On Tuesday night, bestselling author and Daily Wire podcast host Andrew Klavan had the opportunity to speak at Stanford University at an event hosted by the Stanford College Republicans (SCR). But social justice activists did their “sloppy” best to make sure their fellow students didn’t have the opportunity to hear him.
Before the event, students who didn’t want Klavan’s voice to be heard on the campus barricaded the doors of the venue using a few overturned tables, trash cans, and a chain lock. The activists also left flyers on the door alleging that Klavan was an “Islamophobe” and strategically placed cups of juice behind the doors in the hopes of creating even more of a mess.
“Our ‘tolerant leftist’ friends here at Stanford thought it would be cute to barricade the doors with several trash cans, tables and a chained lock over the door to the venue for our Andrew Klavan event this evening and to place juice behind them in an attempt to make a mess of the room,” Stanford Republicans said in a Facebook post right before the event Tuesday.
But with some careful stepping to avoid the sticky trap and help from campus police and their bolt-cutters, the undaunted Republicans managed to host the Young America’s Foundation-sponsored “Klavan on the Culture” tour as planned. “No matter: we quickly cleaned up their half-baked, sloppy excuse for a disruption, and we’ll be starting at 7:15PM. SCR 1, ‘Tolerant’ Leftist Cowards 0,” SCR wrote.
Below is the post, which includes some photos of the “sloppy” barricade job.
As The Daily Wire reported Tuesday, a day before the event, two Stanford administrators, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole and Dean for Religious Life Tiffany Steinwert, announced to the student body in a piece on Stanford’s Quad Blog that they were “deeply troubled” by the Daily Wire host, particularly because of views he expressed in the past on Islam and violence.
“While our university welcomes discussion of all aspects of America’s religious diversity, we are deeply troubled by views Klavan has expressed in the past in relation to Islam,” the administrators wrote. “Klavan has sought to promote Judeo-Christian values in part by fostering anti-Muslim sentiment. In an online video, Klavan distorts the tenets of the Muslim faith, equating Islam with violence and barbarism. We stand firmly against vilification of Islam. We are particularly dismayed that an event of this type is planned for the holy month of Ramadan when the Stanford Muslim community joins Muslims around the world in observing a month of fasting, prayer, and spiritual growth.”
Brubaker-Cole and Steinwert also took aim at the way the student organizations promoted the event: “We are also concerned about the publicity tactics that have targeted Muslim students. Last week, several flyers for the event were found stapled to bulletin boards and strewn across the Markaz, our Muslim community center, in an evidently deliberate attempt to disturb and disrespect our Muslim community. This is unacceptable behavior that undermines our community values.”
In response, YAF‘s Spencer Brown noted that “[c]areful observers will note that Stanford’s Students for Justice in Palestine club hung anti-Semitic posters around campus depicting [Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief] Ben Shapiro at Seder, yet there’s been no condemnation or scolding from administrators. This is yet another example of the double-standard applied by administrators who favor one viewpoint at the expense of another.”
The Stanford administrators then accused Klavan of having “violate[d]” the school’s “commitments and values” before ever setting foot on campus by saying critical things about Islam. “The Office for Religious Life’s ethical framework calls on our entire campus community to treat with respect the religious traditions and activities of others; and to safeguard the religious freedom, human dignity, conscience, and personal spiritual welfare of all members of the university. We believe Klavan’s articulated views on Islam violate these commitments and values.”
After expressing their commitment to “free expression of diverse opinions” yet regret that they cannot “legislate” speech to be “ethical, moral, and/or responsible,” the administrators urge students to look to “examples of people joining together across difference and standing in solidarity even in the face of hatred and slander.”
In response, Klavan said in a statement to The Daily Wire, “As we learned on ‘Game of Thrones,’ nothing you say before ‘but’ really matters. If you believe in free speech but … you don’t believe in free speech.”