Yiannopoulos threatens to amp up 'blatant cultural appropriation' at upcoming Yale lecture
Controversial Breitbart editor and speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos, is threatening to amp up the “blatant cultural appropriation” by appearing in traditional Native American garb for his “Most Dangerous Faggot” tour at Yale University in October in response to an intense debate that raged on Yale’s campus last Halloween between students and faculty.
The controversy began last October when the Intercultural Affairs Committee sent a campus-wide email telling students to avoid wearing offensive Halloween costumes. Yale associate master Erika Christakis sent a reply arguing in favor of free speech even though it occasionally causes offense.
“Even if we could agree on how to avoid offense—and I’ll note that no one around campus seems overly concerned about the offense taken by religiously conservative folks to skin-revealing costumes—I wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious…a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?” Christakis wrote.
Students took umbrage to her email and began demanding Christakis’ resignation, culminating to a confrontation caught on video in which her husband is surrounded by angry students demanding that he and his wife apologize.
“It appears to me sad that the free lunacy of progressives is taking even America’s best universities, and it seems to me the best way to deal with this culture of outrage is to be outrageous,” Yiannopoulos told the Yale Daily News, “These are ridiculous people who deserve to be provoked.”
Even though the event is still months away, students are already voicing their displeasure.
Kyle Ranieri, house manager of Yale’s Native American Cultural Center (NACC), said that if Yiannopoulos speaks in full Native American garb it would be “blatant cultural appropriation.”
“They worry a lot about cultural appropriation but have never actually read a book. They don’t know anything about cultures they’re supposedly protecting on someone else’s behalf, so I will educate them. And I’ll do so looking fabulous,” Yiannopoulos explained in an interview with The Tab.
Kodi Alvord, a member of NACC, told the News that Yiannopoulos shouldn’t be allowed to come at all.
“It’s insulting; people are upset; and it’s disappointing and surprising that someone who is so unqualified to debate something which should not be debated anyway can profit off their own ignorance and arrogance and spread those misconceptions,” Alvord said.
Over the course of his tour, Yiannopoulos has encountered a wake of angry, rowdy, fake blood smearing, sobbing protesters, with one student even facing impeachment for inviting Yiannopoulos to his campus.
Yiannopoulos told the News that he plans on speaking about how there is no such thing as cultural appropriation, adding that, “Cultures are being stamped out by progressives who say they want to protect them.”
He encourages the students who disagree with him to debate with him and that he is open to being convinced.
“Come with an argument. Come with a real question. Challenge me intellectually. If you believe that cultural appropriation is a problem, that it’s racist, that people shouldn’t do it, come and explain why,” Yiannopoulos toldThe Tab.
While many students are already getting worked up, Mohit Sani told the News that he hopes people will listen to Yiannopoulos’ ideas and realize that intolerance can’t be justified, no matter the cause.
“There was much ‘moral superiority’ and ‘bitterness’ last fall, because many members of the racial injustice movement were sure they were right,” Sani said, but also agreeing that Yiannopoulos’ planned costume may not be the most appropriate.
Ranieri agrees that this dialogue is important but says Yiannopoulos shouldn’t be the one to have it.
“To have an open conversation on these topics does not require someone who is ignorant of different cultures and their relation to speech,” Ranieri explained to the News, “In fact, I believe Milo’s presence is counterproductive to important dialogue on diverse cultures and speech.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @brianledtke