By: Staff Writer Will Rierson
Retrieved via Will Rierson
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Dozens of left-wing students walked out of a lecture on racial politics given by noted conservative commentator Ben Shapiro to a packed house at UNC-Chapel Hill on Wednesday, an action which Shapiro said proved his point that the left is intolerant of diverse opinions.
Shapiro started his speech, titled, “The Left’s Obsession with Race,” by asking audience members with different views to stay for the duration of the speech and not walk out or shout him down.
“Walking out just demonstrates close-mindedness and shouting down just demonstrates ideological fascism,” Shapiro said.
The campus Black Student Movement had already made it known they planned to do just that. Protesters dressed in black BSM shirts walked out of the lecture hall in unison once Shapiro began his speech.
The protesters held a rally on the front steps of Carroll Hall, where Shapiro was speaking, and took turns to discuss their feelings. A university-sponsored unity event with free food and mini golf took place nearby as a counter to the perceived divisiveness of the Shapiro lecture.
Students wishing to hear Shapiro poured into the room, taking the seats emptied by the protestors. Campus security didn’t let the room fill above full legal capacity, so many students had been watching a live video stream in an overflow room while the protestors took up nearly a third of the lecture hall.
The heavily conservative crowd gave a mocking round of applause when the protestors left and clapped sincerely when students came in to fill the vacated seats. Shapiro continued after the brief interruption.
Shapiro said the politically correct terms of diversity, white privilege, trigger warnings, microagressions, and safe space were stupid ideas made up by leftist professors and even further left wing college students to excuse racism and shout down conservatism in college.
Shapiro said the benefits of growing up in a two parent home gave Americans far more privilege than unfair advantages based on race or gender.
Some left-leaning students in the audience tried to argue with Shapiro, saying that the public housing system disadvantaged blacks and was a form of institutional racism. Shapiro disagreed and said statistics from the federal government supported his view.
Shapiro was hosted by the UNC College Republicans as a part of the Fred R. Allen Lecture Series through the Young America’s Foundation.