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There are 97 comments on Ben Shapiro: the Speech, the Protests, the Reactions

  1. I was surprised that there were only about 150 protesters. Many left to go eat. It was cold
    They ran out of tickets and many more wanted to attend but I was able to watch it on You Tube
    It was surprisingly a good speech. He did good job with American history and slavery
    I learned a number of things
    BU students need to be open minded and listen to other views. The university needs to allow all opinions in campus. It is a university after all

    1. Ben Shapiro isn’t a historian, he’s a far-right media pundit. Everything you “learned” from him is part of a made-up conservative narrative, not the work of actual scholars.

      1. Believe it or not he’s quite against the far-right movement. But I guess you wouldn’t know that because you saw the title, the words controversial and conservative, and painted him as Mr. Bad Guy. It’s funny how ignorant people can be. I’m not even a conservative, I’m just upset that people want to deny him of his right to speak his mind. It’s funny, people will say that their voices are silenced and their first amendment rights have been taken away yet they want to make sure that this guy can’t speak his mind in what should be considered as a public forum just because they have differing political opinions.

  2. This is an embarrassment for the university. Disappointed that leadership allowed this event to take place. To hope that an event that denigrates people to happen for the sake of a silver lining is inexcusable and short sighted. A better university – not just a “good university” – would not have stood for this. CAS’02

    1. Seriously, Mauricio? Give me a break. A great university allows for all freedoms of expression and opinion. Kudos to Boston University for not silencing either!!!

    2. It would be a real, not rhetorical, embarrassment if the University or its Leftists blocked hearing an alternative, conservative point of view.

      Is the Left’s so intellectually weak that it has to resort to censorship?

      1. No, Ron, conservatives speak at BU frequently. Shapiro is a far-right pundit who has made a career out of holding bigoted viewpoints and making up empty rhetorical comebacks to people who call him out for what he is. BU students have little to gain from his completely ahistorical take on American history.

          1. 1, You misused the word “pundit.”

            2. Repeating adjectives that I used and saying that they actually apply to me is not clever.

            3. You misused the word “touche.”

    3. Please!!!
      A great university embraces differing views and allows for debate. This cancel culture that you seem to embrace is the antithesis of higher education. It’s been a few years since I was on campus and I find it hilarious, sad, scary & ironic to see students with leftist/liberal views becoming bullies & even violent at times all the while claiming to be the victim and calling the other side nazi’s.
      I have issues with conservatives as well but I don’t see them acting like ….well…….nazis

    4. Those that laugh last, laugh last. I came back as an action of conscious (hello GCC, you still anonymous?;”Dan”, you still embracing?), you guy’s still on this guy’s page? Lol. Still think that those that permitted this are enablers, just like all those cabinet members jumping ship at the last moment

  3. Ben Shapiro and his followers exude white fragility to the point where I feel pity for them. It must be frightening to be part of the last gasp of unchallenged white elitism this country will hopefully ever have to endure. To be coddled and told all your life that you are special, only to be confronted with the reality that your status was the result of a privilege bestowed upon you by the color of your skin.

      1. The students who protested Shapiro are very familiar with his viewpoint. They didn’t protest because they couldn’t tolerate hearing it, but because they feel that BU’s campus is made worse by having a racist visit.

  4. “La liberté des uns s’arrête là où commence celle des autres” a famous French quote which translates to “The freedom of some ends where the freedom of others begins”. Please think deeply about this principle of living in harmony in a multicultural society.

    1. Did the world end because of his speech? This disregard freedom and expression and attempts to limit it, camouflaged as concerns are the real treat to democratic system.

      1. Konrad, no one said the world would end. No one is advocating limiting the freedom of expression- the Constitution does not guarantee every person a platform for their views, it just limits government interference.

        1. It seems to me you are advocating for a limitation on freedom of expression, as you are suggesting that some people should be given platforms at BU and others should not. Some views should be allowed into the ether and others are . Some opinions are right and others are wrong, and the wrong ones I get it, you’re not calling for a change to the Constitution and you’re not calling for government interference — but you’d like to see BU take action to implement these restrictions. Or am I wrong about that?

          1. “Some people should be given platforms at BU and others should not” isn’t calling for a limitation on the freedom of expression, it’s a statement describing what already happens. Private campuses are free to choose to invite or disinvite speakers, and they do so all the time, often based on student protests from across the ideological spectrum.

