Conservative commentator and editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire Ben Shapiro joked that protestors calling him a “neo-Nazi” made his yarmulke seem “real weird” in an appearance at the University of Southern California (USC) Thursday night.
“I was noticing some folks chanting outside. Apparently I am a racist, a bigot, a homophobe and all the rest of the litany. I’m also a neo-Nazi, which makes the yarmulke real weird,” Shapiro, who is Jewish, said at the event, which was hosted by USC’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF).
Shapiro noted that the protestors were chanting, “Speech is violence.”
“I’m apparently in favor of genocide, which was a new one. I am also in favor of violence. They were chanting outside that speech is violence, which is weird, because they all seem to be standing just fine even as I speak,” Shapiro said.
“All of this is sheer nonsense and garbage. I’m happy to respond to any such accusations,” he added.
He noted that USC has a “history” of inviting controversial people to speak.
“It’s also worth noting that, despite all of the hubbub over this particular speech, it’s not like USC has no history of inviting controversial speakers, which is good. I mean, they should invite controversial speakers.”
He proceeded to list previous “controversial” speakers at USC, including “radical feminist” Gloria Steinem, former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), “immigration radical” José Antonio Vargas and activist Angela Davis, whom Shapiro said was an “actual Stalinist.”
“Apparently, what’s weird to me is that I’m apparently like a lot more controversial than Angela Davis, who was an actual Stalinist, who once allegedly funneled guns to criminals and then the criminals actually used those guns to murder a judge – but, the good news is that Angela Davis is welcome on this campus, but it takes a hell of a lot to get me here,” Shapiro said.
According to The Daily Wire, the USC student government threatened to cut funding for Shapiro’s speech on Thursday night because YAF canceled the tickets of students who planned to cause disruptions.
“The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) at the University of Southern California may cut funding for Thursday night’s speech by Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro, which has sold out the 1,235 seat Bovard Auditorium, because Young Americans for Freedom, which is sponsoring the event, canceled tickets reserved by student leaders whom YAF believed would disrupt the event,” The Daily Wire reported on Wednesday.
Funding was not cut, however, and the event took place as planned.
Young Americans for Freedom is a student organization that advocates for conservative values.
In his speech, Shapiro talked about the threats to individual rights and freedoms of Americans.