Letter to the Editor: Best Way to Protest Shapiro is to Ignore Him

By The Daily

Ben Shapiro’s planned appearance sponsored by the Young Americans for Freedom Chapter has been the worthy subject of ire.  He regularly uses his pulpit to marginalize LGBTQ+ and racial minorities and is clearly deserving of the scorn he receives.  His appearance begs the question: How do we shut him down?

In my view, the answer to this question has been overwhelmingly fumbled.  Calls for mass protests and adverse administrative action seem to be the consensus among opposing student groups, however, this is the wrong approach.

The fact is, Ben Shapiro and his misguided followers adore the attention they receive when he comes to speak.  In videos of his past appearances at other campuses, he often breaks the ice for his audience with a potshot at protesters outside.  The protests feed into his narrative and creates a strong (yet false) veneer of bravery on his part.  In fact, one video of him hiding from protesters after being barred entrance to Depaul University has been viewed over 211,000 times as he attempts to cement his martyrdom.

As it is eminently clear that his planned speech at University of Utah will go on, let us deprive him of what he desires most — control of his narrative.  Let us maroon him and his misguided followers in their echo chamber where they can cheer and applaud at will to his hateful rhetoric.  Let us not empower him, but rather relegate him to insignificance.

My proposal for protest is a bit unconventional.  Instead of a scene evoking images of Berkley or Depaul, let us highlight his rank insignificance by simply going about our daily business – and reaching out to those who need our support.  Call a friend with whom you haven’t spoken with in awhile, or someone you know who feels pain from the rhetoric espoused by Shapiro. Write a letter to someone whom has impacted your life in a positive way.  Go volunteer for an hour with an organization that works with those in our community whom are less fortunate.  We must not be conscripted into his crude trap.

However you choose to protest Ben Shapiro’s appearance, ask this question before you go:  Am I giving a racist homophobe a cookie?

A letter from Matthew White to the Utah Chronicle.

Matthew White is set to graduate from the University of Utah with an undergraduate degree in Economics in May. [email protected]