Get ready for eight minutes of solid gold response from Ben Shapiro to Antifa and the radical Left at UC Berkeley for their attempts to shut him down on the basis of his supposed service to white supremacy and the Donald Trump administration. “To believe this,” Ben says of these nonsensical accusations, “you’d have to have your head so far up your ass that you can see your own colon first-hand.” The real thugs, Shapiro says in this PG-rated speech, are those claiming to be fighting “intellectual thuggery,” a premise Shapiro demolishes with glee in his speech (some language NSFW):
“Thanks to antifa and the supposed anti-fascist brigade for exposing what the radical left truly is,” Shapiro said in his speech, referring to anti-fascist or “antifa” activists.
“All of America is watching because you guys are so stupid. It’s horrifying, I am grateful, and you can all go to hell, you pathetic, lying, stupid jackasses,” he said. …
Shapiro slammed protesters who had previously rioted when right-wing speakers visited campus and who had put up signs and posters condemning his speech Thursday, while praising law enforcement.
“These are the folks that stand between civilization and lawlessness,” Shapiro said of the police, saying they are “the only people who are standing between those ATMs and the antifa are the police, and all they get is from the left is a bunch of crap.”
Ben also warns Berkeley not to blame him for the increased security costs of the event, estimates of which now run to more than $600,000. In a speech last year, Shapiro only required two bodyguards, more or less SOP for campus appearances. This time around, the city and the university had to put police on full alert, thanks largely to the fact that — as Ben points out — they’d been ordered to stand down in the past. That only encouraged more lawlessness, Ben tells the audience, and he’s right.
He’s also right about the monetary costs of that strategy, the Los Angeles Times reported:
Ben Shapiro isn’t nearly as controversial as some right-wing speakers who have roiled the campus over the last year.
Nonetheless, UC Berkeley has told students that counseling is available to those stressed by all the commotion. A large swath of the campus will be closed off, including the plaza where the free speech movement began in the 1960s. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on security, and police now can use pepper spray on protesters after a 20-year-old ban was lifted by the City Council this week.
Give UC Berkeley’s new chancellor credit for trying to change the situation. Carol Christ only took that office two months ago, well after Antifa and other provocateurs got the school to enforce a heckler’s veto on other right-wing speakers such as Milo Yiannopoulos. Christ doesn’t agree with Shapiro, but calls the intimidation “a troubling situation”:
“We’ve never seen a situation like this. It’s very unique. It’s a very different political dynamic where free speech … at Berkeley has become the occasion for the right and left to confront each other,” Christ said Wednesday. “I believe very strongly in Ben Shapiro’s right to speak on campus. I don’t agree with Ben Shapiro; in fact I profoundly disagree with him. But I believe he was legitimately invited by a student group and that he has the right to speak. It’s a really troubling situation.”
It doesn’t have to be troubling. Forty-eight years ago, Ronald Reagan diagnosed the problem perfectly. As long as the law goes unenforced, chaos and violence will reign. Berkeley apparently wasn’t bright enough to figure that out the first time around. There’s nothing wrong with lawful social protest, and nothing preventing it either, even when it’s misguided or idiotic. But the first time laws get broken, police need to make arrests and restore order — or else get ready to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every time a student group invites a speaker to campus.
If universities and colleges want to fix this problem, they can start by expelling students who commit violence or obstruct classes and speakers. If nothing else, that will limit the problems simply by dint of numbers, but more importantly will send a message pour encourager les autres: those who want an education are welcome, but those who want to impose a totalitarian regime on others can find somewhere else to organize. Do that a few times, and see how “troubling” your situations get.
Be sure to follow up with Ben’s post at the Daily Wire on the five things he learned last night. The fifth may have gone without saying … but that’s the entire point, of course.