College Democrats leader calls for UA to ‘disinvite’ controversial gay conservative speaker
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A University of Alabama College Democrats leader is calling for the school to disinvite controversial gay conservative Milo Yiannopoulos, who the College Republicans are hosting for a speech on campus October 10th.
UA student Kyle Campbell, the immediate past president of the Alabama College Democrats and the current National Membership Director for the College Democrats of America, penned an op-ed in the school newspaper saying Mr. Yiannopoulos does not represent the university’s values.
“(T)he movement Milo represents is comprised of nothing more than Klansmen who have decided to forego their hoods,” wrote Mr. Campbell. “To use a recently popularized term, Milo Yiannopoulos is deplorable. He’s the kind of person the University used to name buildings after, but with none of the accomplishments.”
“(U)niversities exist primarily to educate, and nothing about Milo’s writings are educational,” he continued. “Inviting a sixth grader to make ‘your mom’ and ‘women belong in the kitchen’ jokes would be equally valuable to our academic community. We don’t allow our professors to teach homeopathy or astrology in the name of ‘free speech,’ because it is the role of an institution of higher learning to ensure students graduate with a worldview compatible with reality. Milo’s pseudoscientific views on race and gender are historically even more dangerous than the anti-vaccine movement is today, as we have seen with the consequences of the teachings of Josiah Nott. Milo exercises his First Amendment rights the way mass shooters exercise their Second Amendment rights, with a blatant disregard for the well being of those around him.”
Yiannopoulos, an openly gay conservative provocateur who has dubbed himself “the supervillain of the internet,” was banned from Twitter earlier this year for “participating in or inciting targeted abuse of individuals,” and he continues to gain notoriety online for his aggressive style of journalism and commentary.
Yiannopoulos’s speaking tour, which will hit 26 college campuses, is named “The Dangerous Faggot Tour.”
When the tour stopped in at DePaul University earlier this year, two Black Lives Matter activists “stormed the stage, forcibly seized the microphone, and threatened to assault” Yiannopoulos, according to Breitbart News. He was later banned from ever returning to the campus. At Rutgers University, feminists and Black Lives Matter supporters “smeared themselves with fake blood and tried to shut down the event in protest.”
A video (see below) promoting the upcoming fall tour is titled “The Faggot Returns” and features clips from the incidents mentioned above.
Yiannopoulos’s impending visit to Tuscaloosa comes at a time when a national debate is raging over freedom of speech on college campuses.
Some universities have seen fit to create “safe spaces” where students can be protected from “micro aggressions” and have also encouraged professors and speakers to issue “trigger warnings” to students before discussing controversial topics.
The University of Chicago’s dean of students recently made headlines by sending a letter to every member of their incoming freshman class blasting the culture of political correctness that he believes is spreading.
“Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called trigger warnings, we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own,” John Ellison, dean of students, wrote.
An Auburn University professor even used his fall semester syllabus to poke fun at trigger warnings.
“TRIGGER WARNING,” Prof. Peter Schwartz wrote in bold red letters atop his fall semester syllabus, before alerting his students that they should expect his class to include “physics, trigonometry, sine, cosine, tangent, vector, force, work, energy, stress, quiz, grade.”
Prof. Schwartz later told Yellowhammer he believes “this PC business is making American universities, and their faculties and administrators, the laughingstocks of Western Civilization. But, since the proponents of this stuff think Western Civ is corrupt anyhow, they don’t seem to notice that the rest of the world thinks they’re fools.”
Yiannopoulos promises to push the limits of even the most ardent free speech supporters, but not everyone at UA believes he should be disinvited.
UA student Sarah Howard responded to Mr. Campbell’s op-ed with an article of her own titled “Milo Yiannopoulos should be allowed to speak.”
“If you supported Bill Nye’s presence on campus, then you would have to be a hypocrite to speak against Milo Yiannopoulos’ upcoming event,” she wrote. “Bill Nye came to campus last year to give his opinions on teaching evolution in schools, an idea some Alabama residents heavily oppose.”
“The Constitution lays out the rights of the people in which the government cannot take away, and in this case the University is an extension of the government and must abide by the First Amendment,” she continued. “Effectively, campus should be a place where all opinions (even incendiary ones) can be expressed. I am proud that Alabama has allowed hot-topic speakers from both political poles to speak on campus; it should never be expected that public institutions will limit opinions they do not agree with but it happens over and over again.”
For a taste of the type of remarks Mr. Yiannopoulos is known for, check out the video below.