College Republicans reject resolution condemning Ben Shapiro
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The Syracuse University College Republicans pushed back against a draft resolution from students that condemned conservative commentator Ben Shapiro’s proposed visit to campus.
The Student Association’s Finance Board approved the College Republicans’ $39,000 request to invite Shapiro to SU on Monday. The event — which would be coordinated in partnership with the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative youth organization — is still in the works, the College Republicans’ executive board said in a statement Friday.
Shapiro currently serves as editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire, a conservative news and opinion website he founded in 2015. He has gone viral on social media several times in recent years for making controversial comments.
Several students, including Justine Hastings and Ryan Golden, respective candidates for SA president and vice-president, drafted a resolution Tuesday calling Shapiro a “white supremacist” and requesting that “whatever measures are necessary” be taken to prevent Shapiro’s speaking event from taking place.
In a statement Friday, the College Republicans’ executive board said it “emphatically” rejects the notion that Shapiro is a white supremacist.
“There is no evidence for this beyond the sowing together of less than a dozen statements said over two decades that have been interpreted in the most uncharitable way possible,” the board said.
The resolution references that Shapiro has said civilian casualties in Afghanistan and the West Bank are “ok by me,” and that he believes transgender people experience mental illness. The resolution also states that Shapiro has “attempted to downplay the role of slavery in the founding of the United States.”
In its statement, the executive board said Shapiro has “vehemently attacked” racism on multiple occasions and was a top recipient of anti-Semitic online harassment in 2016.
“Accusing Shapiro of being a white supremacist, assuming his views are representative of our views as College Republicans, is tantamount to accusing us of being white supremacists,” the board said. “We invite people to think carefully about the implications of the resolution,” the board said.
Shapiro’s visits to college campuses have often resulted in protest. Hundreds of protesters swarmed University of California, Berkeley in 2017 as Shapiro spoke, and police shut down large swaths of the campus for security purposes. Students at Boston University protested Shapiro’s November 2019 visit.
In fall 2017, the Student Association’s Finance Board denied College Republicans’ request to bring Shapiro to campus, telling the group they needed to reserve a space before requesting funds.
Shapiro hosts The Ben Shapiro Show, a daily political podcast and live radio show. He has also written ten books, focusing on issues of free speech, political correctness and bias in American higher education and media.
Published on April 10, 2020 at 5:41 pm