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Conservative Writer Ben Shapiro Banned from CSULA

Early Tuesday morning, conservative writer Ben Shapiro revealed on Twitter that his planned speech on February 25 at California State University-Los Angeles had been canceled by the university's president.

Shapiro was due to speak on the topic of “When Diversity Becomes a Problem,” which CSULA President William Covino decided should be canceled in favor of an event that was more inclusive to all viewpoints. His appearance at CSULA is part of the Young America's Foundation's Fred R. Allen lecture series.

In an email to the Young America’s Foundation chapter at CSULA, university president William Covino wrote, “After careful consideration, I have decided that it will be best for our campus community if we reschedule Ben Shapiro’s appearance for a later date, so that we can arrange for him to appear as part of a group of speakers with differing viewpoints on diversity. Such an event will better represent our university’s dedication to the free exchange of ideas and the value of considering multiple viewpoints.”

A press release from YAF pointed out the hypocrisy of CSULA's cancelation of Shapiro, given their past tolerance for hosting liberal speakers without requiring that a full spectrum of ideas be represented:

Contrary to Covino’s newfound love for the “free exchange of ideas” and the consideration of “multiple viewpoints,” his university has hosted a wide variety of radical liberal speakers without ever bothering to ensure the conservative worldview was represented.

For convenience, we’ve sampled a few choice examples from recent years below: 

  • Dr. Cornel West addressed “Post Racialism”
    • Alia al-Saji spoke on "Cultural Racism: Muslim Veiling, Embodiment, and the Nature of Culture”
    • Kimberlé Crenshaw addressed "Racing to Post Racialism: Critical Race Theory, Constitutional Law, and Sustaining Communities"
    • Serene Khader lectured on the topic, "Do Muslim Women Really Need Freedom?"
    • Angela Davis and Tim Wise will address in a video lecture “Exploring Whiteness” this Wednesday
  • Did Covino go out of his way to ensure students attending any one of these events had the opportunity to “consider multiple viewpoints?” Has he ever canceled other events for failing to meet his standard of “inclusivity?”

    The event, and CSULA's YAF chapter, had earlier been threatened by professors on the campus.

    Despite the cancelation by the university, YAF employees insist that the event is going to happen as planned:

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