News and Commentary

‘HATE SPEECH:’ University of Utah SDS Encourages Students To ‘Shut Down Ben Shapiro’

The University of Utah’s Students for a Democratic Society — an organization that is anything but democratic — papered the campus with creepy fliers calling on students to “Shut Down Ben Shapiro” at the Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief’s planned speech on Wednesday.

The fliers, which bear the SDS logo, claim Shapiro trades in “hate speech,” that Shapiro is at the head of “a growing right-wing bigoted movement,” and that he “works actively to spread racial and anti-LGBTQ+ vitriol throughout the country,” At the bottom, the flier features a Shepard Fairey-like caricature of a scowling Shapiro, clearly commanding the University of Utah student body to obey him or else.

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They seem oddly terrified that Shapiro would take on their precious notions of white privilege, trigger warnings, and micro-aggressions — so much so they’d print the flier without even Googling Ben’s body of work.

SDS says they’re offering a counter-demonstration so that students can protest Ben’s “racism, warmongering, and hate,” and so that the Students for a Democratic Society can shut down speech they disagree with and would prefer not to hear.

Sadly for SDS, the University of Utah and the Young Americans for Freedom say the Shapiro event, slated for Wednesday, is already sold out, and that the 400-person crowd probably won’t include protesters.

Although several members of on-campus progressive groups camped out overnight to be first in line for entry passes, so that they could attend the event and turn their backs on Shapiro during his speech, YAF refused to give them tickets. The group later claimed YAF was being racist and demanded University of Utah boot the group from campus.

But even if they won’t be inside, the University of Utah says several groups are planning staggered protests and “counter-programming” during Shaprio’s speech. A collection of groups hosted a sit-in last week, in an attempt to force University president David Pershing to cancel the event, but he refused, saying that while he might not agree with every speaker on campus, he believes that higher education is designed to provide an exchange of ideas.

Just in case, the University of Utah says it is beefing up security, and that administrators have a plan in place in case these peaceful protests get out of hand.