  5. I am ashamed of my university (CLA ‘85, SED ‘86.). There is a line where hate speech is not protected as it becomes an assault. Shapiro long ago crossed that line. He should not have been given a forum here

    1. “Hate Speech” is not an actual concept as it pertains to law. To the extent that speech can be hateful, it is protected under the 1st Amendment. You may deem certain speech, words, or even syllables to be full of “hate”, but they do not equate to physical “assault.” As a mental exercise, try to imagine a society where words are equated with physical violence, where speech is policed by law, where the offense that someone takes can be grounds for penalization. This experiment has been tried many times over — in fact, it still exists in the world — and it never ends in the utopia you’d expect. Quite the opposite.

      1. Hate speech is very much a legal concept, and hate speech that is likely to produce imminent lawless action is not protected by the First Amendment.

        1. I believe you are referencing speech that is a direct “incitement to violence,” which is not protected under the 1st Amendment. As a law student, I’m sure you are well-versed in this, as well as the other instances when speech is not protected, i.e. a direct threat of violence, libel, etc. But “Hate Speech” — the umbrella term that seems to encapsulate any speech deemed offensive, disrespectful, or otherwise, well, hateful — is not a legal concept. If I’m wrong, please show me where it exists, or where it is defined legally, or what Supreme Court cases have upheld such an interpretation. You’d be correct to state that “speech” that it likely to produce imminent lawless action is not protected by the 1st Amendment,” but this clause does not begin with “Hate Speech.” Hateful speech is entirely legal.

          There was a quote in the Daily Free Press article today to this effect. It came from a BU Professor, who happens to be a lawyer.

          ***Maggie Mulvihill, lawyer and clinical professor of journalism at BU, said in an interview that perceived hate speech does not fall into the category of illegal speech.

          “Even the most offensive and hateful and hurtful speech is still legal in the country,” Mulvihill said. “And it really becomes worrisome when you have certain groups on either side of the political spectrum preventing someone from speaking because that leads to a really slippery slope of who’s getting to decide what is proper speech what is speech that people should hear.”

          Free speech enhances a democracy’s ability to self-govern, according to Mulvihill and part of obtaining a college education is gaining the skill of listening to differing perspectives.

          “Just because [BU is] hosting somebody doesn’t mean they’re endorsing his views,” Mulvihill said. “They could be hosting somebody on the other end of the political spectrum and spending just as much on security for that side.”***


          1. You’re trying to refute an argument that no one is making. The original comment stated that “There is a line where hate speech is not protected as it becomes an assault.” You responded that “‘Hate Speech’ is not an actual concept as it pertains to law.” This is incorrect. “Hate speech” is a legal concept even though the US does not have European style hate speech laws. The legal concept of “hate speech” is discussed in multiple Supreme Court decisions. Hate speech is legal – up to the point that it is likely to produce imminent lawless action.

            The original comment and my first response to you both are making the point that there are times when the First Amendment does not protect hate speech. No one is claiming that there’s a US law specifically banning “hate speech,” but rather that “hate speech,” a recognizable legal concept, can be illegal when it has a sufficiently close nexus to imminent lawless action.

    2. I don’t wish to insult, but are you quite sure you’ve listened to Ben Shapiro before?
      By the sound of your comment, you can’t possibly have ever listened to him. Like, not even once.

    3. Facts don’t care about your feelings. If you dont want to hear what he has to say you have the right to walk away and not listen but you have no right to stop his words or prevent others from hearing them.

  6. There is no such thing as “hate speech” in the United States, precisely because of our magnificent 1st Amendment. Unlike other Western countries without such protections, we don’t ban controversial speakers on the basis of hurt feelings, much like we do not throw comedians in jail for off-color jokes. Thank God our founding fathers were smarter than the modern unhinged left.

    1. The First Amendment does not protect hate speech that is likely to incite an imminent lawless act. It also does not limit the ability of private institutions to deny a speaker a platform.

      1. You keep doing this. And since you’ve said you are a Law Student, I feel this distinction needs to be made very clear.

        “Speech that incites an imminent lawless act is not protected” is a correct statement.

        By adding the adjective “hate” in front of the clause, you are being disingenuous. And as a law student, you must know the distinction and the nuances.

        Speech that incites an imminent lawless act may also be considered “hateful,” but it would be illegal only because of the incitement to violence, not because of anyone’s judgement on whether the speech was hateful or not.

        Please concede this fact. Or, if you won’t, please produce a law ruling which defines “Hate Speech” and shows that it is not protected under the 1st Amendment.

