On Tuesday evening, I was nearly arrested by security at DePaul University. My crime? Setting foot on campus.
On Wednesday evening, protesters attempted to shut down a lecture I was giving at University of Wisconsin-Madison – and police officers were told to stand down by the administration.
The problem on America’s college campuses isn’t just the snowflake college students. Since the 1960s, there have always been young people insistent on quashing free speech and destroying campus freedoms. But just as in the 1960s, it takes cowardly administrators to make leftist fascist dreams come true.
That was the story at DePaul. Months ago, alt-right popularizer Milo Yiannopoulos visited DePaul, where protesters greeted him by taking over the stage, screaming at him, and threatening violence. Security did nothing. The administration responded by banning both Yiannopoulos and me – they added me personally to the ban because students at California State University-Los Angeles had nearly rioted when I visited.
This week, I showed up at DePaul at the invitation of the YAF group on campus. The administration made clear that they’d shut down the event if I was a speaker, so the group attempted to register me as a guest. The administration blocked that. So we attempted to register me as a member of fellow speaker Christina Hoff Sommers’ team. The administration wouldn’t allow that either. In an unprecedented move, expecting my arrival, they mandated that everyone wear special wristbands and be screened by metal detectors.
When I showed up, I was confronted by 30 security guards from the university. There were also five or six local cops present, as well as a sheriff from Cook County to facilitate an arrest if security decided to move on me. And they did openly threaten me with arrest if I attempted to attend Sommers’ lecture.
I walked up to security; click here to see what transpired.
Here’s the thing: there were no protesters.
Not a single one.
But the administration was so intent on placating protesters who didn’t even show up that they banned me personally from entering a campus to give a speech on free speech.
That was just the beginning.
At UW-Madison, student protesters stood up every few minutes and began screaming “SAFETY” and “SHAME” to disrupt. They’d been planning it for days; they even had a secret Facebook group titled “F*** white supremacy: interrupting Ben Shapiro.” Why didn’t security clear them out, even when they marched down to the front of the stage and attempted to block me physically from the audience? Because the administration had told university police not to remove protesters – and if they had to remove the protesters, they should shut down the entire event. That would mean that 20 protesters could simply stick around, and by doing so, prevent 450 people from hearing a lecture on free speech. As UW student Jordan Zadra says, “This mentality gives protesters a license to shut down any speech they don’t like.”
This is the rioters’ veto. And it only exists thanks to the cowardice of administrators.
If you wish to politely register your displeasure with the administrations of UW-Madison and DePaul, here are the numbers:
DePaul President's Office: (312)362-8850
UW-Madison Chancellor's Office: (608)262–9946