Ben Shapiro had a 'blast' with leftist students shaken by his appearance at FSU
Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro spoke at Florida State University on November 15.
After leftist students argued that Shapiro should be disinvited, Shapiro told Campus Reform that ‘more speech is better speech!’
Before conservative commentator and Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro spoke at Florida State University on Monday, leftist students argued that his presence should “absolutely not be tolerated by students, faculty, and administration.”
The FSU Students for a Democratic Society released a statement arguing that Shapiro “has a long history of being violently racist, homophobic, transphobic, and xenophobic” and has “affirmed white supremacy by pushing back against ‘Critical Race Theory,’” which they called “a correct telling of US History.”
Shapiro told Campus Reform, “As a new Florida resident, it was a blast to visit with so many terrific young people — people who agree and disagree. More speech is better speech!”
On November 15, Shapiro took the stage at an event. The event, which was sponsored by the university’s College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation, sold out as 1,500 students signed up to attend, according to YAF.
“The attendance at YAF’s Ben Shapiro lecture far outnumbered the amount of protesters,” YAF spokeswoman Kara Zupkus told Campus Reform.
“They did not impede the great success of the event in any way, despite heckling some students in line,” she added.
Likewise, FSU Students for Justice in Palestine said that they “do not tolerate fascists” in a Nov. 6 Instagram post about the event.
“Ben Shapiro is a zionist: he’s also xenophobic, racist, homophobic, and transphobic,” the post read. “We are outraged that FSU has offered him a platform, and invite everyone who disagrees with his hateful ideology to stand against him on November 15.”
Indeed, the days leading up to the speech were marked by ire from campus leftists. For example, posters featuring Shapiro were defaced on campus.
— YAF (@yaf) November 15, 2021
On the day of the event, a handful of students carried signs such as “Go Home Ben” and “Ben Shapiro Off Our Campus!”
— Kara Zupkus (@kara_kirsten) November 15, 2021
Campus Reform asked Florida State University if the leftist students’ protests inhibited Shapiro’s speech. Office of University Communications assistant director Amy Farnum-Patronis replied that “there were no significant barriers to the running of the event.”
“The university provided appropriate staffing as is our normal practice for all events at the Tucker Center,” she added. “FSU encourages recognized student organizations to invite different individuals and groups to speak on campus, and they have the right to do so, even if other students disagree with the ideas that may be presented.”
As Campus Reform previously reported, a nationwide poll of college students revealed illiberal attitudes about open expression. 33 percent of students surveyed agreed that it is "always acceptable" or "sometimes acceptable" to shout down a campus speaker in order to "prevent them from speaking on campus."
At certain schools — such as Wesleyan University and the University of California-Berkeley — cancel culture is especially strong, with over 80% of students concurring that shouting down guests is acceptable to some degree.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft