Ben Shapiro, the conservative pundit and Daily Wire editor, is planning to give a talk at U.C. Berkeley in September, a free-speech test for a campus that has erupted in protest and sometimes violence against events featuring right-wing figures.
“I look forward to speaking to students of all viewpoints at Berkeley,” Shapiro said Sin a Tuesday release. “The home of the free-speech movement has an obligation to protect free speech.”
Berkeley has encountered difficulties in ensuring the safety and right to speak of conservatives since the November election. Ann Coulter, a prominent backer of the new White House, was forced to nix an appearance on the campus after violent anti-fascist demonstrations seemed imminent in April.
Shapiro’s talk will be sponsored by the Young Americans Foundation, a conservative group that is funded by the billionaire Koch brothers and brings speakers to campus. The right-wing pundit has stirred controversy in the past. At a previous Young Americans event at Yeshiva University, he said being transgender was a “mental illness.” He has also made charged remarks about female celebrities, mocking “Girls” creator Lena Dunham for having the “charisma, brains and looks of a russet potato.”
Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.
Shapiro Plans Berkeley Talk In Campus Free-Speech Test