Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro was met by activists chanting, “Reagan’s dead” and “John McCain’s dead,” when he arrived for a speaking engagement Tuesday night at Ohio State University.
The editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire and former Breitbart writer is currently on a college tour sponsored by Young America’s Foundation to talk about “conservative ideas” that are “in demand.” His previous speaking engagements have also drawn protests.
Before the event, the student advisory council of Ohio State’s Morrill Scholars Program issued a message to students imploring them to “seek a safe environment” if they “do not feel comfortable” around Shapiro’s “rhetoric.”
“Shapiro’s rhetoric has the potential to threaten the emotional and mental safety of much of the campus community. If you do not feel comfortable around a climate that will be created by Ben Shapiro’s presence, we encourage you to seek a safe environment for yourself,” read the message from the program, which provides merit-based scholarships for students engaged in diversity-focused activities.
“Knowing the hostile environment that can result from these kinds of events, we encourage you to seek an inclusive environment and reach out to talk with someone. If you do not have a safe space or prefer not to be alone, please feel free to join other Morrill Scholars and our staff on the MSP learning community on the third floor of Blackburn House tonight from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thank you and stay safe,” it continued.
A reporter for The Federalist and member of YAF’s board of directors, Emily Jashinsky, called the protesters shouting at Shapiro “shameful.” Shapiro reportedly told the crowd during his speech that protesters were shouting “fuck Ben Shapiro.”
The late GOP Sen. John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, quote-tweeted a video of the protesters on Tuesday with the caption that she hopes “all my followers join me in rooting for Michigan…#OSUsnowflakes.”
Last year, hundreds of protesters appeared when Shapiro spoke at the University of California, Berkeley. At that event, nine people were arrested, four of which were carrying banned weapons. Aside from that, the Los Angeles Times reported, there were “several shouting matches” but all “ended peacefully.”