This Wednesday the College Republicans will host Daily Wire editor-in-chief and conservative commentator Ben Shapiro as their spring speaker. Shapiro’s talk, called “Why the Left Hates the Constitution,” has stirred controversy. A member of the NeverTrump movement, which aimed to block Donald Trump from receiving the Republican Party presidential nominee, Shapiro has received criticism from the left and the white nationalist movement known as the alt-right.Who is Ben Shapiro?
Ben Shapiro first became a published columnist during his undergraduate years at UCLA. At the age of 17, Shapiro was known as the youngest syndicated columnist in the United States. In 2004, Shapiro released his first book, Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth. The book claims that universities have a liberal bias. The majority of Shapiro’s other books attack liberalism and claim that progressives use institutions like PBS and Hollywood to promote their agenda. Having previously co-founded the conservative website TruthRevolt, Shapiro became editor-at-large of Breitbart News. However, Shapiro resigned in disgust after Executive Chair Steve Bannon ignored claims that Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager at the time, harassed Breitbart contributor Michelle Fields. Shapiro subsequently founded the Daily Wire, where he continues to criticize Trump. As a prominent Jewish conservative opponent of Trump, Shapiro has received anti-Semitic threats from members of the alt-right on Twitter.Why is Shapiro Controversial?
Outside of his dislike of Trump, Shapiro holds Orthodox conservative views. His views of the LGBTQ community and Muslims in particular are controversial. On an episode of “Dr. Drew on Call,” Shapiro engaged in an on-air fight with transgender reporter Zoey Tur during a discussion about Caitlyn Jenner. Shapiro referred to Tur as “sir” and antagonized her until Tur threatened to fight Shapiro if he did not cease his transphobic insults. Shapiro has also claimed that a majority of Muslims are radicalized. Some worry that Shapiro’s presence on campus invalidates the experiences of the groups that he has been known to target.