CNSNews.com) - Ben Shapiro, conservative columnist and editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire, and Comedian Adam Carolla sparred with Democrat legislators on over white privilege and free speech at a House Oversight committee hearing Thursday concerning recent attacks on the First Amendment rights of conservatives on the nation’s college campuses.
“Administrators spend an enormous amount of time pushing stuff like ‘white privilege means that you must accept that you are subordinate in terms of your view because of identity,’” Shapiro said. “This also has some lasting damage with regard to First Amendment exercise and with regard to how people perceive the freedom of the country.”
Shapiro, Carolla, House Republicans, and others discussed attacks on free speech, particularly that efforts to silence conservative-minded students, and how majority-Democrat faculty members push left-wing principles and concepts like “white privilege” on their students.
“And I understand that this is a universally-held belief among university educators, that we have to accept the guilt of particular races or particular sexual orientations for discrimination that’s happened in the past,” Shapiro continued, “but when you teach a bunch of 18 or 19 year-old people this, you shouldn’t be surprised when, number one, they go into hiding with their viewpoint or, number two, they become frustrated.”
Democratic Congresswomen Stacey Plaskett, representing the U.S. Virgin Islands, responded to Shapiro’s remarks by claiming that “white privilege is not telling individuals that they cannot speak, but it is a term for societal privilege that individuals have as a benefit of their white skin.”
“I think universities would be remiss to then say that, because you’re white, you're not allowed to say anything that’s critical of white people, I didn’t know that white privilege actually went into that sphere,” argued Plaskett. “White privilege makes people uncomfortable to talk about the societal privilege that they do have.”
The color of a person’s skin shouldn’t be used to demean his opinions, Shapiro shot back:
“When you just say that there is a white privilege out there in the ether, and that, by dint of birth, your skin color generates for you an advantage, what you’re really saying to people is that your view is less valuable because you have not experienced what I’ve experienced.”
“Well I think it’s a demonstrable evidence that through society’s demographics that being white has societal privileges that being black does not,” answered Rep. Plaskett. Shapiro attempted to responded, but the congresswoman cut him off to change the subject.
A few minutes after this exchange, comedian Adam Carolla followed up on the issue of white privilege. “Geez, I wanna talk about my white privilege so badly,” Carolla began.
Corolla explained that his so-called “white privilege” consisted of growing up on welfare – and being rejected for a job because he was white:
“I graduated North Hollywood High with a 1.7 GPA. I could not find a job. I walked to a fire station in north Hollywood, I was 19, I was living in the garage of my family home; my mom was on welfare and food stamps.”
“And I said, ‘Can I get a job as a fireman?’ And they said ‘No - because you’re not black, Hispanic, or a woman. We’ll see in about 7 years.’
“And I went to a construction site and dug ditches and picked up garbage for the next seven years. I got a letter in the mail sent to my father’s house saying your time has come to do the written exam for the LA fire department. I took it, and I was standing in line and I had a young woman of color standing behind me in line, and I said, ‘Just out of curiosity when did you sign up to become a fireman, or person, because I did it seven years ago?’ And she said, ‘Wednesday.’”
“That is an example of my white privilege. I think it’s an economic privilege more than the color of your skin,” Carolla concluded.