        1. I did not claim that “hate speech” would be illegal because of anyone’s judgment on whether the speech was hateful or not. I stated that hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment if it is likely to incite an imminent lawless act, which is of course true for all speech. But if an instance of hate speech is illegal under this standard, the speech is still “hate speech,” even though it is not banned because it is hate speech.

          1. “I stated that hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment if it is likely to incite an imminent lawless act, which is of course true for all speech. But if an instance of hate speech is illegal under this standard, the speech is still “hate speech,” even though it is not banned because it is hate speech.”

            It is “Hate Speech” according to you, not according to any legal definition of hate speech, and not according to other people who do not interpret his words as hateful. That’s my point, and that’s the problem with this term and why it hasn’t been adopted into law. It’s subjective.

            My initial comment was in reply to a comment that said “There is a line where hate speech is not protected as it becomes an assault.”

            I refuted this by saying that words are not violence and that there is no law against hateful speech, because it is not an actual legal concept. And by legal concept, I meant that it is not defined or codified in law.

            You then said that “Hate Speech” is a legal concept and that it is not protected when it is inciting an imminent lawless act. You are correct, technically I suppose, by virtue of the fact that, mathematically, hateful speech is contained within the larger category of “all speech.” But why make that argument? Why say that “hate speech isn’t protected if it’s inciting lawless action”? Do you believe there was a call to violence last night? Do you think a call to violence would be any more or less criminal if the words were deemed hateful? That’s the connection I’m struggling to understand.

            Separately, your contention that Hate Speech is an actual legal concept because it has been discussed in court cases is spurious. Yes, it’s a legal concept inasmuch as it has been discussed in legal cases, but it has never been defined or codified in law. The fact that the term has been discussed doesn’t give it more weight or make it real. Hateful speech exists. “Hate Speech” as a legal concept does not.

            We can agree on the point you’ve made about private institutions not being beholden to the First Amendment. That’s true, and BU is free to define “Hate Speech,” enact speech codes, and create policies to penalize violations. Some institutions have taken this path. Is that something you’d support? Because your statements imply that you world. I’d ask: what does future look like to you?

            Personally, I think it would mark the end of BU as a Liberal Arts University. It would be an abandonment of the Enlightenment values that form the bedrock of higher education – the pursuit of truth through reason and open debate. Rather than combat ideas using argument and persuasion, it would signal an appeal to authority to censor those ideas (or people) you dislike.

          2. I don’t know where you got the idea that a term has to be “defined or codified in law” to be a “legal concept,” but it’s not true. Anyway, countries that have hate speech laws do define the term, and the last time I checked, the UK, Germany, and France still have flourishing universities.

  7. Absolutely heartbreaking and disappointing, to say the least. White supremacy is alive today and the speech only made it more clear. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech was a step forward, letting Ben Shapiro speak is 10 steps back. White, straight, cisgendered people need to be better. The future of your peers depends on it.

    1. White, straight, cisgendered people are fine for the most part. You don’t see that. You see extremes. You see the crazy people who dress up like Nazis for attention. Speaking as a young, “straight white male” (as I’ve been labeled), most of us *do* condemn the actions of the alt-right. The title of this event was obviously provocative, and likely for a reason. Ben Shapiro does have a rocky past, but he is a representative of a different set of beliefs. You’d rather censor an opposing voice than hear what it might have to say, and that’s concerning for the future of our country and freedom of speech. I’m glad that BU isn’t as closed-minded as I had previously thought.

      1. It’s not censorship to say “Ben Shapiro’s ideas are odious and do not deserve a platform at my university.” BU students don’t need to listen to Shapiro’s lecture to reach this opinion, since Shapiro’s views are already on display in his many books, articles, and radio programs. Freedom of speech prevents the government from restricting speech, not private institutions.

        1. You are correct: saying that “Ben’s Shapiro’s ideas are odious and do not deserve a platform at my University” is not censorship. But since you say make the point that private institutions are free to restrict speech, I’m assuming you are in favor of some level or form of censorship on campus. Is that true? If so, what would it look like to you? Who would decide what can and cannot be said? Is it a panel? Who decides who gets to be on the panel? Does the panel also review all requests for invited speakers? Would they have to review the content of speeches before the speeches are delivered? What combinations of syllables do you think should be punishable?

          1. “I refuted this by saying that words are not violence and that there is no law against hateful speech, because it is not an actual legal concept. And by legal concept, I meant that it is not defined or codified in law.”

