University of Virginia Student Paper Pressures Administration to Ban Mike Pence from Speaking

MILNER, GA - JANUARY 04: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a visit to Rock Spri
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Leftists at the University of Virginia are pressuring the school’s administration to ban former Vice President Mike Pence from speaking at a student-sponsored event on Grounds, saying his presence is “dangerous” and threatens student safety.

Pence is set to speak at a Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) event at the University on April 12.

In both an op-ed and an editorial in the University newspaper, the Cavalier Daily, leftist students argue that “dangerous rhetoric is not entitled to a platform,” continuing that “speech that threatens the lives of those on Grounds is unjustifiable.”

The radical editorial board outrightly makes the argument that “diversity of thought” is no longer a virtue at Thomas Jefferson’s university.

“We as an Editorial Board found ourselves questioning what should be protected under the premise of ‘diversity of thought’ and more importantly, what values we choose to accept on Grounds,” they wrote. “For us, the answer is simple. Hateful rhetoric is violent — and this is impermissible.” [Emphasis added].

After trashing an event called “In Defense of Mr. Jefferson” as an attempt to “glorify a known enslaver who exploited Black labor to construct the University” — as if that defines his entire legacy — the board turned to Pence, saying he should not be allowed to speak because “for Pence, gay couples signify a ‘societal collapse,’ Black lives do not matter, transgender individuals and immigrants do not deserve protection and the pandemic should not be taken seriously.”

Kara Zupkus, a spokeswoman for Young America’s Foundation — of which YAF is the nonprofit chapter affiliate — told Breitbart News that “The marketplace of ideas should be a vital tenet of university campuses.”

“For students at UVA to attempt to shut down YAF’s Mike Pence lecture under the guise of ‘inclusivity’ and ‘safety’ is laughable at best,” she continued. “The Left has grown so accustomed to only hearing one perspective, that they feel physically threatened by those who hold different views — a sad reflection of the failures of America’s education system.”

“Instead of participating in cancel culture, we invite anyone who disagrees with the VP’s message to attend this event with an open mind, and take part in the Q&A session where ideas can be robustly debated and discussed — exactly how it should be on a college campus,” Zupkus concluded.

But the Daily‘s radical editorial board appears relentless in its quest to censor Pence, implying that political conservatism is not truly a legitimate “perspective” in American society.

“So-called ‘perspectives’ should not be welcomed when they spread rhetoric that directly threatens the presence and lives of our community members,” they wrote. “The LGBTQ+ individuals Pence has attacked, the Black lives he refuses to value and the successful stories of immigration he and the former president hope to prevent — these very people are our peers, our neighbors and our community members.”

The University did accept the event, with spokesperson Brian Coy telling the Daily that, while it is not a University-sponsored event, it “fits well within the University’s academic mission to offer our community the opportunity to hear from, and engage with, leaders and experts from a wide variety of fields and perspectives.”

“The University’s silence is deafening,” however, according to the editorial board as they set up the “silence is violence” argument popular among leftists. “Do not mistake this for neutrality.”

“To be silent in the face of those like Pence is a choice — in this case, a choice to fail to protect the lives of those on Grounds who Pence blatantly threatens through his rhetoric and policies,” they assert. “To hide behind a sentiment that celebrates engaging with ‘leaders and experts from a wide variety of fields and perspectives’ is to actively undermine the values of diversity, honor, integrity, trust and respect that the University purports to celebrate.”

After arguing that Pence’s lecture series about taking a “stand for America’s founding” should “sound warning bells” because of Charlottesville’s “Unite the Right,” and then overtly lying about former President Donald Trump calling “white supremacists ‘very fine people,'” the editorial board implies that Pence’s speech would represent covert “white supremacy.”

“The political climate at the University of Virginia has grown to become nearly inhospitable towards conservatives,” YAF at UVA chairman Nick Cabrera, a third-year, told the Daily. “We are targeted for discussing our beliefs in the classroom, yet liberals are praised for their progressive and divisive tactics under the guise of ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion.’”

“Bringing the 48th vice president, Mike Pence, will allow for a reinvigorated sense of intellectual diversity across Jefferson’s campus,” he concluded.

A Pence aide told Breitbart News that the former Vice President has no intention of canceling the event at UVA, just as he had no intention “when a similar small group of students attempted to stop his speech at Stanford.”

Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.


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