News & Politics

Ben Shapiro to UC-Berkeley: 'This Bullsh*t Will NOT Stand'

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

On Wednesday, staff at the University of California, Berkeley refused to provide a venue for a Ben Shapiro speech, requested by students in Young America’s Foundation (YAF) and Berkeley College Republicans (BCR). Ironically, staff said they were “unable to identify an available campus venue” for September 14, a date nearly two months in the future.

YAF reported an email to BCR members from Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell and Student Organization Coordinator Millicent Morris Chaney. The email denied students’ request for a venue despite “extensive efforts.” It also added, “Ben Shapiro is welcome on our campus, and we are committed to supporting his, and your, rights to free speech.”

YAF attacked this “double-speak,” noting that the “same platform” had been “willingly granted to high-profile liberals” many times. The administrators argued that Berkeley can only host Shapiro “when events are held at a time and location that allow for the provision of any required safety measures.”

“Using ridiculous pretexts to keep conservatives from speaking is unsurprising but disappointing,” Shapiro told YAF. “We’ll find a way to get this event done, and UC-Berkeley has a moral and legal obligation to ensure we do so.” The Shapiro denial is the third such attempt on Berkeley’s part to stifle free speech by refusing a platform to conservative speakers after YAF requests.

UC-Berkeley’s insistence that Shapiro’s speech would require “safety measures” stood in clear opposition to the fact that Shapiro spoke at the campus in April last year, with no safety incident.

The conservative author told The Daily Wire, “We’re coming to Berkeley, regardless of attempts to stop us. It’s just a question of when and were. Stay tuned.”

When news broke that Berkeley had refused Shapiro, Ann Coulter, who had previously been turned away from Berkeley as well, tweeted congratulations.

“Thanks! Glad to be part of the club,” Shapiro responded.