Campus, News

Group urges black BU students to protest Shapiro visit

Marsh Plaza, where the organization Black BU is planning to congregate Wednesday to march to the Track and Tennis Center in protest of Ben Shapiro speaking on campus. RODRIGO DE LA PLAZA/ DFP FILE

By Dana Sung and Alex LaSalvia

A group of 133 Boston University students released a statement on social media Tuesday under the name “Black BU” expressing their opposition to conservative pundit Ben Shapiro’s Nov. 13 talk, which is titled “America Was Not Built On Slavery, It Was Built On Freedom.”

“We do not speak for the 900 Black faces on this campus, but we do speak for the 133 students who mobilized on November 11, 2019,” the group wrote.

The students met Monday to organize and draft their statement and again Tuesday night to discuss the protest.

The group plans on having a “Black BU Mobilization” Wednesday in the Howard Thurman Center and marching at 4:30 p.m. from Marsh Plaza to Shapiro’s talk at the Track and Tennis Center in West Campus.

“Abandoned, triggered, frustrated, disheartened, devalued, infuriated, overwhelmed, ignored, and embarrassed of BU,” the group wrote. “This is how we feel. This is how BU has made us feel. This is how our peers, the Young Americans for Freedom and those who condone their actions have made us feel.”

Black BU also talked about black history and black history in BU, specifically, and how important that aspect is in the context of the Ben Shapiro event.

“This school constantly boasts about their most famous alumni, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” the group wrote, “but by endorsing a conversation titled, ‘America Was Not Built on Slavery, It Was Built on Freedom’ this institution is ostracizing the very community that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for.”

Shapiro responded to Black BU’s statement to The Daily Wire, saying he has never downplayed the significance of slavery.

“It’s supremely typical of campus radicals to dismiss the content of a speech they haven’t heard, and to pre-emptively mischaracterize its content,” Shapiro said. “The darknesses of our past are an essential part of our story, but they are not what makes America unique and special.”

Read the full statement from Black BU:



  1. If you don’t like someone’s ideas or opinions, respond with your own. Persuade. Win with facts and logic; not by oppression, not by censorship, not by threats and mob rule. If you think others’ views are wrong, or even extreme, say so and provide evidence. Make a better case. This is called the exchange of ideas and it’s what makes for better science and a better education. Freedom of speech depends on your willingness to hear ideas you DON”T like, not just the ones you do. Shutting down others’ speech is a dangerous path to go down and actually hurts the people you’re advocating for by making frightened, pantywaisted snowflakes out of them.

    • since when is protest shutting down other’s speech? lol. protesting is an american tradition and a right.

      • Seriously? That’s your response? You want black men and women to receive more respect and your response is to flippantly dismiss and disrespect someone based on an assumed age group. If you want people to deal with you maturely then do likewise to them