            For many people the words and ideas of Shapiro and his like, are violent. They do a lot of damage. It seems disingenuous to make that seem less important.

  8. Cloaking this in balance and neutrality is truly emblematic of BU, and many American institutions just like it.

    The truth is that regardless of what you think of Shapiro himself, allowing him on campus with THIS particular topic “America wasn’t built on slavery” is a huge affront to black and brown students, and a huge support to white racists at the expense of BUs diverse student body.

    This was a really shameful move on BUs end, but not surprising. Institutions like BU, after all, are built on and fueled by the status quo.

    The demand now must be that BU must stop invoking MLK and Wiesel when they please, and ignore them when convenient. This is, after all, the white moderate that MLK derided.

    To YAF and other colleagues on campus reveling in this: you’ll find resistance any corner you turn with your exclusionary and racist politics, you fragile white snowflakes.

    It must be very scary to live in an America, the most diverse it has ever been, that is seeking to yank from you your undeserved, unearned privilege. And yes, you are correct, we are coming for it, full force.

  9. America was built on freedom, sure… freedom for white, land-owning men, at the expense of freedom for everyone else, most notably the slaves who enabled the land-owners to build their wealth at a fraction of what the cost would have been with paid laborers. Those who say that America was built on slavery aren’t saying that there are slaves now or that descendants of slaves have lives just as bad as their ancestors. The point is that America as it exists today would not be the same as an America without slavery. The point is that many white people in this country benefit from the wealth and prosperity that their slave-owning ancestors accrued as it was passed down through their family, and other white people benefit from a society and government that was built to favor whiteness and disenfranchise people of color. The point is that white America acts like repealing slavery and Jim Crow laws was enough to undo the legacy of slavery and racism that still impacts Black Americans. We may all be free now, but white people like myself sure as hell got a headstart on taking advantage of that freedom. Us leftists just want to level the playing field and actually do what we can to ensure that everyone has the freedom and ability to reach their full potential and self-fulfillment. If people like Ben Shapiro really cared about freedom, they’d be helping our cause. Instead, he chooses the reality he wants to see and brainwashes others into believing him. It’s one thing to listen to someone else’s views when you’re arguing about things like the economy or how to best solve America’s healthcare crisis; it’s quite another to tolerate a bigot’s views on human rights.

    1. Completely agree. If conservatives want to enable the freedom of people of color they can start by joining our activism for criminal justice reform, properly funding public schools in disenfranchised school districts, and fighting for legal protections against payday loan scams. If they want entrepreneurship and capitalism to be apart of the solution they can start organizations that help people of color navigate the legal frameworks of attaining business loans, and starting a small business. THIS is the conservative answer to these issues, and it aligns with liberal activism. Victim blaming and telling POC that their lives are bad because their too lazy and stupid to make something of themselves is not only insulting, its just not factually accurate.

    2. In 1860, according to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, 75 percent of white
      families in the United States owned not a single slave, while 1 percent of families owned
      40 or more. Just a tenth of 1 percent of Americans owned 100 or more slaves.

      Soooooo “many white people in this country benefit from the wealth and prosperity
      that their slave-owning ancestors accrued as it was passed down through their family’ might be
      stretching the truth a bit? Because most of us certainly have not.

      1. Bill, pointing out that roughly 8 million white Americans owned slaves in 1860 is not the slam-dunk that you think it is. Those 8 million have millions and millions of ancestors.

        You also conveniently ignored the rest of the sentence, which says that “other white people benefit from a society and government that was built to favor whiteness and disenfranchise people of color.”

  10. Does anyone know who paid Mr. Shapiro’s speakers fee, travel and/or accommodation expenses -or who paid for the overtime of the BU Police? I’m sure the circus wasn’t cheap. Too bad the money couldn’t have been spent on something more positive for the campus and all of its diverse constituency.

      1. From https://www.yaf.org/shapirotour/:

        Fred Allen is a founder and owner of GeoSoils, a geotechnical consulting company in Southern California that just celebrated its 45th year in business. He is proud to employ hardworking individuals and help them provide for their families. Fred and his wife Lynda are deeply concerned about America’s future and sponsored this lecture series to share the ideas of freedom, the value of hard work, and the reality of American exceptionalism with young people.

      1. Don’t you worry. BU spends thousands of dollars on other groups; it’s all about connections and if your event is flashy enough.

