Ben Shapiro, a prominent conservative author and speaker who is set to speak on Georgetown University’s campus next month, is openly racist, Islamophobic and transphobic. Bringing Shapiro, a former editor-at-large of Breitbart News, to Georgetown only normalizes such hate.

Unfortunately, some Georgetown student organizations have failed to responsibly wield their power of inviting speakers to campus. Georgetown University College Republicans and the Georgetown University Lecture Fund announced Friday they are co-sponsoring Shapiro’s March 21 speech on campus. These organizations are neglecting their duty to the Georgetown community to only invite figures that do not have a reputation for bigotry.

GUCR and Lecture Fund should revoke their sponsorship of Shapiro’s speech. By endorsing the event, members who remain on these organizations’ boards are complicit in legitimizing Shapiro’s hateful speech.

Shapiro is not shy about his views — his targeting of minorities and the LGBTQ community is integral to his brand.

In “The Radical Evil of the Palestinian Arab Population,” a 2007 column urging then-President George W. Bush to stop treating the “Palestinian Arabs’ thoroughgoing radicalism as a top-down problem,” Shapiro wrote: “The Palestinian Arab population is rotten to the core.”

In 2010, he tweeted, “Israelis like to build. Arabs like to bomb crap and live in open sewage. This is not a difficult issue. #settlementsrock.”

In a 2015 interview, Shapiro refused to address a transgender woman by her preferred pronouns, claiming her identification as a woman “is a lie.” Shapiro often professes his belief that to be transgender is to suffer from a mental disorder.

In 2016, Shapiro promoted on Facebook an article published on his website, The Daily Wire, which covered German authorities’ distribution of flyers instructing migrants not to grope people. The article called the Muslim migrant presence in Europe a “disease.” Shapiro has a history of malice toward Muslims. In a 2014 video, he claimed, “We’re above 800 million Muslims radicalized, more than half the Muslims on Earth. That’s not a minority. That’s now a majority. Politifact found these numbers to be “practically meaningless.”

In a 2018 interview, he discussed his reasoning for removing a Columbus Day video that was racist to indigenous people from his website, after leaving the video on his site overnight. During the interview, he asserted his belief that “Native American culture was inferior to Western culture.”

Shapiro’s views, shamelessly presented and widely publicized, are not merely controversial. His racist, Islamophobic and transphobic remarks reflect bigoted ideas that we as Hoyas should universally condemn.

We must not think of this event as an issue of increasing accessibility to diverse viewpoints, as proponents of similar events often contend. Shapiro’s views are widely available on the internet — he runs his own website, hosts a daily talk show, posts his speeches on YouTube and is active on social media.

Furthermore, GUCR and Lecture Fund could invite other conservative speakers to discuss issues Shapiro typically covers in his university lectures — without the explicit hate he so proudly preaches. For example, last month, GUCR brought Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) to speak on campus. GUCR and Lecture Fund could use their resources to invite another reasonable, non-bigoted conservative, such as New York Times columnist David Brooks. Inviting these figures allows for discussions on conservative perspectives without legitimizing bigotry.

The harm of inviting Shapiro to campus is clear. Over time, we become apathetic to bigoted rhetoric. This hateful speech creates a foundation for violence against marginalized groups. After all, oppressive attitudes, actions and policies do not occur in a vacuum; aggressors see a culture of apathy as an invitation to act.

Writing in the Journal of Law and the Biosciences, psychologists Gail Murrow and Richard Murrow found that dehumanizing rhetoric against groups of people diminishes the ability of both listeners and speakers to empathize with these groups, making violence against them feel more tolerable. Shapiro’s vile rhetoric only contributes to the dehumanization and endangerment of Palestinian Arabs, Muslims, Native Americans and LGBTQ individuals.

Critics may cry in response, “millennial snowflakes!” Yet my argument is not made on the basis of shielding young people from harmful language. In fact, students should educate themselves on Shapiro’s beliefs and discuss them with their peers. However, we can certainly make a distinction between coddling students and creating a platform for bigotry.

Critics may cry, “but free speech!” Yet I do not call for university intervention. This issue is not an issue of free speech, but of voluntary endorsement. Campus organizations certainly have the right to invite Shapiro — but they also have the moral responsibility not to do so.

If GUCR and Lecture Fund refuse to fulfill their responsibilities, concerned Hoyas should still attend the event to challenge Shapiro’s beliefs during the questionandanswer period. However, the purported benefit of this discourse is trumped by the cost of legitimizing explicit bigotry by hosting him at Georgetown.

