“Our administrators allowed for the Young Americans for Freedom (Y.A.F.) organization to invite Ben Shapiro. He strategically came to Cal State L.A. as part of a college tour to ‘battle the resurgent campus radical left.’ His speech revolved around ‘When Diversity Becomes A Problem’, talking about how ‘trigger warnings, diversity, microaggressions, Black Lives Matter, safe spaces, and #ConcernedStudents1950 pose a threat to freedom of speech on college campuses.’ On this day, our campus became unsafe for its diverse student body with the presence of Ben Shapiro with his hateful and divisive message.”Dao continues:
“Let us be clear, we are for freedom of speech and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, including Ben Shapiro.Had there not been threats to our physical safety, we would have been open to having an open debate because we are confident that our views would win. The problem arises when so-called free speech becomes hate speech by way of inciting violence.”For anyone who’s forgotten what happened when Ben Shapiro attempted to speak at CSULA, here’s a quick refresher: These leftists don’t seem to be “for freedom of speech” or believe that “everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” as Dao writes in his call for Covino to step down. Furthermore, the only threat to physical safety was from leftist students who were whipped into a near-riot by liberal faculty members, who then proceeded to block the exits to the theater where Ben Shapiro was speaking, subsequently pulling the fire alarm. Claims from Dao that the YAF lecture with Shapiro “created an unsafe campus environment” and that “students were assaulted, berated, and harassed by proponents of Shapiro and YAF supporters” are absurd and clearly false. The real danger on this campus was caused by leftists who endangered our bold student activists and Ben Shapiro merely for holding a different viewpoint. The lack of intellectual diversity on CSULA’s campus is staggering, as evidenced by the vitriolic reaction exhibited by leftists such as Dao. CSULA should aim to make social progress–by inviting conservative speakers and encouraging conservatives to offer their ideas, rather than punishing them with administrative roadblocks and allowing violent protests to block their events. Ben Shapiro’s lecture–which took place despite campus leftists’ best efforts to block students from attending–was the first conservative to be at CSULA in recent memory. If California State University-Los Angeles prides itself on diversity, where were the Chicano studies professors when Rachel Campos-Duffy spoke about her father’s journey as an immigrant? Why didn’t the Pan-African Studies department attend the lecture with Star Parker on culture, race, and poverty? Where were the Women’s Studies professors when Christina Hoff Sommers addressed students about feminism? CSULA’s practice of selectively embracing diversity proves again that leftists only support so-called ‘marginalized groups’ when their beliefs and ideals align with their own. The situation at CSULA begs the question: is a school really diverse if everyone believes the same leftist ideas? The Young Americans for Freedom chapter at CSULA has breached the gates of intolerance, stared down the threat of administrative roadblocks and near-riots, and delivered conservative ideas to their peers with a handful of successful campus lectures. It is the work of these fearless students that brings true diversity to a campus like Cal State L.A..