Within 90 minutes of Young America’s Foundation calling for concerned citizens, U of M students, and Minnesota taxpayers to voice their disapproval over the school’s treatment of conservatives and Ben Shapiro, U of M President Eric Kaler tweeted a “full statement” on Ben Shapiro’s February 26 lecture.
— Eric W. Kaler (@PrezKaler) February 7, 2018
As is par for the course from liberal administrators, this statement is thick with leftist doublespeak that Young America’s Foundation is happy to clear up:
Statement on Ben Shapiro’s Visit
Translation from liberal doublespeak provided by Young America’s Foundation
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
The University hosts a wide variety of events, welcoming tens of thousands of people to campus each and every day. The University hosts liberals speakers all the time without restrictions. We strive to meet the unique needs for each and every event, and the event scheduled for later this month is no different. The event scheduled for later this month is no different but we’ve chosen to shove it to a desolate corner of campus and limit attendance anyway. When working to accommodate a venue request, our top priority is and will always be the safety and security of our University community, and with that in mind the University works with organizers to determine a location that meets everyone’s needs to the best of our ability. Because we care about safety we’re going to punish conservatives, often the victims of violence and vandalism carried out by intolerant leftists, by hiding their events away so that we’re not forced to hold liberals accountable for any adverse reactions.
Student leaders with Students for a Conservative Voice and Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow worked with Student Activities staff and UMPD to determine a space that would accommodate the 400-500 attendance the group was planning for, and that would allow for the appropriate security for the event. Because we don’t want to worry about how our fragile liberal students will react, we’re going to limit attendance to 400, rather than allow the massive demand for conservative ideas to be met. Multiple options were reviewed, including the Mayo Auditorium, Willey Hall Auditorium and Ted Mann Concert Hall. Students asked for several centrally located venues with capacity between 800 and 1500, but we don’t care to secure a conservative event that’s visible to our campus community. For a variety of reasons, these venues were not available or suitable for the event and the St. Paul location was agreed to. Despite accommodating thousands of people in classrooms across campus every day, we are unable to find a “suitable” venue for a few hundred students to hear from a New York Times bestselling author. Assertions that the University is moving an event space for ideological reasons or that organizers were not involved in the discussions are patently false. How dare students, taxpayers, and concerned citizens call us out for attempting to stifle conservative expression.
President Kaler’s tweet sports an embarrassing ratio of 132 replies to 11 retweets at the time of publication, proving Twitter isn’t buying the double-speak excuses for discriminating against conservative speech. The replies to Kaler’s statement are brutal:
Imagine being so frightened of a 5 foot 9 inch tall Jewish man saying facts that you have to shuffle him around to a different venue
— Tony (@tonybarton34) February 7, 2018
This is absolutely the most cowardly and potentially actionable thing I have seen since…well the last time some University delighted in censoring @benshapiro . Obviously you have been cowed by the liberal agenda. Shame you sold your pride so cheaply.
— Diane Davis (@JolieBloue) February 7, 2018
— Neil Lucas (@nlucas6102) February 7, 2018
cowardice is what is being taught at @UMNews
— American Prometheus (@daniopp) February 7, 2018
— John Ulzheimer (@johnulzheimer) February 7, 2018
Ashamed to be an alum today.
— kyle day (@Kyleday21) February 7, 2018
With all due respect President @PrezKaler you are weak. You are suppose to be the voice of the students who you serve no matter what your personal opinions are. This is a blatant attack on young conservatives free speech, and I hope that you are ashamed of yourself.
— Brooke Dye (@dye_brooke) February 7, 2018
Detail your variety of reasons if they actually exist. Facts don't hurt our feelings, so give us the facts. Until then, it appears that you are using ideological reasons for moving the lecture.
— Andrew Hubert (@Drewguy_007) February 7, 2018
Apparently free speech is only allowed when people are saying what you want to hear. Your excuses are as week as your back bone. @benshapiro deserves the same respect and consideration you would give any other speaker.
— Jessica King (@Jking22186) February 7, 2018
Thus dies discourse in the academy. If you are capable of feeling shame, @PrezKaler then you should be ashamed.
— Suburban Sheepdog (@RobertKuntz) February 7, 2018
This is just another weak attempt to explain away censorship. As the mother of a HS junior who’s currently looking at universities, UM will be crossed off the list.
— DeeDee Wiese (@ddwiese) February 7, 2018
Imagine being this cowardly and vague.
— Vasquez de Agualeguas (@MakeshiftMimic) February 7, 2018
The U of MN has become such a joke! And Kaler needs to be fired….
— Just Deplorable Me (@Boo92_sh_thole) February 7, 2018
— George Lawler (@GeorgeLawler13) February 7, 2018
Basically, what you are saying is, you choose to be bullied by thugs. Get a spine!!
— Catherine Sienna (@CatieSienna) February 7, 2018
You gave protestors a hecklers veto. You allowed them to infringe on the rights of everyone who wanted to see @benshapiro speak. You aren’t fit for your office.
— The Overton Blog (@TheOvertonBlog) February 7, 2018
With all due respect, sir, disgraced Senator Al Franken and Senator Elizabeth Warren were granted large venues on campus without having to face being moved due to "security concerns." Why is free speech worth defending from one side and not the other?
— Shawn Patrick Flynn (@shawnpflynn_2) February 7, 2018
— Helen Wheels (@txtiger1) February 7, 2018
— Sean (@sjacquemotte) February 7, 2018
That is a lot of bull. You have "security concerns" because you won't tell your progressive students that violence is not a proper response to speech. Maybe start considering why these concerns only occur for speakers with certain ideologies before issuing such a statement.
— Andy Bax (@blknaab) February 7, 2018
— RussianBot (@SplintersMind) February 7, 2018
Nobody's buying it.
— Tom Slick (@tomslick17) February 7, 2018
— David Cole Grey (@greycole05) February 7, 2018
Nobody believes your excuses. Today, I am ashamed to be a UM alum. Shame on your cowardly kowtowing to the fascists of antifa.
— Undertoad80 (@undertoad80) February 7, 2018
WHAT REASONS? I pay Minnesota taxes which subsidizes the UMN. I want to hear Mr. Shapiro in person. I have earned my right.Stand up for true liberal values, stand up for Minnesota values.
— Dean Love (@common_yet_rare) February 7, 2018
Cowardice is not an appropriate excuse for political censorship.
— Benjamin Sano (@Lcoyote93) February 7, 2018
— Greg Lizotte (@gliz50) February 7, 2018
This is disgusting. What happened to our colleges, bastions of discourse, free speech, and a place to ruminate on ideas. You’re cowering to marxist anarchists. Shame on you.
— Ellison B. (@PatedBears) February 7, 2018
Disgusting–weaponizing "security concerns" as a way to silence out the voices that face the most opposition already.
— Reginald W. Harper (@harperreginald1) February 7, 2018
You should be embarrassed. Indoctrination isn’t education.
— Carl Gottlieb (@c_cgottlieb) February 7, 2018
This is such cowardice. How can you expect to teach anyone with such close-mindedness? History will show how universities like yours ended the quality of obtaining a college education, and instead put it's students at a disadvantage by closing off any opposing views.
— CNN (@CluelessNewsNwk) February 7, 2018
You are a coward. As a Minnesota taxpayer my money should go to supporting free speech not caving to the hecklers veto.
— Josh Indahl (@joshindahl) February 7, 2018