Shapiro should not have been invited in the first place, but it is not too late for GUCR and Lecture Fund to do the right thing: Deny hate a platform to speak.

Claire Hazbun is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.


  1. The “invite someone else more reasonable!!1!” schtick is getting old. bring back milo

  2. The problem with these sort of responses to controversial speakers is it forces people to speak on behalf of scum like Shapiro. I think he is abhorrent and indefensible, but the answer is not to disinvite him. Just as Shapiro is on campus to speak about whatever vomit comes out of his mouth next, so too do Georgetown students have the right (I’d argue obligation) to protest his presence and provide alternate and dissenting perspectives that challenge and undermine his own. The answer to this hateful rhetoric is not to box it out, the answer is to challenge and poke holes to show people like Shapiro are what many know them to be, morally bankrupt and disgusting people.

  3. Facts over Feelings says:

    You realize that Ben Shapiro is objectively, factually, and *not at all* racist, right? The article is well-written, but just so obtuse it’s not even funny, from an objective and unbiased viewpoint.

    • “The Palestinian Arab population is rotten to the core.”

      “Native American culture was inferior to Western culture.”

      “Israelis like to build. Arabs like to bomb crap and live in open sewage. This is not a difficult issue. #settlementsrock.”

      Objectively, factually not racist? Then what is it? Your viewpoint isn’t “objective and unbiased” — it’s just one that suggests that anti-Arab and anti-Native American racism is somehow less of a problem.

      • Okay, let me explain something to you, since you seem to be just as adamant as the rest of us.

        Racism is the belief that people of a certain race are automatically inferior to your own race or other races by dint of their skin color, nothing more, nothing less. We can all agree on that, correct?

        If I looked at a black man in perfectly neutral circumstances, in a polite, normal, natural situation, and said that he doesn’t deserve the same rights and privileges as me, by the mere fact that he is black, that is racism.

        But when you criticize the social and cultural aspects and tendencies of a particular race, that is not racism. Ben Shapiro has NEVER drawn his conclusions from the mere fact that Arabs are brown-skinned. He has merely noticed a trend among Arabs and drawn conclusions from their actions, not the color of their skin. He doesn’t criticize the people on the fact that they are who they are, he criticizes the people based on what they do and the cultural trends that exist within that demographic. He’s not saying that being an Arab automatically makes you “rotten to the core,” he analyzes the actions and trends within the population and reaches that conclusion. Now you may disagree with it, you may think it’s harsh and unfair, but it does NOT fit the definition of “racism.”

        Is it racist to mention that over half of the murders in the United States are committed by blacks, which make up 15% of the population? No, because one’s saying that being black automatically makes you more likely to commit murder, which is a racist idea. The fact is, however, is that the statistics show that the majority of murders in this country are committed by blacks. It’s not a genetic thing, it’s a cultural thing. There’s an extremely toxic culture prominent within young black men, usually in inner cities, that glorifies hedonism, misogyny, recreational substances, misanthropy, and yes, murder. That culture exists, and that culture is one reason why blacks commit the majority of murders in this country.

        Notice how I didn’t bring skin color into it. In that statement I could have swapped “black” with any other race and the statement still would have made sense and been valid. And that is because it’s not a “race” thing, it’s a cultural and societal thing. And the Palestinian Arabs are no exception. But that’s a spiel for another time.

        Calling out and criticizing the damaging trends within a race is NOT racist. Progressives and leftists use that word as a club to “protect” racial minorities because they think they own a monopoly on the “oppressed.” You couldn’t criticize Hillary Clinton because otherwise you’d be labeled a “misogynist.” You couldn’t criticize Obama or any other black politician or celebrity because otherwise you’d be labeled “racist.” Women, racial minorities, LGBT people, are all practically immune to criticism because they are the ones the labels and buzz words apply to, and this form of identity politics is dangerous and disgusting. People are people are people, regardless of who they are and what they look like, and I don’t think just because a certain demographic is a different color than me, that makes me unable or unjustified to call them out over ANYTHING. But if I do that, I’m just smeared as a racist.

      • Cant disagree with anything he said there. I doubt the author of this piece, or you, want to go anywhere near Gaza or the West Bank.

