On Wednesday night, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro spoke at Yale University, and wasted no time in attacking the university for its pusillanimous behavior regarding political correctness, eliciting a standing ovation at the conclusion of the speech.
Shapiro, who has been battling laryngitis for a couple of weeks, began by joking and prompting laughter as he stated, “Thank you so much for having me; my mother will finally be pleased that I got to Yale … brief note: if my voice seems to be going out, if I start hacking up a lung, it’s just because I watched Hillary Clinton fall down on YouTube and it’s so contagious that that alone seems to have affected me.”
Shapiro then segued to speaking of the “full hit list” of the major terms of political correctness, saying:
Today, we’re going to talk about all the dumb, nonsense words that your professors, administrators, and students use on this campus and others like it to stifle debate, shut down opposition, and excuse violence. Today, we’re going to go through and debunk five of the most common campus terms that you hear all the time of the fascist left: diversity, white privilege, trigger warnings, microaggressions, and safe spaces.
Here’s a warning: this exercise may make folks on the left a little upset. It may trigger some people. It may be construed as a microaggression … if you don’t like it, you can leave now.
Facts tend to do that to people who prefer facts to feelings. The good news is that facts don’t care about your feelings, as I’m fond of saying, and neither do I.
Shapiro spoke of his experience at California State University Los Angeles in February, when at attempt was made to prevent him from speaking about diversity of thought, ultimately leading to a near-riot when he spoke. He stated, “All of which begs the question: if the left doesn’t care about diversity of thought, what exactly does the left mean by diversity?”
Then Shapiro prompted laughter and applause when a member of the audience from the back of the auditorium called, “You’re a bigot.” Shapiro fired back, “Well, I haven’t said anything bigoted yet, so you might have to wait.”
He continued, “Racial diversity doesn’t mean anything. Decency means something. Diversity isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t a good thing unless the people who are racially diverse are decent. Diversity isn’t a bad thing unless the people who are racially diverse are indecent. It’s not a difficult thing; diversity isn’t our strength. Decency is our strength.”
Then Shapiro targeted Yale, recounting the incident in which the Yale Dramatic Association Board held new auditions for a play after people complained that a white woman was cast in a role normally played by a black man. He said, “It doesn’t matter that the white woman was auditioning next to nine people of color who auditioned. The board said, ‘We recognize the pain that this situation has caused and that this new decision may come too late for some and may hurt others.’”
Shapiro quipped, “It sounds like there’s a murder plot, or something.”
He continued quoting Yale, “Still, we hope that reopening auditions will give the Yale community another opportunity to bring new and varied voices to the stage.” He commented, “Except, of course, for Sarah Chapin, the white woman thrown out of the role, of course. She can go screw herself because she’s a white woman who happened to beat out some people of color for this role.”
That led him to speak of “white privilege.” He stated, “This ‘white privilege’ extends to every area of American life. It’s inescapable … The trial of the white heterosexual cisgender male is somewhat like a verbal Spanish Inquisition: if you admit your white privilege, you don’t have to be accused of white privilege anymore; if you don’t admit your white privilege, that’s because you’re a beneficiary of white privilege. So you confess, and you repent, and you beg mercy and you whip yourself, they actually have scourges for sale in the Yale student body office(laughter) mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
He concluded of “white privilege”:
It turns out that there’s no such thing as white privilege. Fact-based perspectives – facts themselves – aren’t a privilege. Fact-based perspective is a requirement. There is no such thing as “your truth.” There is just “the truth” and things that are false. When someone asks you to check your privilege, you should ask them to check their character. More likely than not, it’s missing.
Moving on to “trigger warnings,” he stated, “the important point is that nothing subjectively offensive must occur. The rest of us have to tiptoe around you, bend reality to fit you. We can’t say simple things like ‘a man who thinks he is a woman is not a woman, he is a man.’ That’s triggering. Oops.”
Microaggressions: Shapiro related the now infamous episode in which he confronted transgender advocates on CNN Headline News, the same instance in which his famous mantra, “Facts don’t care about your feelings,” was born.
Finally, before the Q&A, Shapiro spoke of “safe spaces.” He quipped, “Safe spaces are safe in the same way that The Matrix is safe. It’s wonderful and happy until you realize it’s all fake and that society doesn’t actually operate by these ridiculous, stupid rules, and that these ridiculous, stupid rules actually make you into a person who does nasty things.”
Then he took on the incident at Yale in which Yale student Jerelyn Luther shrieked “like an insane person” at Yale faculty member Nicholas Christakis because Christakis and his wife weren’t willing to go along with the idea of the school’s Intercultural Affairs Council that Halloween costumes threatened their “sense of community.” Shapiro targeted the Yale administration for caving to the PC crowd, calling them “pathetic.”
