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Student: Shapiro Made Me Leave Communism

Daily Wire Editor-In-Chief Ben Shapiro has been speaking out against leftism since he was 16 at UCLA, standing atop the Ackerman building waving a sign reading “merit before diversity,” and writing the book Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth at 20. Now a whole new generation is being influenced by his books and the Ben Shapiro Thug Life videos devoted to his speeches and public debates.

One case in point is Cal State Los Angeles student Mark Kahanding, 20, a finance major at the university and the 2105-2016 chair of its Young Americans for Freedom chapter, who was bullied growing up and as a teenager turned to the writings of Chinese dictator and mass murderer Mao Zedong for comfort. Mao was responsible for executions, imprisonments, forced famines and labor camps that killed an estimated 65 million Chinese.

Kahanding told The College Fix:

I fell in love with this ideology because prior to high school I was bullied for nine years. Having been treated like dirt, I thought that if I became a communist and helped advance the cause, then no one else would have to go through that. It started off with music from the Cultural Revolution. The song, “Socialism is Good,” was catchy and stuck in my head. It forced me to research more and I fell in love with the ideology.

Despite the fact that his parents were conservative, Kahanding studied Mao’s teachings, and became so determined that he learned Chinese in order to recite Chinese revolutionary songs from the 1960s. He admitted, “I would dream for the day that I could tear down the oppressive system so that all men and women would be equals. I would even graffiti the hammer and sickle on sidewalks.”

Then one day he was at a book store and saw Shapiro’s book Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans. Having been bullied himself, Kahanding was intrigued by the title and bought the book, which argues that leftists use the race card, class card and sexism card to demonize conservatives and bully them into submission.

Kahanding said he realized the same bullying tactics that he had suffered were the same as the tactics of the left. He recalled, “His book showed me that the left was full of horrible people that I thought were tolerant, but they were just hypocrites.” He stated that he slowly began to embrace his parents’ ideals of personal freedom and liberty as expressed by conservatism, adding, “I discarded my feelings and embraced facts.”

Kahanding’s mother, contacted by The College Fix, said she remembered him listening to communist music in the car and emblazoning the communist symbol on his books. She asserted, “I didn’t like it, but I knew it was just a phase so I let time pass by. I am so proud of my son for what he has done and his accomplishments that he has made.”

It was Kahanding and the members of Young Americans for Freedom on the CSULA campus that invited Shapiro to speak on the campus February 25, prompting the university to first prohibit Shapiro from speaking, then the near-riot when Shapiro wound up speaking there and leftists barricaded the doors of the auditorium to trap students inside while leftists pulled the fire alarm.

“I would even graffiti the hammer and sickle on sidewalks.”

CSULA’s highly-conservative Mark Kahanding, before he read Ben Shapiro’s book

Kahanding, Shapiro and Young America’s Foundation filed a lawsuit in May against California State University Los Angeles (CSULA) for censoring CSULA Young Americans Foundation’s (YAF) February 25 lecture featuring Shapiro and violating the plaintiffs’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Kahanding concluded: “Not many people understand this, but as a former Maoist, I see what the left is doing. They are attempting to start another Cultural Revolution. They are like me, a naïve young person who wants everyone to be treated fairly.”

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