Op-Ed, Opinion

OP-ED: Ben Shapiro visit is an opportunity to open an ideologically diverse dialogue

Op-Eds do not reflect the editorial opinion of The Daily Free Press. They are solely the opinion of the author(s).

Young Americans for Freedom is a conservative political group at Boston University. You can contact the group at yaf@bu.edu or stay updated on upcoming events on their Facebook page, Young Americans for Freedom at Boston University.

Last month, news broke of our work to bring political pundit Ben Shapiro to speak on campus. We have been aware of other student organizations pitching a fit that a high-profile conservative speaker might visit campus, and their intolerance and insecurities are on full display. The opposition to Shapiro’s upcoming lecture grossly mischaracterizes him and his views by slandering him as a racist, misogynist and a litany of other despicable things in an attempt to coerce the university into canceling his upcoming speaking engagement. YAF supports student groups’ free-speech right to protest, however, fascistic attempts to shut down the event are antithetical to the First Amendment rights we all share. In recent weeks, Boston University has acknowledged that providing a platform for speakers of any background is not an endorsement of that speech and that hosting a conventional conservative is not outlandish, which should be positions all BU students support.

There are numerous liberal events on campus every day, yet some students cannot handle one mainstream conservative speaking on campus. BU students can readily hear collectivist ideas from their own professors, read about them in the campus newspaper and attend a myriad of seminars, speaking events and gatherings on the approved leftist group-think at BU.

It is sad that word of a lecture can cause the resident tyrants-in-training to revolt. Their attacks and planned protests against Shapiro prove they are not for tolerance and diversity, but for intimidation and indoctrination. We highly encourage students of all political backgrounds to attend the event, which will include a question-and-answer session open to anyone, especially those who disagree because we actually want to progress the dialogue.



  1. The fact that you consider a man who regards every LGBT student at BU as a deviant, a mainstream anything, speaks to the moral and ethical bankruptcy of your position (adding to the intellectual bankruptcy shown in this short, fact-free, YouTube comment section of an op-ed piece).
    As usual, you will host this event, go home and not have to think about it any further. Many of your peers will be at risk from the hatred that your speaker, and your actions, will have incited. Like most conservatives, you preach personal responsibility as long as it’s for other people.
    Little has changed since the joke of a “debate” you hosted with a Charlottesville marcher/Holocaust denier three years ago. YAF continues to disgrace everyone who has the misfortune to share an alma mater with you.

    • Ben Shapiro is not a Hateful Person. It is unfortunate that you rush into commenting without noting that he has repeatedly said in other YAF speeches, which had professional Q&A sessions, that he hopes for the best for every LGBT Person. Additionally, this is a perfect opportunity for all BU students, no matter the identity, support free speech, even if they disagree with what they say. Although not unheard of, Conservative Student upheaval when a liberal speaker comes to the campus is much less heard of. If somebody of differing views goes to the speech, then they can ask questions which promote consensual, intellectual debate.

  2. Noah Potash, BU LAW ‘18

    This is disingenuous nonsense. Shapiro is a right-wing provocateur whose entire schtick is to “destroy” college students who criticize his odious views at Q&As. He owes his popularity to naive fans on social media who are under the mistaken that “intellectual” is synonymous with “35 year old attorney who makes false equivalencies while talking to college students.” YAF are not interested in dialogue. They are interested in pushing the destructive ideology of the conservative billionaires who fund their organization. The First Amendment does not guarantee a platform to any speaker. BU students protesting Shapiro’s visit are not “fascistic” nor are they “tyrants-in-training.” Rather, they are telling an over-hyped, under-tall pundit that he and his hateful views are not welcome in their community. If the members of YAF were not a tiny fringe fraction of the BU population, they would absolutely protest speakers they disagree with (Black Lives Matter supporters, critics of Israel, socialists, abortion rights activists). “Debate me!” is the rallying cry of conservatives suffering from the delusion that the rest of us owe their regressive ideas even a moment of attention.