So how’d things go during Ben Shapiro’s much-anticipated speech at Boston University?
Well, some didn’t want free speech on the campus. Here’s what protestors had to say prior to his appearance:
“The fact that Boston University is willing to give a platform to Shapiro is absolutely disgusting and should be condemned by all students and progressive people. This is not “free speech” or a “free debate of ideas.” Shapiro denies the existence of transgender people, he wants to deny women the right to make decisions over their own bodies, and he has openly advocated for genocide and war crimes. These are all forms of hate speech. Shapiro is a racist, far-right zealot who’s aim is to incite hatred and bigotry on our campus and in the larger society. If Boston University truly cares about being a diverse campus; if they truly care about being a welcoming campus to women, queer people, and non-white people, then they should immediately uninvite Ben Shapiro. If they refuse to do so, then the University is unquestionably providing Shapiro with a platform to spew hate-speech as well as incite violence and discrimination against marginalized sections of BU community.”
Ben was advertised as a “misogynist, homophobe, and transphobe.”
So he wasn’t completely bathed in love upon arrival. However, the event did sell out.
And on Wednesday, he had something to say about the Left’s claim that America was built on slavery:
“America was built on eternally good and true principles, springing from both the Judeo-Christian ethic and English culture, rooted in natural law. Those principles were denied in practice by many of the same people who promoted them in theory, but those theories were valid — and remain valid. The story of America, therefore, is a story of the broadening application of those principles — the perfection of our Union, the fulfillment of the promises of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. This view certainly does not deny the evils and horrors of slavery and Jim Crow, or the savage brutality of the dispossession of Native Americans. But this view does recognize a simple truth: the state of the world, historically, has been replete with such evil, horror, and brutality — and America, unlike other nations, has fought, over time, to wipe them away at home and abroad.”
He also provided a great explanation of his thoughts on the Alt-Right, and exactly what they are — something about which I’ve been confused at times myself.
While taking adversarial questions from the crowd, someone reportedly from AR group America First posed this:
“It seems like conservatives like you, like (Turning Point USA founder) Charlie Kirk, and (Texas Republican Rep.) Dan Crenshaw, feel threatened by America First conservatives and America First ideas. Is that why you’re smearing them as Alt-Right racists, homophobic, and all these other things, instead of actually addressing them and debating them?”
Here’s what Ben had to say:
“First of all, I’m happy to address any ideas; I’m not happy to debate somebody who has joked about murdering me.”
Shapiro outlined Trump’s relationship to — and history with — the offshoot:
“If you look at Donald Trump, who I said overtly in 2016 ‘flirted with the Alt-Right’ because he did in April and May of 2016. … Donald Trump, thank God, has forcibly expelled many of the people who were Alt-Right adjacent, like Steve Bannon, from his administration.”
He also laid out the difference between discussing immigration and the goofy version of it embraced by the Alt-Right:
“As far as the idea that I am somehow refusing to debate lower levels of immigration, that is obviously untrue. You can go watch an hour-long interview that I did with the aforementioned Ann Coulter back before 2016 about a book she did on immigration — it’s all about lowering levels of immigration. If we’re talking about tariffs, happy to have that conversation. I had it with Tucker Carlson. If we’re talking about a more isolationist foreign policy, I’ve had that conversation with many, many people.
“I said this in my speech at Stanford, which people are willfully ignoring: I’m not arguing that people that hold those views are quote-unquote Alt-Right. The Alt-Right is a very specific viewpoint that sees the problem in America as a problem of demographics, that suggest that white nationalism is the answer to that problem, that suggest that the problem with immigration is not a problem of culture or assimilation, the problem in America is a problem of what race the people are that are coming into the country. That is not a point of view that is even in the realm of the sort of a Paleocon viewpoint. That is a view that is actively Alt-Right.”
And Ben spelled it out — mainstream conservatism doesn’t concern itself with race:
“I think it is a sin for people to conflate mainstream conservatism with that kind of garbage.”
Enjoy the video above.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the term “Alt-Right.” On one hand, it indicates it’s an alternative to conservatism. At the same time, though, it still identifies the group as on the right side of the political divide.
From what I understand of them, I nominate a different, clearer word: Idiots.
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