Ben Shapiro is Berkeley-bound and the college is buckling down as if a natural disaster were incoming. UC Berkeley is even facing the prospect of canceled classes because of the “militarized campus” atmosphere.
Is Ben Shapiro bringing an army with him? No. He’s bringing provocative thoughts and, gasp, conservative opinions. Berkeley is providing the militant atmosphere itself.
I don’t count myself as an acolyte of Ben Shapiro. He is intelligent, brash and condescending; you would think I adored him. But his politics and mine don’t quite align. That said, I respect his opinions. He presents data-based arguments and legitimately engages with audiences that attend his speeches.
When Shapiro came to UNC's campus, I went because I wanted to hear his point of view. As a society that continues to retreat more and more into our “bubbles,” be it online or off, a live conservative firebrand on campus presented an opportunity to hear someone with an opinion different than mine.
What I didn’t realize until arriving was that a large group of those in the lecture hall intended to stand up and walk out. To this day, I honestly don’t understand it. Shapiro and others on the right would deride them as snowflakes, but I don’t think that’s entirely accurate.