Ben Shapiro decided to make a last-minute shift in the topic of his speech at Stanford University Thursday night to a blistering critique of the growing “alt-right” movement in the U.S.
Shapiro said his speech was originally titled “No, Leftist Idiots Don’t Get to Raise My Kids.” However, a recent surge of self-proclaimed white nationalists attempting to associate themselves with the conservative movement led Shapiro to refocus his speech on the dangers of the alt-right. Shapiro said that while members of the alt-right want attention “more than anything else in the world,” conservatives shouldn’t restrain from condemning their hateful ideology head-on.
“I think making people aware of what they actually say — as opposed to the lies they sell for public consumption — is vital,” Shapiro told Lone Conservative. “Better to bring them attention via truth than allow their lies to stand.”
The speech, which was a part of the Young America’s Foundation’s Fred Allen Lecture Series, came two days after the self-proclaimed “America First” white nationalists made headlines by using the Q&A sessions of two separate speaking events to promote their ideology.
On Tuesday, conservative pundit Matt Walsh spoke at Cal State and Rep. Dan Crenshaw spoke at the University of Texas at Austin. Questions from the group members at each event covered similar issues, including complaints about the U.S. losing its “white identity.”
“How does anal sex help us win the culture war?” one member of the organized group asked Charlie Kirk during a Turning Point USA event at Ohio State University last week.
The Daily Stormer, an alt-right media outlet, has promoted speaking events for its readers to attend with the purpose of overtaking the Q&A sessions. One article provided specific guidelines for the alt-right on how and what to ask during the events. The leaders have posted instructions on their social media accounts for their followers to wear “more MAGA hats.”
Shapiro, anticipating similar tactics, decided to argue against the alt-right talking points espoused at these events.
“They show up in the Q&A lines and ask the same nine questions,” he said. “I’m just going to knock down these questions right now so we can naturally have a real Q&A with real questions.”
However, as Shapiro was about to begin refuting the questions, leftist protesters began chanting over him.
“Hey hey, ho ho, Ben Shapiro has got to go,” a group yelled.
“Are you protesting the part where I’m condemning the Nazis?” he asked. “I’m literally condemning Nazis and you’re telling me to leave. Do you hear yourselves?”
Ben Shapiro while condeming Nazis was chanted at and protested by Leftists who are convinced he's alt-right.?
— Lone Conservative (@LoConservative) November 8, 2019
During his speech, Shapiro argued that extremists on both sides of the political aisle need each other to keep their ideology alive.
“They’re playing a game,” he said. “The radical left seeks to delegitimize anybody who isn’t on the radical left by lumping them in with the despicable alt-right. And in which the alt-right seeks to make common cause with anyone ‘canceled’ by the radical left.”
When the speech eventually resumed, Shapiro began to address alt-right criticisms of him promoted specifically over the past week. One accusation against him, which has been made by mainstream conservatives as well, is that he initially criticized the Covington Catholic students for mocking a Native American man when video later revealed the adult escalated the conflict by approaching the boys. Shapiro fired back against this by saying he personally advised the Covington students during what eventually became a national controversy — a detail he said he had never revealed until the speech.
“I was on the phone with them nearly every night guiding them in the media and through legal strategy,” Shapiro said.
When addressing the criticism that he and other conservatives fail to fight for their socially conservative beliefs, Shapiro emphasized the importance of freedom in preserving traditional values.
“If you allow the library to decide which speech to ban, it’s much more likely to ban the Bible than drag queen story hour,” he said. “I’m for limited government because I do not trust the government to choose what speech to ban.”
The Boston Globe issued a correction Tuesday after describing Shapiro’s media outlet, The Daily Wire, as a “white supremacist-adjacent alt-right outpost.” The Economist labeled Shapiro as “alt-right” in a March article.
The Anti-Defamation League found that Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, was the number one target of anti-Semitism online in 2016.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.