        As a current student who has studied at BU for 6 years, I believe this was the best event BU could have put their money towards. BU faculty, staff, and most of the students are liberal and will do everything in their power to make it known. In my experience, I feel suffocated. I can’t ask questions. I am shamed when offering an alternative opinion. Ben Shapiro’s speech gave a voice to those, like myself, who feel unwanted at BU. Having Ben Shapiro at BU gave me the confidence to even post this comment.

        Why do you think BU had to have/pay for so much security? Because liberal BU students are threatening to silence him, much like how they silence anyone who doesn’t align with their political agenda. If you want to place the blame on anyone for the cost, go talk to them.

  11. ” And he said that America is “one of the least racist multiracial countries today,” citing Barack Obama’s two terms as president. ”

    How is he even considered anything close to an intellectual and given a platform at universities is beyond me

      1. Because it’s barely even an argument. Obama was able to beat two fairly weak Republican nominees, but he faced constant racist attacks throughout his Presidency, and the country elected a virulent racist to succeed him. It’s like arguing that there are no problems with racism in South Africa any more because Nelson Mandela was President.

        1. least racist doesn’t mean not racist at all.

          Please take a look at Japanese society, where a black japanese woman is constantly picked on and is not believed to be Japanese. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hXTPHrcs9Y

          Or where nobody wants to sit by you just because you’re black.

          Or in India where Africans are “drug-peddlers and pimps”.

          Or how white farmers are killed in South africa

          Or how a Haitian woman was sent to jail for a crime she didn’t commit (just like American history!) IN CHILE (not saying it doesn’t happen in America, either, but america does try to re-compensate them if they are falsely accused)

          Fact is, every place is racist, whether you want to believe it or not. America is no exception. Don’t compare America to other countries and say we have more hate crimes without equalizing the population numbers first.
          For example, you can’t compare 25% racist people (hypothetical #s) of Lichtenstein to 25% in Berlin.
          25% of Lichenstein = 9,636.75 people
          25% of Berlin = 937,000 people

          So yes, I beliebe America is the least racist and prejudice out of many other countries. We are trying to reform and correct our societies.

          1. Ok, none of that shows that America is one of the “least racist” multiracial countries. I’m well aware that racism is not a uniquely American phenomenon- I specifically mentioned South Africa. Citing examples of racism in a few other countries doesn’t prove that the US is somehow less racist.

            Also, racism isn’t a statistic you can calculate by looking at hate crimes per capita. It’s a complicated phenomenon that has many factors and varieties.

  12. May I suggest that before you tear Ben’s speech apart, you first listen to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxEEGm-CkrE

    Talk about hate speech, AN ARAB ALUMNA certainly gives us a good example of it, and perhaps even incites violence: “It must be very scary to live in an America, the most diverse it has ever been, that is seeking to yank from you your undeserved, unearned privilege. And yes, you are correct, we are coming for it, full force.”

    The authors of this article seem to provide balanced coverage of the event that I watched live-stream. I’ll share a few of my comments.

    “Perhaps surprising some in the audience, Shapiro spent much of his talk outlining the history of American opposition to what he acknowledged as the horrors of slavery and the evils of Jim Crow.” Surprising , perhaps, to those protesting outside, but not likely surprising to those in the audience who listen to Ben Shapiro’s podcasts.

    “…Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the far-right Daily Wire news website…” Shapiro’s website is conservative, not far-right.

    Not sure how you attached the term “progressive conservative” to Ben–seems to be an oxymoron.

    Kudos to Dean Elmore: ‘“I certainly understand that there is a view that this guy denigrates people,” Elmore said before the event. “But I also hope what we can do is to let the program happen, let people who are against it challenge these ideas, and have good and real conversation about this. That’s what a good university is about.”’ Yes, we’d all be better off if we challenge IDEAS, rather than just denigrate the people whose ideas and opinions might be different than our own.

    1. The student who introduced him got cheers for saying that hate speech doesn’t exist. A crowd of people who think hate speech is a myth is a crowd of people who denigrate.

      1. The student who introduced Ben said, “A student organization that was formed in response to the announcement of this event, BU Students Against Hate Speech–imagine creating a club about something that doesn’t even exist–…” Taken in context, she wasn’t saying that there are no bigots in this world, only that Ben Shapiro isn’t one, so no need to form that student organization in response to his scheduled speech.

        1. No, in context she was saying that “hate speech” does not exist. BU Students Against Hate Speech formed in response to Shapiro’s visit, but they are not called “BU Students Against Ben Shapiro’s Hate Speech.”

