Two weeks ago, I spoke at California State University at Los Angeles. The president of the university, William Covino, had attempted to cancel the lecture just three days in advance, after weeks of planning and activism by students.
I refused to be cancelled, and informed him I would show up anyway. At the last minute he caved, and the event went forward. On campus, I was met with a near-riot from students and professors who blockaded entrances and exits and threatened those who wanted to hear me speak with physical violence – you can read my full account here.
During the Q&A portion of my speech, I was asked when the left would be satisfied. My answer: never. “The revolution eats its own,” I said. “You watch. After all this goes down, President Covino, I’m sure, is gonna get flack from the people standing outside for being too weak in suppressing free speech.”
Being right all the time is somewhat tiring.
Yesterday, the CSULA University Times reported:
After Feb. 25 with the student-led protest of Young Americans for Freedom’s (YAF) guest conservative speaker Ben Shapiro, Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) called for the resignation of four administrators and staff on Thursday, March 3, under the grounds of mismanagement and safety concerns. Items on the agenda were a vote for confidence—where members express their approval or disapproval of their leaders—that included President William Covino, Vice President Dr. Jose Gomez, Vice President Nancy Wada-McKee and Chief Rick Wall.
My speech was so threatening to student safety that those who actually threatened student safety want those who allowed them to do so fired. Got it.
What were the precious snowflakes’ main complaints? Anthropology student Joe Trinidad Castaneda was enraged that Covino cancelled an event titled “Sex Toys R Us” after a high school student complained about it. One of the other unicorn-riding students complained about the protests against me, “We were left vulnerable and then you don’t show up to make sure we are okay.”
The student board voted for no confidence, which means that Covino’s case will now be sent before the Academic Senate, who are members of the faculty; finally, the process moves to the chancellor’s office.
The vote came just a week after a #CovinoResign rally on February 29, at which students rallied to protest Covino “allowing” me on campus – even though as I explicitly said in my speech, he had no choice in the matter thanks to something we in America like to call the First Amendment. The University Times unleashed perhaps the most Orwellian line of all in their report on the rally: “Due to the diversity of our school, the students who feel strongly about Shapiro’s first amendment rights are reluctant to voice their opinions.”
Because true diversity means silencing anyone who disagrees. Which is, of course, precisely what I said in the speech they attempted to shut down with physical force.
The Stalinist show trial world of the college campus has long been a black box to most people outside academia. But this sort of thing isn’t uncommon. Over at University of Southern California, student senator Jacob Ellenhorn is facing impeachment over bringing me and Milo Yiannopoulos to campus.
Way back in 2007, I attended a Stalinist show trial at Tufts University to defend The Primary Source, the campus’ conservative publication, which committed the egregious sin of printing politically incorrect parodies. I gave a closing statement on behalf of the conservative periodical, in which I stated that diversity of thought meant protection of unpopular views. An opposing student then replied to the conservative students, “We don’t like you. Nobody likes you. There should be consequences.”
The revolution will always eat its own, because there is no leftist utopia but for constant cycles of destruction. William Covino should be fired, thanks to his failure to protect people who wanted to engage in freedom of assembly and speech by attending my lecture. But the left wants him fired because he didn’t sufficiently quash speech. Just another day in your public university system.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News, Editor-in-Chief of DailyWire.com, and The New York Times bestselling author, most recently, of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.