  4. The purpose of a University is to bring together differing viewpoints and ideas in order to encourage discussion and debate. It is the last place in which speech of any kind should be censored. If someone like Shaprio’s ideas are so ludicrous that they should be ignored, then ignore them and have faith that others will do the same. If you find them to be dangerous, then explore them in informed, free discussion and make your case as to why they are either dangerous or incorrect, but have respect and tolerance for those who would be willing to hear them. Surely they, like you gained admission into Georgetown because of their intellect and surely they, like you have the ability to make decisions for themselves regarding what it is that they choose to believe, why they choose and then should be willing to defend their position in free, peaceful debate. Censorship in any form is a demonstration of bigotry.

    Even better, find a seat and listen to Shapiro speak. That way you have made an effort to gain a greater understanding of his viewpoints, which will either put you in a better position from which to disagree, or perhaps you might even find some points of common ground, which the current political debate desperately needs.

    I may not agree with what any particular person has to say, but I must vigorously defend the speaker’s right to speak, or else my right to speak freely will be placed in dire jeopardy. We can’t have freedom if we don’t have the ability to express our opinions and encourage those around us to do the same.

    Give Shaprio the opportunity to speak. Don’t respond with hate speech of your own, but rather with kindness and compassion as an example of how you would like those around you to treat you. As a student, being open to growth means listening to others, even if we don’t care for their message, because we want people to listen to us and give us the opportunity to express our thoughts and opinions. Dismissing Shaprio because of news quotes is a mistake of ignorance. Go there. Be respectful. See (and hear) for yourself. Test what you think that you know with what you hear. That takes courage. Shouting someone down, banning them or book-burning are acts of cowardice. Be respectful. It took great acts of bravery to give you the right to publicly disagree with anyone else. That is a hard earned right that should not be so carelessly dismissed.

  5. Class of 2013 says:

    On the political spectrum, Bernie Sanders is several more standard deviations away from the mean than Ben Shapiro. Yet, we didn’t see any similar articles published for his controversial speech in 2016.

    Articles like this reflect very poorly on The Hoya and Georgetown as a whole and fuels the “Georgetown Bubble” narrative.

    • This is the opinion section of a school newspaper. Students submit to it when they have opinions. We didn’t see this kind of article about Sanders because apparently students didn’t take issue with the things he said — probably because unlike Shapiro, his entire schtick isn’t racism. This really isn’t complicated.

  6. Tired of cold takes... says:

    “In fact, students should educate themselves on Shapiro’s beliefs and discuss them with their peers.”

    How delighted the author must have been, then, to learn that GUCR and Lecture Fund are convening the PERFECT opportunity for students to do EXACTLY that – and in-person, no less! A truly marvelous happenstance.

    • And how delighted you must have been, upon actually reading the whole article, to see that the author does explicitly recognize the supposed benefits of discourse that could arise from Shapiro’s visit. The argument is that this is outweighed by the normalization of hate that would also result from such an event — and funnily enough, discourse can actually take place among intelligent and educated students without the presence of a racist facilitator. You’ve completely failed to address the core point of this piece.

      • The replies, even colder... says:

        “Core point” implies that this piece exhibits some sort of logical cohesion and clear argument, when in fact it contains neither.

        The author’s frequent use of “endorse” demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the role that organizations play in bringing speakers to a college campus. Moreover, the author’s clumsy foray into the philosophical with “right” pitted against a “moral responsibility” is perplexing at best.

        I would say that a sophomore deserves a bit of credit for sticking their neck out and articulating a controversial opinion, but poorly conceived and weakly supported opinions deserve little credit at all. Hopefully this has been a constructive learning experience for the author.

  7. Who the Hell are you to say these people have a “moral responsibility” to disinvite Ben Shapiro? Who are you to lecture these people on “moral responsibility” when you just dedicated an entire well-written but disingenuous article smearing a conservative speaker based on, what, a few tweets, your own subjective sense of what’s “x-phobic?” Telling a trans woman he is not a woman isn’t “transphobic,” it’s called “biology.” When you think you’re something you’re not, that is the textbook definition of mental illness. Criticizing Islam isn’t “racist” or “Islamophobic.” Ideologies are scrutinized all the time, and religions and sociopolitical movements are no exception. If you’re going to push the “Islamophobic” label, then you might as well defend Christianity (and every other religion for that matter) with the same rigor when criticism is lobbed at it, no matter how valid the criticism is. Otherwise you’d just be cherry-picking based on what’s currently politically popular.