  13. Ben Shapiro used his platform to attribute the disproportionate incarceration of African Americans to “individual attributes”. BU funded and endorsed such thinly veiled racism to an audience that would love to hear things like this to justify their prejudice. This is shameful. Denying the fact that we are haunted today by the horrible past of slavery through mass incarceration, police brutality, persistent racial economic inequality, etc. is exactly what prevents our country from fully addressing its deeply entrenched racism.

  14. I don’t really think people who want to ban Ben actually have listened to what he has to say. I think they hear things through social media and get outraged or pre-outraged before he opens his mouth. They have pre judged, or another word is prejudice against a person they have not heard. Which ironically, is the very thought crime they are accusing Ben of engaging in.

    As for the legacy of slavery, and it’s affect on American society, I propose we use blind resumes for job applications and college applications, where you only see a number no identifying characteristics as one potential way to make it color, gender, etc blind.

  15. Two things:

    1) I posted on a previous article about how barring this sniveling pseudo-intellectual from campus would give him exactly what he wants– more ammunition in the endless conservative victimhood narrative. That being said, to everyone presenting the liberal students of being intolerant of innocent “debate” with people that have “differing opinions,” let’s just be clear that Shapiro’s opinion, that minorities should quit whining and that whites are the real population under attack, is actually a dangerous one to share and spread. It isn’t a preference for what flavor of ice cream you like, it has really problematic effects on policy and lives. So no, I don’t have to respect that “different opinion.” Sometimes it’s clear that one opinion is right, and another is wrong.

    2) Again, Shapiro’s argument that “there isn’t slavery now, so why won’t the blacks shut up about white privilege already” purposefully obscures the fact that slavery and reconstruction directly led to the disadvantaged socioeconomic position that black Americans still struggle to overcome. Not only that, but Shapiro will try to convince everyone in the same breath that Christians and whites are the real victims here, mainly because people make fun of them, want to lessen their outsized grip on politics, and don’t want their beliefs controlling government policy. Happy (non-denominational) Holidays everyone!

  16. Kudos to Boston University for hosting Ben Shapiro. I don’t know what he has said in the past, but I found nothing offensive (or even significantly controversial) about his speech yesterday.

    I think that Hannah Gray, former president of UChicago, said it best:

    “Education should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think. Universities should be expected to provide the conditions within which hard thought, and therefore strong disagreement, independent judgment, and the questioning of stubborn assumptions, can flourish in an environment of the greatest freedom.”

  17. Can everyone stop calling Ben Shapiro a racist? Anyone who calls him this is clearly ignorant and has not taken the time to do their research. Ben is Jewish and has been a vocal enemy of white supremacy. Him and his family have received numerous death threats. If you haven’t actually watched his speech, please don’t comment, because you’re clearly an intolerant bigot incapable of critical thinking.

    Great job BU standing on up for tolerance and free speech!

      1. Examples, please? Also, please state what he said specifically in speech that was racist. If you can’t, you lose this argument and clearly haven’t done your research…. and shame on you for perpetuating lies. Also, stop vilifying conservatives for simply having different views than your own. Liberals are responsible for there share of evil, but conservatives don’t shout down liberal speakers. This is why Trump won the election… the over sensitivity, intolerance, and intellectual vacuity of the Left.

        1. Ben Shapiro’s long history of racism has been widely documented and you can google it yourself if you’re so inclined. I watched his speech, including the bit where he claimed that the reason a higher proportion of black Americans are incarcerated than whites is because they simply commit more crimes.

          Conservatives shut down liberal speakers all the time! It’s less common on college campuses, because young conservatives are mercifully rare, but it happens. Palestinian and trans activists are frequently targeted.

          Trump won the election because Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate, not because a tiny percentage of the thousands of guest speakers at colleges have to deal with protesters.

          1. Noah, you still haven’t sited an example of anything racist Ben has said… shame on you for spreading lies and for being unable to have the candor and courage to challenge your beliefs. And, there’s nothing wrong with saying blacks are incarcerated more because they commit more crimes. This is fact. That said, I do think that blacks are more likely to be stereotyped or picked up by police. I’m also willing to acknowledge that the problems in the black community can in part be explained by the evil of slavery, tearing up the family structure, eliminating the possibility of accumulating wealth, etcetera. You see, this is how a fair minded person breaks down arguments. And in regards to few students being conservatives, this is actually a positive thing! As Churchill said, “If you’re not a liberal when you’re young, you don’t have a heart. If you’re not a conservative when you’re an adult, you don’t have a brain.”

