After the shabby treatment the University of Minnesota doled out to Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro in February, relegating him to speaking off-campus rather than on the main campus despite the fact that they had easily found space on campus for arch-leftist Senator Elizabeth Warren and home state leftist Senator Al Franken, a major donor to the university has pulled their funding and shifted to partnering with Young Americans for Freedom — the chapter affiliate of Young America’s Foundation, which had sponsored Shapiro’s speech.
In a letter to University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, the donor, who came from the class of 1962, wrote:
I believe the treatment of Ben Shapiro was clearly a case of discrimination. It was not discrimination by race or gender. It was more damaging than that. You have discriminated against the free dissemination of ideas.
The question then becomes why you discriminate against conservative thought. My simple theory is that the administration and faculty of our major bodies of higher education are fearful. They are fearful that once people like Ben Shapiro speak about their conservative ideas, the students will begin to understand a simple fact. It is the fact that they have been exposed to only one way of thinking and thus will be furious over having spent so much time and money only to find out that they have been essentially brainwashed.
Because of this, I have decided to give my annual contribution for scholarship at the U of M to the Young Americans for Freedom.
The donor concluded the letter, “An excellent example of how much damage you have done; I am not signing my name for fear of political retaliation.”
Young America’s Foundation spokesman Spencer Brown stated,
We applaud this patriotic American’s decision to withhold support from an institution that undermines and discriminates against conservatives. Such a decision is an important first step in giving students a full, ideologically diverse education that includes conservative ideas. It’s a tragedy that this once-proud alumnus of the University of Minnesota has been abandoned by his alma mater. With the meaningful support of individuals such as the author of this letter, Young America’s Foundation is able to continue the vital work of holding schools accountable, including through YAF’s First Amendment lawsuit against the University of California, Berkeley.