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. History in the United States shows us that colleges and universities will not stand up for First Amendment (or any other) rights. Not unless they are constantly re-assured that they won’t suffer financially for it. (Yes, there are exceptions; there are ALWAYS exceptions.) The above banning is disappointing but hardly surprising.

  2. Hmmmm, Yuri’s “never heard of this knob”, and yet he knows that whatever he will say (“spew”) will be “nonsense”. How nonsensical.

  3. I never heard of this knob. However, he should be allowed to spew his nonsense if this is a state run school, but they have every right not to allow him there if this is a private university.

  4. @Dave

    OH, is that the Roy Harper who did “Davey”??? Because if it is, I love that song. My Pandora channel has a lot of those old folk singers, and I have been learning about them, and sometimes buying the CDs and/or downloading stuff. I got the Jackson Frank CD just the other day!

    Plus, I got some silk and steel guitar strings, and I was going to restring one of my guitars like those old folk guys did, but chickened out. Plus, I think maybe the guitar already had them on it from the last time I took it to the shop before I knew anything about strings. The low e string was very floppy, so who knows. Maybe I will put nylon strings on it and do it in A Standard tuning.

    Sheeeesh! Have I ever digressed! Must be the coffee? Never mind!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  5. These are the so called college educated voters that constitute the base of our snob in the White House. I don’t know what to say except to feel sorry for what kind of people out universities and colleges are producing !

  6. @Independent Bob

    we are voting for Jill (Jill not Shil) where we can. She is not on the ballot in every state. Some will vote for Trump

  7. Why don’t Bernie Sanders supporters vote for Jill Stein? She is the nearest out there to Bernie that’s running. If you take all the people that support Bernie Sanders and all the people that support Donald Trump it’s most likely more than 1/2 the country. Over 1/2 the country are not happy with the direction the country is headed in. The political establishment in both party’s are quickly becoming a minority. More and more people are turning to political alternatives instead of staying with the establishment figures of both party’s. A lot of people on both sides think the system is rigged and they are not getting a fair shake. I’ll bet Ben Shapiro feels that way.

  8. @tnash

    re: “There are arguments to,be made for and against either system……but a sanctimonious declaration that one “is dyfunctional”, and the other is so, so, superior is both arrogant and foolish”

    I agree – no system is ever perfect. In the meantime we need to get rid of Citizen’s United and get money out of politics. Bernie has already shown that candidates do not need super PACS

  9. Isaac_
    I specifically took issue with your statement that “dysfunctionalAmerican system” dies not allow fir 3rd or 4 th party involvement, and that your Canadian utopian model does.
    A. That’s why I mentioned the “two party similariaties” in who wins elections
    B. That’s why I mentioned the impact of 3rd party movements in the U.S.
    That impact is obviously not evident in America in a “parliamentary system”….but historically, in a different way, 3rd parties have demonstated some clout.
    You did not effectively respond to either of these points; you made a sweeping, blanket statement about the uptopian Canadian system being more open to 3rd parties, then ignore that potential and historical role of U.S. 3rd party movements.
    (I gave dates of specific years, if you care to learn about American history).
    As a lapdog of England, it’s natural that Canada adopted a parliamentary system.
    Since the U.S. broke away from Great Britain, it was natural that the original statesmen would look for alternatives.
    Hamilton’s F influential Federalist Papers are primarily thought of as deliniating Federal v
    State powers, but they also argued for a clearer separation of powers between BRANCHES of the federal government.
    That is a major reason the U.S. does not have a parliamentary system
    There are arguments to,be made for and against either system……but a sanctimonious declaration that one “is dyfunctional”, and the other is so, so, superior is both arrogant and foolish.

  10. Best comment of the day I’ve seen thus far on uniting the Demoncrats:

    “there is absolutely nothing that HRC can do to make me vote for her … if she wants to unite the party she needs to withdraw her candidacy”

    This person speaks for millions of us.

  11. lots of spelling errors today as I injured my wrist and am typing with one hand =)

  12. @isaac

    It is similar in most european countries where multiple parties are influential. this A v. B, Coke v. Pepsi, Ford v. Chevy is not working for the masses. Thus the rise of the Donald and support for Jill Stein and Gary Johnson.

    I look forward to coming implosion of the Democrats.

  13. tnash

    You must try and read more carefully before responding. All your points were covered in my post. It’s not about which country is better but which system of government is evolving. The system in the US is not. The parliamentary systems in Canada and GB are. The systems in Canada and Great Britain have adapted to the changing populations. In the US, not so much and the basic weaknesses could not be more clear.

    Third parties are far more influential in the parliamentary system. In the US independents and other disparate groups may get their say but are, especially in the Republican party, mostly disruptive and/or cause disruption when the mainstay attempts to quash them.

    In the parliamentary systems third parties have the advantage of actually bringing a major party to power and stay connected whether by influence or actual votes. Each party has a shadow cabinet that monitors and influences each portfolio.

    The biggest advantage Canadian and British systems have over the US circus is that they are not dependent on money. In the US politicians are bought and sold. This arrests the evolution of how things should be done.

    When one becomes so entrenched in a system just because sacred forefathers created it and its basics have become potentially perverted, one has to wonder if this is the country of innovation and setting the pace. Regardless of whether or not one is Republican or Democrat one has to admit that this time around the choices could not have been more bizarre. Without billions of concentrated dollars, perhaps Kaisich and Sanders could have made a go of it. If there were four parties and no money dictating the outcome, imagine what could be accomplished. We might get a President who sides sometimes with the Republicans, sometimes with the Democrats, sometimes with a more centrist or more extreme version of the left and/or right. America’s political system is becoming more of an us or them condition. That is one more choice than a dictatorship. And then along comes Trump.

  14. @randyjet

    Spot-on. And a good example of how open minds work — you and almost always disagree yet on this subject we are on the same page. I feel sorry for those who never expose themselves other POVs

Comments are closed.