Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro is popular with the under-thirty crowd, which may explain the reception he’s gotten on college campuses.
First reported by Young America’s Foundation (YAF), an effort appears to be underway from members of the Marquette faculty to intentionally sabotage a planned on campus event with Shapiro scheduled for the evening of February 8. The sabotage plot, according to the Facebook posts, was to reserve seats which had been set aside for Marquette students with the intent of taking them away from someone who would actually go.
Facebook posts obtained by Young America’s Foundation show at least one member of Marquette University’s staff engaging in attempts to undermine an upcoming Ben Shapiro lecture organized by the school’s Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter.
In a comment on a Facebook thread, Chrissy Nelson, listed online as a program assistant for Marquette’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Studies, alleges that a director of diversity on campus suggested to her in a phone conversation that people should reserve seats to the lecture through Eventbrite posing as students in order “to take a seat away from someone who would actually go.” Nelson wrote that she would be “promoting” this suggestion, actively impeding Marquette students’ ability to hear from a respected conservative voice.
In a subsequent comment Nelson continued to boast that she “will encourage students to protest” Shapiro’s lecture the day after it occurs.
In yet another comment, Nelson, who began the post by identifying herself as “staff at Marquette,” wrote, “what has been directed to students is not to protest because the speaker has told Marquette he hopes students do protest to make an example of the protesters.”
Also found on the Facebook exchange is that Nelson is interacting with Susannah Bartlow. Bartlow was fired by Marquette University in 2015 after she was found to be behind a controversial mural that honored fugitive terrorist and cop killer Assata Shakur.
Marquette University has severed ties with the professor behind a controversial mural that honored cop killer and wanted domestic terrorist Assata Shakur.
One day after the university removed the Shakur mural, Marquette Wire reported that Susannah Bartlow, a gender studies professor and director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center where the mural was featured, was no longer employed at the university.
Shakur, a former member of the Black Panther Party, was convicted in 1977 of murdering a New Jersey state trooper and received political asylum in Cuba after escaping from a state prison. FBI placed her on its Most Wanted Terrorist List in 2013. The mural featuring Shakur was on display at the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center at Marquette since March and featured her photo and two quotes from her 1987 autobiography.
Protesting Shapiro; a Jewish conservative columnist, talk show host, and critic of President Donald Trump and chief strategist Steve Bannon, has become something of a sport for campus liberals. In November, a number of protesters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison openly disrupted Shapiro’s event for nearly 20 minutes shouting things like “Shame!,” or “Safety!” until they marched to the front of the room and overran the podium.
Just like the event planned for Marquette University, the speech at UW-Madison was sponsored by the campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom.
Shapiro himself seems to be taking the plot against him by Marquette staff in stride; telling Campus Reform, “Nothing says commitment to free speech like actively working to prevent students from hearing it!”