        1. Arthur, again, if you want examples of Shapiro’s racist tweets about black people and Palestinians, you can google them. I’m not your researcher.

          Just because an explanation is somewhere in between two competing explanations doesn’t mean that it is more “fair” or accurate.

          P.S. A “fair-minded person” would probably avoid the (fake) Churchill quote that any adult liberal is brainless.

  18. Do people realize that he was one of the first pundits to call out Trump on Charlottesville? Or that he had his life threatened by white supremacists last year for being Jewish?

    Look, here is the deal: Yes he is a staunch conservative and I disagree with his general viewpoint of why America is what it is and what role the government should play in making America what I think it should strive to be. I also fundamentally disagree with his general divisive attitude towards the left and his views on the LGBT community and how he uses his religion as an excuse for bigotry. I think conservatives in general are abandoning any notion of a unifying common good and have traded ideas of community for ridged anarcho-capitalism/ narcissism and try to dress it up by calling it individualism.

    But he’s not a charlatan, he consistently calls out Trump and the Trumper’s on their BS on his podcast. He goes on liberal TV shows and Podcat’s and has liberal guests on his podcast and he seems to at least make an effort to try to have a respectful conversation with people he may disagree with to gain an understanding of why us liberals think the way we do about topics and tries to respectfully debate those ideas.

    That whats this country is about. Its about letting jerks be jerks, but winning the day with better arguments, about winning hearts and minds with undeniable truth that an educated population can digest and interpret.

  19. All you need to know about Shapiro can be deduced by this shamelessly presented false dichotomy:

    “But those who are determined to see America’s story as a continuing story of oppression, those determined to paint America’s history as an eternal story of brutality and slavery, rather than as a struggle toward freedom and equal rights in concert with the original founding principles of the country, suggest that slavery remains the defining feature of American life.”

    For one thing, it’s ridiculous to spend so much time attacking his strawman of the left for not wanting to entertain alternative viewpoints then insisting there’s *one* story of America, and arguing about what the sole defining feature is (there isn’t one).

    For another, how can you say America’s story is an ongoing struggle for freedom in the same breath as saying there’s no significant ongoing oppression? Freedom from what? It doesn’t make any sense!

    1. xResponding to: For another, how can you say America’s story is an ongoing struggle for freedom in the same breath as saying there’s no significant ongoing oppression? Freedom from what? It doesn’t make any sense!

      I think he’s saying that people hold such a radical view of slavery and oppression that they cannot see what the government has given them to turn away from that mentality. It was a republican white president who issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Don’t forget, it was a white congress and white president Andrew Johnson who enacted the fourteenth amendment. Don’t forget it was a democratic white President Woodrow Wilson, backed by 37 Republican and 19 Democratic senators who passed the 19th amendment.

      America is in fact struggling towards complete freedom, Issues like this are tackled every few years, decades, centuries. However, at the same time, new issues like LGBT rights are introduced and the issue of gay marriage, etc.

      I believe he’s saying that American, while it did start off shitty, is on a path of redemption. Many people can’t see it in this way so they still believe it is a nation of oppressors.

      1. Everyone knows that a white President issued the Emancipation Proclamation and a white Congress that wrote the 14th Amendment. I’m not sure the government should get a lot of credit for outlawing immoral practices that they supported for decades, especially since Reconstruction ended a few years later and was immediately replaced by decades of government oppression of African-Americans.

        Woodrow Wilson, who was a virulent racist, as Shapiro pointed out in his speech, backed the 19th Amendment following pressure from suffragettes (and also escalated segregation in the US government).

  20. Disappointed is a scratch on the lens. I doubt the administration will read all of these comments, but I hope it makes some sort of a dent. I know you all like to speak in dollar signs, so here’s my message to you: You’ll get not another cent in donations from me. I can donate to another college’s scholarship fund. I tell everyone who asks me if they should go to BU to head for the hills, and this is why.

    The reason for my vitriol has some to do with Ben’s past, but largely lies in the topic he spoke on. The fact that BU would allow someone that is a known inspiration for school shooters on its campus is disgusting on its own. To go even further and encourage such an ignorant fool to speak on such a nuanced topic as the long lasting effects of slavery is absolutely inane.