America is the greatest experiment in the history of planet Earth, with the best value system – a system that the left has been attempting to destroy for three generations. Nobody is better off in a system of repressive fake diversity, or preaching phantom white privilege, or whining about trigger warnings, or being offended by microaggressions, or retreating to safe spaces that don’t exist in the real world. We’re better off when we all embrace fundamentally good values. When we share values of responsibility and decency together.
So, what are the common, fundamental values we should be teaching on campus? Let’s start with values such as those embodied in the Constitution: freedom of speech, of religion, of the press, of assembly and petition. Let’s add in some basic civic values: don’t have babies without being married, don’t engage in crime, don’t do violence to people who disagree with you.
If we’re all better to one another – not in terms of being oversensitive or worrying we’re all going to offend one another, but in assuming that we probably will offend each other from time to time, and that’s okay … That doesn’t mean we should go around insulting each other. But it does mean that we have to respect facts as facts, opinions as opinions, and insults as insults – they’re not all the same thing …
We’re all in this together and we’ra all going to have to share a country. So let’s stop letting the fascist left separate us with buzzwords and the tyranny of subjective feelings. If we do that, we’ll finally begin to build what the founders foresaw, what Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of, and what generations fought and bled and died to achieve: a society of values rather than races, of commonality rather than polarization, of truth rather than lies.
After the standing ovation came the Q&A.
The first question was an insipid one: “Why are you doing this? Is it for fame? Why do you give these lectures and say these things? Is it because it’s going to make you more famous?”
After quipping, “No, if I wanted to be more famous, I’d write a TV show and take off my pants,” Shapiro replied, “The purpose of giving these lectures is to speak basic truths to generally crowds of people who disagree with those basic truths, I encourage more leftists to come to my lectures. and also to arm people who believe in truth with facts that they can use to combat lies. That’s the purpose of the lectures. Also I get paid.”
A young woman asked about “unconscious bias,” prompting Shapiro to offer some free education, stating:
There have been no studies, and really I’ve looked at these studies, the connection between what they call “implicit bias,” this is their favorite phrase now, ‘implicit bias,” “unconscious bias,” and biased behavior, has yet to be proven at any level that is even remotely necessary to be used, in for example, a courtroom, which is why it’s never been used in a courtroom. It is also true that there is no way, there really isn’t, there’s been no proven way to alleviate what they call “unconscious bias,” which means that we’re ghost hunting. So what I would suggest, is that if there is unconscious bias, and I’ll acknowledge the possibility or reality of “unconscious bias,” if there is, I don’t care about what’s in people’s heads so much as what they do. So if you point to me a racist behavior, I’m happy to stand alongside you and protest it; what I can’t do is protest about things in people’s heads that I don’t know about because I’m not a mind reader.
When the disgruntled woman persisted, asking Shapiro if he could name an instance in which someone had a thought that did not affect their behavior, and then attempting to mimic him by doing a bad impression of him, he answered, “Yes. All the time.” She mocked, “For instance?” Shapiro fired back, “For instance, every thought you have about walking up here and strangling me right now,” prompting laughter.
Asked about his focus on how SAT scores have been used by colleges to enforce political correctness, Shapiro posited, “There is inequality of outcome. There is no inequality of opportunity in the sense that there are no government obstacles.”
When he was asked about how to get “justice” for children in inner-city public schools, Shapiro elicited applause when he stated: “The solution here is twofold: One: Give parents more choice in where they send their kids to school, and Two: A reversion to an actual belief in parental responsibility.” He added, “The idea that kids are failing in the inner city because they have bad teachers isn’t true; if you’ve ever met teachers in the inner city, some of them are wonderful.” He concluded, “If I do nothing else in my life, taking care of my kids is my sole responsibility … if we all took care of our kids and our family members and our parents, there wouldn’t be any need for the government to come in and screw everything up royally like it does.”
Asked whether Colin Kaepernick could be suspended from the NFL for his national anthem protests, as Curt Schilling was fired by ESPN for having views contrary to management, Shapiro acknowledged that the NFL and ESPN were private organizations, then said,“The NFL is a private organization; it can do what it wants.” He added, “Do I think the NFL should get rid of Colin Kaepernick? No. I don’t. I think Colin Kaepernick should be allowed to do that and people should be allowed to boo him and root against him and hope that he gets sacked every time he’s on the field,” prompting applause.
When a questioner accused Shapiro of seeing the left as monolithic, Shapiro explained, “If you believe that fairness of outcome is more important than equality of rights, then you’re on the left … Most people who study and believe in the Democratic Party platform are leftists. I think that most people who vote Democrat do so because they think Republicans are a**holes.”