing a lot of rights, and then their have been gains also. But that is systematic of the NWO that is taking this country down. It has done much of the same to the EU already.

  4. Autumn- The U.S. has had either Republican or Democratic presidents since the Civil War (I’d have to double check this, but I think that’s correct).
    Check for yourself to see how many 3rd party candidates have become Prime Ministers of Canada.
    Lack of 3rd party candidates’ success is not exclusive to America, in spite of claims to the contrary.

  5. Some things must get worse before they get better, and it appears progressive liberal demagoguery is not an exception. Remain steadfast, conservatives, the acrimony, fear, and vindictiveness that has come to have a hold on progressive liberalism cannot last forever. Surely it can’t. Can it?

  6. squeek,

    I am not a Demoncrat so I am happy to see them implode. My peeps Will and Peep broadcast about their first day in Philly and point out how the Demoncrats are trying to bully us

  7. @Autumn

    I hope you are right. The problem is that there is a very wide split between the Democratic Party leadership, and the average Democrat on the street. That seems to be the case with all political parties and organizations, from the Nazis, to the commies, to the Catholics, to big corporation, to labor unions, to the Republicans, some degree. People get enthusiastic about some idea, and join in a group. Then the group leadership gets more interested in perpetuating its own existence, often to the detriment of the groups as a whole.

    But with the Democrats, the leadership is not just detrimental, but downright opposed to the average Democrat. For example, one can not be both pro-illegal immigrant AND pro-American family, or pro-American worker. Bringing in millions of unskilled workers only benefits the 1%, and the Democratic leadership, while negatively impacting blacks, labor unions, and the poor.

    Getting rid of the Democratic Party leadership WITHOUT getting rid of the dumb ideas is not going to make anything better. New leadership will step right into the same idiotic policies. For progressives and Greens, I think they need to have a clearer understanding of not just how rotten and corrupt the leadership is but also how rotten and corrupt some of the ideology is.

    In short don’t just dump Hillary and DWS, but dump their stupid self-serving ideas, too.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  8. Autumn

    The dysfunctional American system of politics, otherwise as an oligarchical duality, will not allow a third or fourth party involvement. This is done in more progressive and more democratic systems in our peer nations but not here. Here there are two parties constantly at loggerheads. Each one is owned by concentrated funding and special interest groups. The nature of the us or them situation does not allow compromise with entities such as the green party or for that matter parties further out on the right.

    The systems of our peer nations that provide for a more democratic representation do not allow the degree of private concentrated funding. This paves the way for third and fourth parties which erode the representation of the two main Liberal and Conservative blocks that make up the majority of just about every nation. When a center left or center right party is one of four it has to compromise and make alliances. This tends to promote green as well as right wing interests proportionally. This is democracy at work. We don’t have that.

    The examples provided by this blog could not make that more clear. Exaggerations such as beheading in place of slit throat illustrate the rabid mindset of some on this blog.

    One might compare and contrast the demeanor inside the two conventions. Although both exhibited rancor and frustration emanating from those who did not get their way as they saw it, only in the Republican convention did the sorry loser refuse to get on board with the carnival barker. There is much more rot in the Republican ship. We only have two choices, if that is what they are.

  9. It’s hot in the City of Brotherly Love. While the sanctioned-Hilbots are in the air conditioned hall waiting to coronate their Queen the real folk are outside in the heat uniting.

  10. I read the article on Heat street, and it is rather encouraging since it looks like the university suffered more damage as a result of this stupidity. There was also significant protest from the left, so to paint all on the left as being intolerant is an outright LIE! There is a small minority who were raised in the Stalinist tradition who think that authorities banning some ideas and speech is a good thing. Once again, they are the MINORITY, and any administrator who gives in to this vocal crazy minority should lose their job.

    Of course,I recall the McCarthy era where people were not only not allowed to speak on campus but went to PRISON for their ideas. How about that conservatives? YOU were the prime movers on that score and still are. Just look at Trump’s idea to censor the internet and have the government say what may and may not be on it. So vote for Trump and send people to prison,not only not allowing them to speak on campus. I am glad to see that the conservatives have found religion of free speech.It was a long time coming. I doubt it will last though once they get more power. We saw how you did it once before.

  11. @squeek

    the real action in Philly is going on outside the convention center. Jill Stein spoke and received resounding applause. My Progressive peeps are having a fine time. Appropriated the Repug chant “Lock her up!” It does have nice ring to it doesn’t it? Most us watched Bernie’s speech with tears in our eyes. It’s always good to have closure. We will not be watching the craven Clintons or anyone else. waste of time. we are busy organizing and supporting Jill Stein and Tim Canova.

    Demoncrats have eaten their own.

  12. @NickS

    Great observation! I think the operative word in understanding these Free Speech bans is FEAR! Pure naked fear, but also rational FEAR!

    Think about it like this. In The Emperor’s New Clothes Myth, the little boy says “The Emperor is nekkid!” The people and courtiers around the Emperor try to shout down the little boy. Why??? Remember how the con artist tailors sold the whole scheme? ONLY urbane, and sophisticated, and intelligent people will be able to see the fabric.

    Well, there are two kinds of people around the Emperor shouting down the little boy:

    Courtier Type 1: Smart courtier, who knows full well the tailors were full of crap, and knows full well the Emperor is nekkid.

    Courtier Type 2: Low self esteem courtier, who can’t see the clothes either, but is afraid to say so because he bought into the whole “ONLY urbane, and sophisticated, and intelligent people will be able to see the fabric.”

    BOTH types FEAR the little boy, but for different reasons. Type1 because he is financially invested in the Emperor’s continued reign, and might lose his job if the Emperor is put into a padded cell. Type2 because he is afraid of being revealed as un-urbane, un-sophisticated, and un-intelligent.

    Ben Shapiro is the little boy. There is certainly no good that is going to come out of letting him speak. If what Shapiro does is to simply state the obvious, what is as plain as the nose on your face, there is a darn good chance that the whole lying house of cards will tumble. This affects both the mendacious Type1 administrators, and the low self esteem Type2 SJWS. They can not allow that. This is a very rational based type of FEAR.

    (FWIW Trump is the little boy, too.)

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  13. @Issac

    Trump ship may be full of “rats” buts it’s teeming with supporters all the same. He’s kicking it in NC. Even all the brain dead Demoncrats cannot defeat him. A liberal journalist attended his rally and was once again surprised.

    Excellent comment:

    “I attended Trump’s rally in W-S & it’s quite apparent you were not at the same rally. I saw an American Tapestry at the event that you must have missed. White, Black, Straight, Gay & Latinos populated the audience. Folks were courteous to each other in the crowded annex & were enjoying themselves. There were a couple of dissenters. One got to leave & the other voiced their opinion about our Governor & the Teachers raise they received & everyone moved on. Believe me, when Mr. Trump announced his candidacy I thought it was a publicity stunt. I was pretty sure he’d quit before the Iowa Caucus. But after he began to rack up one primary win after another I started to grasp what was going on within my party. More importantly, what was happening in our country. Regular People are fed up with the mess in DC & they’re tired of watching their paycheck turn into dust & the Ivy Leaguer’s looking down their noses at the folks who make this country work. Trump meets none of the qualifications that put the Country & it’s regular folks in this situation. That’s his appeal. He didn’t grow up pointing toward 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. A true servant never would.”

  14. ISIS was not mentioned ONCE last night @ the Dem Coronation. A Catholic priest in Normandy was beheaded by ISIS terrorists just as the day one of the Coronation closed. It was videotaped.

  15. @IsaacB

    Another version of your, “But Republicans did something bad once, sooo anything that Democrats and liberals do is just peachy!” meme.

    While you are right that the GOP has some stupid and bad positions, they are no where near as mendacious as the Democrats. You will never fix what is wrong in the Democratic Party if you persist in concentrating on other people’s behavior. Have you ever been in therapy??? Because if you have, one of the first things the therapist does is help you concentrate on what you do, not what other people do. Maybe you should think about it???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  16. @issac

    you forgot the third ship – Progressive greens. We will happily set sail with Jill Stein. Anchors away!!!


  17. The problem of the duality of the American mindset is that one side is painted entirely with the brush wielded by the other when any extreme action or activity surfaces. “There I told you so.” sums it up.

    Of course Liberals, or whatever one wishes to call them, will have those who lie in the extreme netherworld of fanaticism. This is also true of Conservatives. However, from the middle, where most level headed people dwell, it is apparent that the fanaticism and extremism is way more prevalent on the Conservative side.

    On the Liberal side there is a well balanced boat moving forward, some call it evolution. On the Conservative side there is anger at their helplessness as their ship buckles and tries to go in several different directions at once. There is rot in the timbers of the Conservative ship. There is leader that routinely preaches that he is god and fires warnings at the crew. The crew don’t really have anything to say and give in. Some give in with a smile and some without.

    Both ships harbor rats. That is the nature of ships. One ship, the Liberal ship, is solid, holding together, and moving in the right direction or at the very least one direction.

    Pick your ship, as you will go down with it or stay afloat. There’s a lot of paint on the rotten Conservative ship, many banners of simple answers for complicated questions. That usually catches the attention of a few.

  18. @Nick

    Astute observation. Liberals are mindless partisans and cannot get outside their bubble. Progressives on the other hand relish exchanges with people who hold different POVs. We also focus on real issues – not PC insanity.

  19. First I heard about microaggressions was when a friend sent me an article from The Atlantic about students up in arms about cultural appropriation of ethnic cuisine in their cafeteria. I was sure it was tongue in cheek, but no it’s real!

    Bright side was the comments – hilarious! If you need a good laugh check it out:

    Seems to me that allowing students to block speakers is allowing the inmates to run the asylum. Shapiro should have been allowed to speak even if he rode up on a horse decked out in KKK regalia (I prefer open racists to those who pretend they aren’t).

    I actually feel sorry for these misguided conformists. They will lead dull lives.

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