On Thursday, conservative firebrand and Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro crashed another safe space; this time it was at Virginia Tech. The event was well-publicized by the Young America’s Foundation at VTech. The group adorned the campus with posters advertising Shapiro’s speech. Even when a few of the fliers were torn down by peevish social justice warriors, the conservative student group took the provocations in stride, enthusiastically distributing more fliers that included sardonic pronouncements such as “The Left’s Worst Nightmare: Facts” and “Crybabies!”
Shapiro’s speech drew a huge crowd of students. The lecture hall was filled to capacity, while another 150 students waited in line outside for seats to open up.
Shapiro’s signature motto of “Facts Don’t Care About Your Feelings” was front and center. Deconstructing the illiberal tactics of the Left, Shapiro addressed five major concepts prolific on college campuses: diversity, white privilege, trigger warnings, microaggressions, and safe spaces.
One by one, Shapiro addressed these vacuous buzzwords floating around college campuses.
On white privilege, Shapiro dismissed the idea of “ghost busting,” telling his audience to point to the specific policy, piece of legislation, or person that promulgates racism instead of chasing some phantom “out there in the ether.”
Shapiro then slammed the “regime of feelings,” this bizarre notion that “equality of feelings” should somehow be enforced by Orwellian methodologies like trigger warnings and safe spaces. Feelings are inherently subjective, declared Shapiro: ”There’s only one way to achieve equality of feelings: Nobody talks and everybody just shuts up.”
We’d be living in a “silent monastery” if “feelings equality” was forcefully imposed. Ridiculing generation “participation trophy,” Shapiro quipped, “Who knows what could happen? You might cry, and that would be the end of the world!”
As Shapiro noted, if trigger warnings don’t work, then the Left resorts to the idea of microaggressions, which by definition “carry in it the seeds of violence.” “Aggression is to be met with aggression,” stated Shapiro, detailing why that term is so perilous.
Ultimately, all these concepts form a toxic brew of instability. It’s “a recipe for making people insane,” said Shapiro. This “regime of feelings” is taking over. The solution? “Individual responsibility,” asserted Shapiro.
If you were watching Shapiro’s speech live via Periscope, you probably noticed the comments streaming across the screen. While some of the comments praised Shapiro, others weren’t so forgiving. For every “Ben rocks!” or “I like this guy” comment, there were at least three highly intelligent insults hurled by, you guessed it, Alt-Right Trump supporters! Here’s a small sample of some their most endearing comments:
Fuck ben shapiro
Ben Shapiro is a cuck
What a cuck Cuck
Trump 2016 Cuck Shapiro
Coincidentally, Shapiro touched upon the Alt-Right movement during the Q&A session after his speech. “Alt right is a bunch of racist bigots pretending to be free thinkers,” clarified Shapiro. “My Twitter feed is filled with people calling me a Kike...all the Trump supporters.”
Some say you can tell a man’s character by the enemies he makes. If that’s true, then Ben Shapiro is in good shape. During the speech, he drew the ire of misanthropes from both sides of the political aisle.
After Shapiro labeled Donald Trump as a “smoking garbage heap of human debris,” two young women, both wearing unusually large thick-framed, pseudo-intellectual, hipster glasses (It was weird. Maybe they matched styles in the morning?) proceeded to condemn all the (factually accurate and data-backed) evils Shapiro had broadcast.
The first Leftist student began. “I disagree with you a lot,” she whined, “but I harbor no personal animosity toward you.” Politely, Shapiro replied, “That’s an improvement.” She then proclaimed that Shapiro was wrong about transgenderism and institutional racism. That wasn’t her main point. She went out of her way to repeat multiple times that Shapiro’s “vast mischaracterization of the Left” was out of bounds. Citing anecdotal evidence from her presumably two decades gracing the earth, she pointed to her Leftist friends as examples of tolerance. “I feel like you’re painting a wide and diverse group of people with a wide brush,” she grumbled. When asked by Shapiro to point to examples of institutional racism, she froze, unable to cite any specific policies. Fortunately, the student had a Eureka! moment. White people’s “implicit bias!,” she argued, was the basis of institutional racism. After waiting patiently for the young woman to finish her protracted lecture, Shapiro responded, “Unless you’re connecting that with a policy, it’s a cop-out.”
Then came a young girl wearing thick-framed pseudo-intellectual hipster glasses number two. This one was a little meaner, a little angrier, a little more agitated. “I feel a heavy amount of animosity toward you! Thank you for bringing ignorance to our campus,” she barked. After promising to actually ask a question (rather than solitarily wandering in the personal abyss of her subjective feelings), she chortled, “Elaborate on privileges you think minorities have.” With a stoic, undeterred tone, Shapiro answered that affirmative action and withdrawal of policing from minority neighborhoods constitute tangible privileges, adding that these “privileges” always backfire and ultimately end up hurting the very communities they are meant to help.
The rest of the questions were actual questions that ultimately proved educational. Shapiro touched upon everything from image and politics to national debt and social security.
Incredibly, the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) sponsored three campus lectures across the country by three major conservatives on the same night. Katie Pavlich spoke in Florida; Newt Gingrich spoke in Tennessee; and Shapiro spoke in Virginia. Some say free speech is dead on America’s college campuses. If that’s true then YAF seems to be doing everything in its power to resurrect the First Amendment.
Shapiro will continue his college tour next week. Stay tuned for more coverage.