News & Politics

Marquette Students Want to Ban Ben Shapiro During Black History Month

Ben Shapiro speaking at the 2016 Politicon at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC by SA 2.0)

Students at Marquette University really don’t want conservative Ben Shapiro to speak at the school later this month. Really, they don’t want conservatives to be allowed to speak anytime, anywhere — but since it’s February, they’re going with “no opposing viewpoints during Black History Month“:

A group of progressive students at Marquette University are upset that conservative firebrand Ben Shapiro is scheduled to speak on campus later this week, citing “Black History Month” as one reason why his presence is an insult and threat.

In a letter, the students have called on President Michael Lovell to denounce Shapiro’s visit, saying he believes America is post-racial yet his talk is taking place during Black History Month, interrupting the observance.

The letter, obtained by Young America’s Foundation, which is hosting the speech, calls on Lovell to “stand up for those who are marginalized.”

The letter also asks a series of rhetorical questions regarding Shapiro’s stance on race, such as: “Ben Shapiro believes racism is no longer an issue for People of Color. How will you explain to Students of Color that the discrimination and microaggressions they experience daily is not an illusion?” and “Ben Shapiro questions the truth that every person is deserving of dignity and respect. How will you maintain the values of Marquette University while hateful rhetoric against certain students is being perpetuated at University-sanctioned events?”

Of course, asking rhetorical questions in a letter is easy, since Shapiro isn’t given the opportunity to address them directly. Further, if these students get their way, he never will. Not on Marquette’s campus, anyway — they will have another disgusting reason to ban him next month.

This is just another example of the coddled American college student that simply can’t abide a contrary opinion on anything. The last week has been filled with examples, with a riot at Berkeley and Gavin McInnes being attacked with pepper spray over the weekend. They simply can’t deal with people who disagree with them.

Unfortunately for them, people like Shapiro, McInnes, or Milo Yiannapolous aren’t going away. In fact, they have a First Amendment right to speak, something these colleges would do well to spend more time teaching their students about.

While students may find the content of these talks disagreeable, the First Amendment was not intended to protect speech everyone likes. The words that are most “offensive” need the First Amendment the most, because otherwise all speech is contingent on who happens to be in power.

That may sound fine to these students in their sheltered leftist campuses, but look at the nations with restrictive speech laws: none of these kids would last too long there.