On April 21st, the American University YAL chapter hosted Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos as part of his “Dangerous Faggot” tour. President John Nagle invited Milo to rally against the political correctness culture of the left that silences speech protected under the Constitution’s 1st Amendment. Over 300 people, about 75% AU students and 25% external visitors attended the event.
On campus, the event drew much controversy. A student led protest dubbed “Say NO to Milo” organized an hour before Milo spoke. Protesters “raged” against Milo for the alleged accusation that he invokes violence against transgender individuals. Milo later responded to these claims by saying, roughly, that: “I don’t want trans people dead. I have nothing but compassion for individuals who are mentally ill, especially the nice young man in a dress and make up leading the protests.” Protesters disbanded minutes before the event, some of whom stayed to listen to Milo.
Yiannopolous began his political correctness harangue by briefly detailing how college and universities silence free speech, especially conservative and libertarian viewpoints. He claimed the problem is so bad, that: “Even the hot people like me are angry now.” Most of Milo’s talking points involved the dangers of enforcing “trigger warnings” on campus, stating that being offended by something doesn’t require police action. During the duration of Milo’s speech, an AU student stood in the crowd holding a sign that read “free speech does not equal hate speech.” Milo laughed, and reminded the audience that hate speech doesn’t exist, and if it does, and can’t be censored.
After the speech, Milo answered audience questions for nearly two hours. A plethora of students lined up at the microphones. Disconcerted liberals questioned Milo’s catch phrase “feminism is cancer,” while devout supporters asked for his views on American politics. After many disrespectful encounters, the final question of the night came from a bisexual Muslim woman who questioned Milo’s stance on Islam and its potential to integrate within Western society.
While he ultimately disagreed with her, Milo thanked the questioner profusely, saying (roughly): “This is exactly the type of robust debate we need. Others try to silence my opinions, but this intelligent young woman opposes me with facts. You’ve asked the perfect final question.” Unfortunately, a group of Black Lives Matter supporters rushed the microphone after Milo’s initial answer, shouting comments at the woman for accepting Milo’s speech. Fortunately, Milo finished answering her question in private during a lengthy photo line. Milo also invited club members to dinner late that night.
Magloughlin and Nagle hired five additional Executive Board members: Finance Director Dan Savickas, Outreach Director Annamarie Rienzi, Events Planner Chase Falcon, Communications Director Evan Maguire, and External Relations Director Gabe Benitez. The team looks forward to another successful year.