On Thursday night, conservative icon and Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro spoke to hundreds of enthused students crammed into the Rackham Amphitheater at the University of Michigan. Thankfully, the students at Michigan chose to act civilly, allowing the First Amendment to go untarnished, much unlike the precious snowflakes who desperately tried to silence Shapiro at Penn State just one day prior. The event was hosted by Young America’s Foundation as part to the Fred. R. Allen Freedom Lecture series and streamed live for the tens of thousands of viewers online.
Uninterrupted, Mr. Shapiro was able to lay out the dangers of the culture currently occupying American colleges and universities, namely repercussions from the Left’s racist view of diversity, sheltering "trigger warnings" and the legitimacy of the “microaggression.” Shapiro also highlighted the two most vital common values of the West which must be believed and protected if we want to live in a free society:
- Your behavior dictates your outcome
- You get to say what you want and not get punched in the face
Shapiro made it clear that these two values are currently under vicious assault by the American Left.
The witty conservative started the speech by jabbing the intolerant Left through the praise of the most unlikely of suspects: Donald Trump—or as Shapiro affectionately calls him, “a smoking garbage heap of human debris.” Shapiro ripped the recent meltdown of snowflakes over basic messages of support for Trump on college campuses written in chalk, now known as the “#TheChalkening.” He said facetiously that only intolerant Leftists could make him give quasi-support to Trump, calmly walking to the chalkboard and writing a simple “Trump 2016.” The amphitheater instantly erupted in laughter.
Getting down to business, Shapiro railed against the Left’s racist notion that only diversity of skin-color matters. Diversity of thought, not the level of melanin in your skin, should be of value, argued Shapiro.
Highlighting his point, the young conservative addressed the recent Orwellian-like attempted shut-down of his First Amendment rights weeks ago at California State University Los Angeles. Shapiro explained that the near riot, fostered by President William Covino, was rooted in the idea that Left’s view of “diversity meant I had to shut up.”
Shapiro then swiveled to the fallacy of “white privilege,” a “seductive term” for both white and black people, explaining that the term can be used by blacks to blame their problems on others despite them being caused by their own actions. He iterated that this is dangerous because it gives no sense of empowerment, only victimhood, which can only lead to rationalized failure. He added that the term is used by whites to essentially absolve themselves of manufactured guilt, creating an undeserved moral high ground on which they stand.
White privilege is one rationale the left offers for inequality of outcome, which Shapiro succinctly labeled as the Left’s main goal. “Equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity" is all that matters to the Left, he said.
The conservative heavyweight said that actual “privilege” did indeed exist; identifying three "privileges" in particular.
- Two-parent privilege
- Decision privilege
- Not committing crimes privilege
Shapiro also quipped about “Asian privilege,” since, after all, Asians are on their way to exceeding all other ethnic groups academically and financially. Since everyone knows “our founders were rich Asians,” he joked, adding, “Which explains why the Constitution was mysteriously written in Korean.”
Moving to the troublesome and pathetic “snowflake” culture entrenched in universities and colleges across the country, Shapiro ripped trigger warnings, safe spaces and most of all, microaggressions.
"The word [microaggression] is fascist in nature,” said Shapiro. When someone is granted a patina of legitimacy to use force or aggression against an individual who may have said something subjectively deemed “offensive,” the result can be dangerous, he argued.
A society thriving on victimhood is an unsafe society; bad people think of themselves as victims, not bad people, and thus are justified in their aggressive actions, he said, concluding the speech before opening up for questions.
Shapiro, as usual, dazzled in the Q&A portion; the 32-year-old consistently opens up the forum for question about literally anything under the sun, and always delivers. Topics from Trump’s proposed Muslim ban to the so-called gender wage-gap, which he immediately called “bullshit” before he machinegun-style shot off statistics to prove his point, were addressed.
Ending the Q&A on a high note, Shapiro explained to an inquiring student that taking the fight to the Left is inevitable, whether you like it or not. “The Left is not in the habit of leaving people alone,” he said, adding, at some point you have to “embrace the fight" while being strategic. The end goal is success: become really rich and then give a large donation to your alma mater with the contingency that all Leftists must be fired, he quipped.