    Before anyone asks, yes, I listened to the full speech online. It was nothing more than a self-serving, imperialist whitewashing of American History. Having completed a minor in US History at this very campus, I can tell you with complete certainty that his message is full of fallacies and inconsistencies. On a personal level, I find it extremely ironic that my minor thesis was on the very subject of the Daughters of the Confederacy’s impact on southern education systems.

    TLDR; I’m grateful for my education, thanks to professors that actually enlightened me on the reality of our country. No thanks to this careless administration, and I will not defend my former college for promoting such drivel. Take that security money and pay your damn faculty. I’m sorry to the alumni and students of color who feel completely ignored by this event taking place. Some of us do care, and do wish that you didn’t have to deal with nonsense like this.

    1. Having completed a major in US history, having worked in various historical departments around the world, I can tell you with complete certainty that Ben’s representation was neither full of fallacies nor inconsistencies.
      In fact, it was a starkly accurate report.
      I cannot understand how you can say that.

      1. The information that he used to bolster his arguments had some basis in fact, but his analysis was completely off base and illogical. He ignored crucial details about Jim Crow and the overall culture of the society in the 20th century United States. I can’t understand how someone as educated as yourself couldn’t see that.

  21. I am so happy that BU allows people with different opinions to speak at the school. I want my child to know what others think and process that information for herself, or chat about it with other students. That’s what supposed to happen in College. The problem is students want the schools to be echo chambers to their beliefs. Hey, I don’t like horrible people, and many people differ in what they consider “horrible” but that person has every right to speak on campus and I would encourage my child to listen and learn. Saying you are embarrassed of BU, is saying you don’t believe in having our basic freedoms and the first amendment. I want my child to go out into the world with eyes wide open, not closed and deaf to anything they don’t agree with. The 1st Amendment wasn’t designed to protect fragile feelings, it was designed to protect free thought. I’m thankful BU is a school that will not roll over to voices who can’t get their way. If you don’t like it, go and protest – that’s your right!

  22. As an Antioch College grad from 1976 reading these comments scares me for the future. I learned about Adam Smith and Thomas Merton at Antioch-we actually had conversations in those days.

  23. We can’t fight for freedom of speech then deny freedom of speech. If his words are of enemies to us, I want to hear what he’s planning. We also have the freedom to – not show up to his event, and the freedom to protest his existence, but we should never fall into the trap of denying someone because we don’t agree.

    I hate FOX News, but they have a right to televise their “entertainment” (it’s factually not news) so, I don’t watch that channel. If millions of more people agreed with me, FOX would cease to exist.

  24. I believe, If The title of this speech was written differently it may have minimized, not stopped , the oppositional response. Because I do agree the 1st half of the title lends an undercurrent of denial, while the second half lends an undercurrent of “ but your free now.” Maybe a small example might compare that to saying Should a person (of any color) who was imprisoned for 40 years wrongfully, who is now free (made possible with technology of DNA testing ) feel better feel good? Or satisfied that because of today’s methodology help prevent that now? More appropriately, The title could’ve stated , “ America WAS built on slavery, America is building on Freedom.” That New title at minimum legitimizes Both what was, and what is. Now, that’s not to say all the content in the middle will be agreed upon, but it may offer a willingness to listen. Also, there was a lot of sarcasm.. I.e. making funny comments about the people leaving. Or from the opposing parties standing up rejecting him because of preconceived emotions or opinions. Why did that have to be addressed with humor? Everyone there both for and against demonstrated immaturity of both sides. An us against them approach is always the platform, which is also why things change either slowly, or not at all, or for the better, or with regression. Society is not built on the premise that everyone will agree on everything as an end goal. It is about checks and balances. And understandably , there will be fighting. But we are all a human race, not an ethnic race . America is about Freedom, it is why people have come here and it is great, despite its flaws. The goal should be to fight for everyone as people, not for color. Black white red yellow or brown, Straight, Gay, religious, atheist, is Only paralleled by Titles of republican, Democrat, left, right, middle, etc. etc etc. Aren’t we all taught to drop labels? racism and prejudice continues beyond just color. America is a melting pot of everything, it will never have one view. And it will continue to make progress with oppression of all , granted not at a rate we Feel is fast or good enough, I agree. But progress can be made, and continues to be made. But why at the expense of violence and hate? No one is really free, yet everyone is presumably free. Who really wins? If a heaven or paradise does exist, believers and unbelievers , I challenge all just to suppose it does, What does it look like? Because if it’s imagined or visioned as a place for all, but only a place being “ there, not here” then it is within us to create a place Here with one another to live as close as possible with that end goal in mind.

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