True death of free speech; university shuts down conservative author Ben Shapiro

Syndicated columnist and conservative author Ben Shapiro was disinvited from speaking at DePaul University — not because of what he may or may not say, but because of how students may react to his speech.

“So in other words, they can’t keep their own students from assaulting people, so therefore they can’t bring speakers who disagree with the students,” Shapiro, who’s also editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire, told Fox News host Megyn Kelly Monday.

Clip via Fox News Channel

“So, basically we now have the rioters’ veto,” he added.

Shapiro said Chicago’s DePaul campus, the largest Catholic university in the United States, previously hosted a speech by a convicted terrorist.

“So I think it has very little to do with what I’m saying and much more to do with the idea that these administrators are so gun-shy of controversy that they don’t want to tell their own students” to settle down — it’s just words.

“I guess they’re unwilling to do that,” he said.

Kelly wondered what became of the university’s stance on the First Amendment’s freedom of expression.

“Do you stand for free speech or don’t you?” she asked.

“If this is how things are going to be from now on, free speech doesn’t exist, because it really creates an incentive for people to get violent at protests and get violent when speakers come to make sure that people … they don’t disagree with don’t get to show up on campus anymore.”

Kelly noted that the purpose of the First Amendment is to protect “controversial speech” — whether it comes from the left or the right. There’s no need to protect speech with which everyone agrees.

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