Students at DePaul University have launched an online petition urging the cancellation of an upcoming talk by Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos, saying that Milo’s words “hurt people” and even “kill”.
Milo is of course no stranger to backlash from leftist college students: only this week, we reported that the students at UC Irvine were recommended to attend “Safe Space training” before they attended Milo’s talk.
As a Vincentian institution, DePaul University is responsible for standing against systemic injustices in all forms. Students from communities of all races, sexual and gender identities, and religious affiliations deserve to be able to co-exist on campus without the presence of the virulent hatred Yiannopoulos promotes. The systemic oppression of these communities is not a form of “intellectual thought”, nor is it just “someone’s opinion.” It is not a tool for an entertainer to use and classify as “pop culture” or “sensationalism” to turn a profit. It is real, it hurts people, and it kills. Yiannopoulos profits off of the oppression of others.
The Change.org petition, addressed to university President Dennis Holtschneider, also attacked the name of Milo’s tour itself. Despite Milo being proudly gay, having the word “faggot” in the title is apparently still not acceptable for DePaul’s students, who call it a “homophobic slur.”
Yiannopoulos continuously speaks out in ways that are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, anti-feminist, and Islamophobic … by inviting Yiannopoulos to speak at a campus function, the administration of DePaul University is allowing the rhetoric of hate speech and perpetuating systemic persecutions against people of color, women, Muslims, queer, trans, and gender nonconforming individuals, and other communities on campus.
According to the petition creators, Holtschneider had already refused a request from “No Hate”, the chosen moniker of the petition’s author, to cancel the event.
By failing to cancel the event after having been made aware of the possible consequences that would result from the presence of Yiannopoulos … they are allowing the perpetuation of both hate speech and systemic oppression on campus, and this is an unpardonable action for an institution which claims to stand for and with members of all communities within the human family.
At the time of writing, the petition has around 300 signatures – over halfway to its goal of 500, with supporters declaring that “DePaul needs to be a safe space from everybody” and that “there is no place for hate.”
However, some of those who signed the petition appear to oppose a ban on Milo, but used Change.org to comment on the outlandish nature of the petition and its attack on free speech. One commenter succinctly remarked that “having your worldview challenged by an intelligent, witty, and well-prepared lecturer is so frightening that [you] feel the need to stop it … the world is going to crush you.”
Jack Hadfield is a student at Warwick University and a regular contributor to Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter here: @ToryBastard_.