Three weeks ago, students at Emory University woke up to find messages promoting the candidacy of Donald Trump for president written in chalk on buildings and sidewalks around the Decatur campus. The Trump mentions, while nowhere near as threatening as the events leading to protests at the University of Missouri, Yale, and other institutions of higher learning last year, caused students to demonstrate in front of the administration building, and as Lawton describes, got university president Jim Wagner involved. The protests by what some called “special snowflakes” were tut-tutted by the usual conservative suspects.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump, who never saw an opportunity for publicity he didn’t like, labeled the incidents at Emory and other universities #TheChalkening, and encouraged his supporters to start a movement.
Wednesday evening, the Emory College Republicans and the Emory Young Americans for Liberty hosted a talk by Breitbart.com’s technology editor Milo Yiannopoulos. Yiannopoulos is a 32 year old openly gay conservative commentator whom some call a leader of the alt-right movement. He’s also a big supporter of Donald Trump. In his remarks, Milo said that Trump, who he calls “Daddy,” sticks a giant middle finger at those who are politically correct. He told his audience of 150 in the auditorium and about an equal number watching a livestream in a hall outside that if the GOP doesn’t nominate Trump, they will never win an election again.
Trump wasn’t the only thing Milo covered in his talk, which you can watch here. In a little over an hour, he spoke about the influence of social justice warriors on campus, how radical feminism drives men and women apart, how climate change is a hoax, and how students need to fight political correctness. One might say the talk wasn’t directed at the special snowflakes on campus. And indeed, three weeks after some students demonstrated about the politically incorrect Trump chalkings, the epitome of political incorrectness was on campus.
Milo’s appearance at Emory was one stop on what he calls his “Dangerous Faggot” tour. His appearances have frequently been accompanied by protesters. At Rutgers University in February, protesters disrupted his appearance while wearing fake blood. An appearance at the University of Minnesota was interrupted by protesters with air horns. Similar incidents occurred at other speaking venues. At Emory, protesters lined up outside the building an hour before the event began, waving signs saying, “Milo doesn’t speak for us” and “Shame on College Republicans Racists.”
The protests at Emory were mild compared to other stops on Yiannopoulos’s tour. No fake blood. No disruptions during Milo’s talk. None of the violence that occurred during Milo appearances elsewhere. The new president of the Emory College Republicans, Jake Maddineni, apologized for the protesters before introducing Yiannopoulos, saying that they didn’t represent the university. After the event was over, Maddineni made this statement on Facebook:
As the President-elect of Emory College Republicans I would like to take a moment to thank the protesters for showing up. It really takes courage to stand up for what you believe in, especially in the face of a crowd of 200+ people.
I respect and appreciate the civility all of you protesters showed. You did not disrupt or walk out. You did not disrespect or resort to name-calling (though it would have been completely in your right of free speech to do so).
If there is ever a cause in which we share the same perspective, you will have me as your ally.
Emory University is not known for being a bastion of conservatism. Milo Yiannopoulos may be a walking microagression, but it appears that not all the students at Emory are special snowflakes.