On Wednesday night, in front of a packed auditorium at Emory University, Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos spoke about feminism, political correctness, and perhaps the most significant campus free speech controversy of the year.
Unlike the rest of the stops on “The Dangerous Faggot Tour,” Yiannopoulos’ visit to Emory was in response to a specific free speech incident that took place on the campus. Just a few weeks ago, Emory descended into chaos after a group of student protesters occupied an administration building and demanded that the Emory president, James W. Wagner, condemn Donald Trump on behalf of the university.
The demonstration was in response to the appearance of several pro-Trump chalk writings around campus that protesters claimed created an unsafe environment for students. The student protesters also claimed that they were scared and “in pain” over the chalk writings, and demanded that the university hold responsible the students guilty of the Trump endorsement.
Although Wagner allowed the student protesters to address their concerns in March, he wholly rejected their demand days later — taking to a prominent sidewalk on campus and writing, “Emory stands for free expression,” in chalk.
On Wednesday night, several hundred Georgians showed up at White Hall to hear Milo’s take on Emory’s chaos. Although a few student protesters showed up with posters to chant outside of the auditorium, their presence was dwarfed by a significant number of students wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and carrying “Socialism sucks” signs.
White Auditorium at Emory University wasn’t enough to contain the students who came out to see Yiannopoulos on Wednesday night. About a dozen students were lined up at the door, just so that they might get the chance to see Yiannopoulos on his way out of the auditorium. For those who wished to watch the lecture, but weren’t able to get a seat, a live video feed of the event was played in a nearby classroom.
Yiannopoulos spoke for approximately 25 minutes before turning to students for questions. Students asked about political correctness, feminism, and Donald Trump.
Perhaps the most significant portion of Milo’s visit to Emory came after his lecture, when he lead students outside into the nearby Asbury Circle section of campus to chalk up the sidewalks.
Milo led students out of the lecture hall and through campus, settling into Asbury Circle, where he initiated the demonstration by writing “Dangerous Faggot” in the center of the circle. Students were encouraged to write whatever they wanted. Although most of the sidewalk received pro-Trump messages, others went the other way, with one student writing “f**k Milo.”
Despite a student protester’s insistence that “words can be violent,” no one was harmed by the chalk writings placed around Emory’s campus on Wednesday night. Emory’s social justice warriors may now realize that free expression isn’t as harmful as they might have thought.