UMN Further Snubs Ben Shapiro Event, Approves Counter Event On Main Campus

While conservatives wishing to attend Young America's Foundation's lecture featuring Ben Shapiro will have to go to the St. Paul campus, the University of Minnesota approved a counter event on the main campus titled “White Supremacy in the Age of Trump: An Anti-Racist Teach-In.”

Ben Shapiro Credit: Gage Skidmore

MINNEAPOLIS – The University of Minnesota (UMN) has announced a counter event to Young America’s Foundation (YAF) lecture featuring conservative speaker Ben Shapiro.

While conservatives wishing to attend the Shapiro lecture will have to go to the St. Paul campus, UMN approved a counter event on the main campus titled “White Supremacy in the Age of Trump: An Anti-Racist Teach-In.” The description for the event attacks Shapiro as a “#FakeNews” conservative with “divisive” views.

“A conservative political commentator whose racist indifference toward the pain and suffering of Black and Brown people is well-documented, Mr. Shapiro has been invited by the Young America’s Foundation to spread his divisive views in a campus-wide lecture on February 26th. Join a multi-racial coalition of UMN students, faculty, and staff as we reaffirm the importance of racial justice to American democracy,” the Facebook event description reads.

YAF Spokesperson Spencer Brown says the counter event, sponsored by UMN’s Women’s Center and several other UMN student organizations, further proves the university’s anti-conservative bias.

“The description for the apparently university-sanctioned counter event is lacking in its connection to reality,” Brown said. “It accuses Ben Shapiro of espousing “#FakeNews conservatism” before launching into a ridiculous statement that betrays the frailty of the Left’s arguments.”

“Unlike YAF’s lecture with Ben Shapiro where students who disagree with Shapiro are given priority during Q&A, this ridiculous teach-in will do nothing to create a free and open exchange of ideas,” Brown added.

The counter event will be held in UMN’s Humphrey Forum, conveniently located in the center of the Minneapolis campus. Shapiro’s lecture was originally proposed to take place on the Minneapolis campus, but when the event organizers attempted to reserve one of the centrally located lecture halls, their requests were denied. Instead of offering a space on the main campus, like what was granted to the counter event, the school suggested a much smaller venue several miles away in the St. Paul Student Center.

School officials suggest Shapiro’s lecture must be isolated for safety reasons, presumably worrying about violent left-wing demonstrators. However, according to YAF, Shapiro has participated in over 40 campus lectures across the country and not one of the events turned violent. As previously shared with Alpha News, Brown considers UMN’s move a punishment for conservative students, saying the event should not be restricted over the administration’s fears of upholding the rule of law when “intolerant leftists lash out.”

“If leftists–in the student body and administration–at the University of Minnesota truly believed in the merit of their ideas, they wouldn’t need to push Ben Shapiro and conservative students miles away while hosting an echo-chamber event in the middle of campus to feel safe in their flawed ideologies,” Brown said.

For more details on Shapiro’s February 26 event, click here. Stay tuned to Alpha News for further coverage of the event.

Christine Bauman