In a glaringly ironic moment that highlights the gap between the talking points of some activists and their own actions, “concerned” Stanford students advertised their planned protest against the supposedly “dehumanizing” ideas of Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro by comparing Shapiro to an insect in need of extermination.
Shapiro will be speaking on Stanford University’s campus on Thursday evening in a Young America’s Foundation’s Fred Allen Lecture Series event hosted by the Stanford College Republicans. The famous conservative’s appearance at Stanford has been met, as usual, with backlash from the social justice left, including attempts to erase promotions for the event, an open letter denouncing the administration for allowing Shapiro to speak, and a “silent rally” scheduled to take place before the event Thursday.
In a letter expressing their “disappointment” with the administration for letting the mainstream conservative author and political commentator voice his opinions on the campus, a self-styled “coalition of concerned students” sounded the alarm over the supposed “violence that Ben Shapiro’s hateful, dehumanizing ideas incite against members of our community.”
“We would like to express disappointment, but not surprise, with the Stanford administration for continuing to put the safety of Black, Brown, Trans, Queer, and Muslim students at risk by allowing this event to happen,” the protesters wrote in a letter first reported by The Daily Caller’s Betsy Rothstein. “Our protest is not about SCR’s right to free speech, it is about the violence that Ben Shapiro’s hateful, dehumanizing ideas incite against members of our community. This event has no place on this campus, much less in Stanford’s largest venue.”
“We have chosen to protest this event in silence because many of our bodies are the antithesis to Shapiro’s hateful speech,” they alleged. “Ben Shapiro’s bigotry tells him that Black Americans are disproportionately locked up because of their culture, that people of Arab descent ‘like to bomb crap and live in open sewage,’ that Palestinians need to be subjected to forced population transfer, and that transgender people are inherently ‘mentally ill.’ Our real-world experiences, rooted in both fact and feeling, teach us otherwise.”
Though the students organizing the “silent protest” specifically decry Shapiro’s “dehumanizing” ideas, the flyer they produced to advertise their protest portrays Shapiro as an insect that needs to be exterminated. Below is an image of the flyer, which features a bottle of insect spray labeled “Ben B Gon” and alternates headshots of Shapiro with various insects, including an ant, a flea and a beetle.
“We are tired of of Stanford Administration’s complicity in putting Black, Brown, Trans, Queer, and Muslim students at risk by allowing SCR to bring Ben Shapiro to campus,” the flyer reads. “We do not protest because we are too sensitive to hear opinions we don’t like. We protest because we are strong enough to defend ourselves.” The flyer also asks protesters to “please wear black if possible.”
Shapiro spoke with Rothstein about the flyer and the protesting students’ letter and underscored the irony of it all.
“They literally decry ‘hateful, dehumanizing ideas’ that ‘incite’ on a poster in which they compare me to an insect to be exterminated,” said Shapiro. “Nothing says tolerance and diversity quite like actively depicting your political opponent, whose views you deliberately mischaracterize, as a bug.”
The “silent rally” and the “Ben B Gon” flyer are not the only actions taken by activists to protest the event. As reported by Young America’s Foundation Wednesday, some of the Stanford students really upset about Shapiro’s speech literally erased conservative students’ free speech last night.
“In the cover of darkness, leftist students at Stanford destroyed a conservative group’s Ben Shapiro chalking, dumping water and using mops on the display,” YAF reported, along with a video of the protesters in the act: