Banned from other campuses, conservative personality talks ‘alt-right’
In a pivotal political season where partisan pride presides over a restless nation, Milo Yiannopolous made a name for himself. The journalist and Breitbart tech editor took his nationwide tour, “Dangerous F****t,” to the Student Center Theater on Monday night.
Yiannopolous, a controversial figure in the new landscape of social media politics, started out his talk by making it clear he would hold little back. He talked about the alt-right, free speech, identity politics and his support for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, all the while making jabs at feminists, safe-space advocates, Black Lives Matter and Hillary Clinton supporters.
About halfway through the talk, a woman from the audience stood up and went to sit at the edge of the stage in protest. Throughout his tour, Yiannopolous has encountered flamboyant displays of protest against him, but this time, the protest was just a muffled voice surrounded by swarming security officers.
“Madame, I’m grateful to you for coming,” Yiannopolous said. “But to be honest with you, (expletive) your feelings. This is not the ‘special snowflake’ hour.”
The woman soon left the auditorium under chants of “U.S.A.” from the crowd.
Throughout the talk, Yiannopolous made it clear he was not a part of the alt-right ideology — he said he is a “fellow traveler” and examiner of it. The movement, which Yiannopolous claims is so new that it’s difficult to provide a concrete definition, has gained traction thanks to an outcry of disenfranchised millennials.
Supply chain management junior Asher Warriach is the secretary for the Students for Trump group on campus. Yiannopolous, who is based in Britain, has commented on the rise of Trump, and U.S. politics in general, from his unique lens.
“All these events raise awareness to the media’s lies,” Warriach said. “Not many people know what’s going on because the media hides corruption, and Breitbart is supporting Trump’s campaign by, of and for the people.”
The theme of his talk centered on “ways to defeat the alt-right.” Yiannopoulos proposed several ways of improving current sociopolitical situations, some of which included “F**k your feelings,” “F**k your safe space,” “Build the Wall” and “Get a sense of humor.”
On a campus that prides itself as being one of the most diverse in the nation, and one that gained national attention for #RemoveRohini, Yiannopolous’s words carried meaning to the eager ears within the auditorium.
An unabashed free-speech advocate, Yiannopolous ended the talk outlining a world where everyone could voice their opinions and dispute them all in the public sphere. This, he believes, would weed out the dangerous voices and potentially salvage Western civilization.
Creative writing sophomore Brandon Garcia didn’t necessarily agree with Yiannopolous’ political opinions. As Yiannopolous put it during the Q&A section of the talk, Garcia had walked into the lion’s den out of respect.
“We’re probably on the different sides on the (political) spectrum, but I respect his ability to stand up for his own beliefs,” Garcia said. “He respects mine, and I want a discussion to be had.”