In an interview with Heat Street, the lead protester at last night’s event at DePaul University claimed that Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos’ lecture threatened his safety.
Since the event, the student has been identified as student and preacher Edward Ward. Speaking after the event, Ward claimed that Yiannopoulos’ hate speech threatened his safety and linked him to Charleston shooter, Dylann Roof.
In the interview, Ward claimed he was initially open to listening to Yiannopoulos’ lecture, but he decided to intervene when he felt that appropriate conversation turned into hate speech.
“But when it’s coming from a point of ignorance, when you make these blatant statements about feminists, when you make blatant statements about the LGBTQ community, when you make statements about black people – then it becomes a problem, because when you use this kind of hatred people like us end up dead.”
Ward claimed that Yiannopoulos’ rhetoric could lead to racially-motivated mass killings like the June 2015 shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. in “You get Charleston. These are what you get as a result of his type of speech and rhetoric.”
According to Ward, the protesters at the event didn’t feel that they were shutting down free speech. “This is not a point of shutting down free speech, it’s the point of shutting down hate speech” and promised to “continue to do so long as there’s anything that’s happening that threatens my safety.’
Ward, who is political science graduate, also accused Yiannopoulos of peddling racist rhetoric: “You have a bunch of white people who wanna actually say a bunch of racist s*** and that’s not okay.”