Ben Shapiro is one of the most compelling individuals in the American news and political spheres. He has written several best-selling books, and is the editor-in-chief for The Dailywire, as well as editor-at-large for Breitbart.
His most impressive distinction, though, is how clinical and brutal his attacks on contemporary leftism are. Perhaps better than anyone else, he understands what makes social justice warriors and their ilk tick. He has a deep knowledge of their argumentative tactics – which rely primarily on narrative and emotional manipulation – and is able to use this knowledge to devastatingly disarm and defeat his opponents.
Needless to say, snowflake leftists despise him. For those who aren’t clear on the current cultural-libertarian lingo, ‘snowflake leftists’ describes people (typically young university students) who are ‘offended’ by every non-PC word or action under the sun, and who rally behind the banners of ‘social justice’ and ‘diversity’, all while shutting down free speech wherever they can. The ‘snowflake’ part of the phrase, in particular, refers to how narcissistic these individuals tend to be.
The recent talk by Ben Shapiro at the California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) made snowflake leftists so angry and confused that they apparently mixed up their own professed values.
Tolerance, or fascism?
Tolerance is one of the primary ‘virtues’ of the snowflake left. It is strange, then, that there was such strong opposition on CSULA’s campus to Shapiro’s event.
Protests were held on the campus to demonstrate that opposition. Adelle Nazarian, a Breitbart journalist who filmed one of the protests, was treated very aggressively by two of the participants. She was also told, quite bizarrely, that she was “inciting violence”.
Elsewhere on campus, a professor intimidated a student and a Young America’s Foundation (YAF) staff member while the two of them were placing flyers detailing the event on a bulletin board. The professor ripped some of the flyers off and called both a campus administrator and security officer, seemingly to handle the ‘problem’. This same professor had hinted in January that he wanted to physically fight those organizing the event. After the aforementioned altercation, the professor proudly wrote, “The best response to micro-aggression is macro-aggression,” on a whiteboard in his office. When asked by The Dailywire whether any sort of follow-up action would be taken by the university with regards to the professor’s behaviour, the assistant to the university’s president responded, “Well, that’s a personal matter so we couldn’t discuss that.”
Events on the day of Shapiro’s speech were most indicative of the snowflakes’ ‘tolerance’ – or, rather, their lack thereof. One Youtube video shows how dozens (possibly hundreds) of students aggressively blocked the entrance to the theatre in which Shapiro eventually gave his speech, shoving a number of people around and chanting a variety of silly slogans as they did. Ironically, one of these slogans was “no violence”. The students who wanted to attend effectively had to be smuggled through a back door. At one point, some snowflakes pulled the fire alarm in an attempt to stop the event – Shapiro continued regardless. By the end of it, Shapiro had to be escorted by police while leaving the campus due to safety concerns.
Diversity, or toeing the leftist line?
The president of the university, William Covino, officially cancelled the event a few days before it was due to take place. The reason? Covino outlined his motivation as follows:
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.
In response, an article by The Dailywire rightly pointed out that:
Covino clearly had no problem with the university hosting radical leftists ranging from Dr. Cornel West to Angela Davis and Tim Wise without the need for a conservative counterpoint. ‘Balance at CSULA only runs one way,’ Shapiro said.
Despite all the opposition, the event went ahead as planned: Covino reluctantly decided at the last minute that he would allow it. During his speech, Shapiro predicted that the students would turn their opposition towards Covino next. He was right. That evening, ABC7 reported that students “staged a sit-in” outside Covino’s office, calling for his resignation.
All this goes to show that this ideology values diversity of a certain kind – that is to say, ‘diversity’ means toeing the line. If a speaker’s views are aligned with those of the snowflake left, they’re given the all-clear. If it doesn’t, the university students and administration will attempt to block or re-arrange the engagements as they see fit.
In the market place of ideas, this is not diversity at all; it’s the imposition of intellectual production quotas. In hindsight, the event’s name, ‘When Diversity Becomes a Problem’, is all the more ironic.
Inclusivity, or ableism?
No group is more vocal in their support for the disabled than the snowflake left – unless those who are disabled dare step out of line.
One of the most horrific incidents to transpire on the day was the violent assault of a disabled man who tried to attend the event. He was merely curious about Shapiro’s views, and sought to challenge them. Regardless, he was barred from entering the theatre, pushed to the ground, and was hit and kicked repeatedly.
Of all the violations of the snowflake leftists’ own professed principles, this is perhaps the most disturbing. It shows absolutely no regard for the well-being of another human being – and a disabled person, no less.
Fighting back against ‘triggered’ snowflakes
As we have seen, snowflake leftists truly are paragons of virtue.
In all seriousness, though, snowflake leftism is a toxic ideology. It ignores individual rights. It actively attacks open discussion and debate, and tries to stamp out any dissenting views. It seeks to constrain the freedom of individuals. It is ultimately a dishonest and despicable ideology, which ironically operates in the name of such principles as ‘tolerance’, ‘diversity’, and ‘inclusivity’, amongst others.
This ideology has to be fought back against.
When the snowflake left is this angry and feeling this threatened, you know you are doing something right. Ben Shapiro knows exactly how to attack them, and it shows. While Shapiro is no libertarian, he certainly exhibits strong support for the principles of individual freedom and limited government. His resilience and defiance in standing up to snowflake leftists is hugely admirable, and something we can all learn from.
* Nic Haussamer is an actuarial sciences student at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and a writer at the Rational Standard.