Gonzaga University is refusing to open Dinesh D’Souza’s upcoming Young America’s Foundation (YAF) lecture to the public, claiming his message is “contradictory” to the school’s “social justice” mission. Despite opening events to the public on “Islamophobia and xenophobia,” Native American mascots, the “International Day of Tolerance” a pro-Palestinian play, and more, Gonzaga officials claim D’Souza is “a nasty guy” and do not want the public to question why he was speaking at the university.
Gonzaga’s campus conservative club is scheduled to host D’Souza on February 24 as part of YAF’s Wendy P. McCaw Freedom Lecture series. But when students reached out to school administrators for permission, they encountered a critical roadblock. In a statement to Young America’s Foundation, student activist Ben DuBois commented, “In my conversation with Director of Student Involvements… I was told that Dinesh D’Souza was allowed to speak at Gonzaga, with the stipulation that the speech is only open to Gonzaga students and faculty, and not the community. She said that this was a decision made by three people, the head of Gonzaga Campus Security, Director of Community and Public Relations, and the Dean of Students.”
DuBois elaborated on his interactions with top administrators, explaining to YAF, “I was told that the reason that his speech is not allowed to be open to the public is because, through [the Director of Community and Public Relation’s] research, she determined that Dinesh D’Souza’s beliefs are contradictory to Gonzaga’s ‘social justice’ mission and they do not want the public to question why the school brought him in. For example, he is ‘homophobic’ and ‘anti-immigration.'” D’Souza is, of course, himself an immigrant to this country, a fact that was apparently lost on the administrators.
DuBois said the school went further, telling him “that through the research they deemed Dinesh D’Souza a ‘nasty guy’ who is ‘way out there’ and has been ‘caught in many lies in his past.’
DuBois pushed for more information, but told YAF, “When I asked if it would be possible for me to speak directly to the people who made the decision, my request was denied and I was told the decision is final.”
DuBois also told YAF that he asked administrators to provide him with precedent for this decision by listing other events they had closed to the public for similar reasons. The only case they were able to cite was an event with another conservative speaker who had visited the campus a few years back. DuBois’ take? “It’s pretty clear that only conservatives are closed to the public.”
A list provided to YAF of past events the university opened to the public is stacked with blatantly liberal subject matter:
-“Dream” Week events in support of illegal immigrant students
-International Day of Tolerance Celebrations
-Lecture on Islam and Just War
-Courageous Conversations: Islamophobia and Xenophobia
-Native American Mascot Speech Series
-“My name is Rachel Corrie”, Pro-Palestinian Play
This hostility is a clear cut example of the bias students face when attempting to restore ideological balance to their campuses. Liberal professors and administrators continue to force their progressive narratives regarding “social justice” on student across the country, all while deliberately working to shut down any disagreement from conservatives.
Fortunately, Gonzaga students will have the opportunity to hear D’Souza’s important message thanks to the hard work of their conservative peers. But it should surprise no one that the administration is smearing D’Souza’s reputation and distancing themselves from his visit to campus. If anything, the administration should take pride in their students’ efforts to ensure their classmates are exposed to ideological diversity. After all, isn’t that the school’s job to begin with?