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Peter Fricke, Campus Reform
Unable to prevent Ben Shapiro from speaking at Penn State despite aggressive chanting, student protesters vented their frustrations by defacing flyers and throwing paper on the floor.
Hundreds of students showed up to attend the Wednesday night event hosted by Young America’s Foundation, leaving no room in the lecture hall to accommodate late-arriving protesters who had apparently planned to disrupt Shapiro’s address.
Video footage obtained by Campus Reform shows that rather than dispersing, the activists congregated just outside the room and began loudly chanting a series of increasingly hostile chants.
They started with a chant of “black lives matter,” which quickly petered out, prompting Shapiro to suggest that they should instead devote their resources to places “where black people are being killed, mainly by other black people in the inner city.”
Next, the protesters tried a different approach, chanting, “shut it down!” While the second chant proved more durable, it also provided Shapiro with an opportunity to contrast their professed desire for diversity with their desire to shut down “the one guy who has a diverse viewpoint,” adding that “they’re proving my point.”
At a different point, Daily Wire reports that the protesters also issued a demand to “let us in,” to which Shapiro responded, succinctly but memorably, “no.”
“I find it astonishing when people decide to yell outside,” he told the audience, assuring them that “the attempt to shut down open debate is the mark of ideological fascists.”
The protesters remained at their post even after the lecture concluded, and while they did not appear to directly engage Shapiro’s supporters as they left the auditorium, they nonetheless made their displeasure known by defacing promotional materials that YAF had placed on tables outside the event.
The students also defaced several flyers, writing “Heil Shapiro!” on one featuring an image of Shapiro (which was also covered with swastikas and a Hitler moustache), and adding a speech bubble to a Ronald Reagan flyer saying, “I was a racist bigot.”
Stickers provided by YAF were likewise appropriated by the protesters, who wrote messages on their backings such as “Jesus was black” and “When white-privilege becomes a problem/racism is a problem.”
For his part, Shapiro took the disruptions in stride, saying they were “nothing” compared to the demonstrations at Cal State, which were “almost a riot.”
“It makes them feel good, this sense of victimhood…doing violence to your political opponent,” he concluded resignedly, asking, “do they assign homework at this school?”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @FrickePete
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