A group of Ohio State University students organized a protest outside the venue where conservative commentator Ben Shapiro was delivering remarks on Tuesday, November 13.
Young America’s Foundation (YAF) shared a video that shows the students were chanting “John McCain’s dead” and prior to that “Reagan’s dead.”
While a productive and civil discussion is going on inside the event, the hypocrisy of the Left is on FULL BLAST outside the venue.
— YAF (@yaf) November 14, 2018
A group of students organized a protest of Shapiro’s lecture on Tuesday night, which was organized by Young America’s Foundation. The protesters marched towards the building where the lecture was taking place, chanting, “F*uck Ben Shapiro!” The protesters have bundled up, and many are holding signs denouncing Shapiro and the YAF.
After approaching the building where Sharpio delivers the lecture, the group of demonstrators then stood outside of the lecture hall, chanting about various conservative icons who are no longer among the living. The chant started out with “Reagan is dead!” After a while, the chant shifted to “John McCain is dead!”
— Emily Jashinsky (@emilyjashinsky) November 14, 2018
According to the Daily Caller, YAF, which is sponsoring Shapiro’s college campus tour, told The Federalist that the protesters also chanted “Bush Senior’s dead” until they apparently realized George H.W. Bush is still living.
Elle Lamb, president of Ohio State’s YAF chapter, said she wanted to bring Shapiro to Ohio State so it could spark conversation on a campus she views as politically apathetic, The Lantern reported.
“He gets the attention of students who are more lethargic in their political beliefs,” Lamb said in an interview prior to the event.
Lamb was aware of those planning to protest the event but wanted a speaker like Shapiro to spark discussion, not violence.
“That’s my frustration with protests,” she told The Lantern. “You have the opportunity to get up and ask him your questions and be able to debate someone. Why do you just want to scream and shout him down and shut him down?”
Jack Wagner, a second-year in political science and history at OSU, was volunteering for the Young Democratic Socialists of America outside Shapiro’s speech where they tried to rally support for a $15 minimum wage for campus workers.
“We thought that we wanted to have a presence at the event and we had a lot of time deliberating on what we wanted to do and we thought the best thing to do was have a table for ‘Fight for 15,'” Wagner said. “We thought it’d be a way to get a positive cause at an event that a lot of people would label as negative, especially if you see all the anti-Ben Shapiro posters up about his bigotry.”
Wagner also said that, overall, he was disappointed Shapiro got a platform at OSU.
“I’m not really one to say that one should have their free speech suppressed, but I think it presents somewhat of a danger to a lot of the people at the school who feel that his messages are typically targeted at them and targets violence and harassment at them,” Wagner told The Lantern.
YAF reported that Ohio State’s Morrill Scholars Program’s student advisory council sent out a message to students via email before the event, advising them to seek a “safe environment” due to Shapiro’s presence on campus.
Here is the message sent by Ohio State University's Diversity Scholarship Program to students in the wake of @benshapiro's speech on campus
It reads like the campus is about to be carpet bombed indiscriminately by ISIS
SEEK SHELTER!!! pic.twitter.com/7tmeiODEDp
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 14, 2018
The email did not explain how Shapiro’s rhetoric might threaten students’ emotional and mental safety. Shapiro is on a tour of college campuses and has encountered protests at other stops along the way. Pittsburgh University announced that it would impose a “security fee” on students to cover the cost of guards at Shapiro’s speech on Wednesday, November 14. YAF has threatened a lawsuit if the university doesn’t drop the fee.
Who Is Ben Shapiro?
Shapiro is an American conservative political commentator, writer, and lawyer. He is formerly of Breitbart and now editor-in-chief of his own website, The Daily Wire. Sharpio is known for speaking on campuses across the country and bringing controversy with him.
He was invited by the Ohio State chapter of Young Americans Foundation on November 13 to speak in front of a crowd of 500 students.
Shapiro is also aware of the protesters that pop up wherever he goes and frequently addresses it on his podcast, The Ben Shapiro Show, and addressed the ongoing protests during his Ohio State speech on Tuesday.