    You also contradict yourself in this article. You say you do not want to call for university intervention, yet you end with ” it is not too late for GUCR and Lecture Fund to do the right thing: Deny hate a platform to speak.” You can’t just equate politics you don’t like with “hate;” that’s intellectually dishonest and incredibly damaging to our Constitutional right to free expression. Every single totalitarian fascist in history has labeled speech that goes against their line of thinking as “hate speech,” have you ever considered that? Maybe before you go around labeling disagreeable speech as “hate speech” and opting for it to be “denied,” you should instead consider your own biases, your own line of thinking, your own worldview. Because maybe, just MAYBE, the problem isn’t “bigotry” or “hate speech.” Maybe the problem is YOU.

  8. Your Opinions Aren't Facts says:

    So calling the Palestinian Arab population “rotten to the core” or European Muslims a “disease” isn’t racist? I suppose his refusal to refer to someone by their preferred gender pronouns isn’t transphobic, either, by your reckoning? Don’t state your opinion as fact – it’s a common logical fallacy.

    • Islam is an ideology, not a race, and a man is not and can not biologically be a woman. These aren’t opinions, they’re facts.

  9. Ben Shapiro is not racist… and pointing out certain undeniable realities of Islamic culture (particularly overseas) as well as refusing to subscribe to transgenderism foolishness does not make him a bigot. Ben welcomes anyone in the audience to discuss his ideas in an open forum.

    As a member of one of these supposedly “marginalized” groups, I love Ben Shapiro and am not the least bit concerned by his presence and plan on inviting him to my school when we get the chance. Simply put, you don’t agree with Ben Shapiro, but tough stuff because many people do.

  10. Just because you don’t agree with what he says does not mean is hate speech.
    You are the one that not allowing free speach.
    You are promoting ban on different ideals like Hitler did in the past.
    Ben Shapiro is not Islamophobia, racist or transposición, you are just repeating that just because you want to convince people who don’t know him that if they go to see him they are the things that you are saying as well.

  11. Censuring speech because its normalizes ideas COUNTER to what you like is exactly what the USSR, Khmer Rouge, Nazis, literally every totalitarian or dictatorship did.

    If a viewpoint is faulty it should fail on its illogical merits. Don’t tell me you want to educate people but they are also too stupid to hear bad arguments and not get swayed.

  12. Lonella Brechner says:

    Wow, all I can say is it breaks my heart to see people like this author so disillusioned by our educational system. She is a product of a much bigger issue going on in American society today. People, our democracy and our constitution is under attack. Wake up & stop fighting each other over partisan views. We need to stand together as Americans and unite under this president, faults and all, because he is NOT the true enemy. The people who implemented a disinformation campaign on our country have succeeded in sowing discord in our democracy. Please, America, pull it together for our country and get your heads out of your you know what’s!!!

  13. Alumna ‘13 says:

    Closed minded and bigoted. Standard liberal orthodoxy. Standard Hoya opinion section.


    Rather than orchestrate a protest or encouage a shout-down without facts, why not engage Mr.Shapiro civilly?


    Ben Shapiro welcomes Claire Hazbun (the writer of this article) to attend his speech and (since she disagrees with Mr. Shapiro’s stance) she is welcome to the front of the line during the Q&A.

  15. Alexander Capogna says:

    What absolute madness is this? The Hoya never fails to disappoint, but now this one’s got me more than a little heated. Ben Shapiro?? THAT’S who you’ve chosen as your monster-of-the-day???? BEN FRIGGIN SHAPIRO!? Decent, honest, moral people everywhere should take care to read these kinds of things… how far this witch hunt goes. If Mr. Shapiro isn’t spared from these baseless accusations, you won’t be either. Don’t fool yourself— the University is no longer safe for serious disagreement, reasonable discussion, and free and open thought. Maybe you haven’t ever listened to the man speak, maybe you’re swayed by the carefully selected, warped and misleadingly decontextualized quotes and clippings from this article. Fine. I can only encourage you to do your own investigation into his views, because he’s one of the best, most fair and upstanding voices in politics today. However see the move that is made here: not only does the author of this piece (unjustly, in my opinion) label Ben Shapiro as a bigot—no, it doesn’t stop there. The nonpartisan LECTURE FUND is complicit! And more! MEMBERS OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS are complicit! Do you see what madness this is. What utter lunacy, and what an absolute disgrace to the name of my alma matter. I implore this University to ignore the slanderous drivel coming out of this paper on a near weekly basis now and to maintain the spirit of free inquiry that made me proud to be a Hoya in the first place. If you disagree with Mr. Shapiro, attend the event and develop a better understanding of exactly what it is you detest; make yourself better by hearing the best arguments your enemy has to offer. Or don’t attend. Or invite your own speaker. Or write an article educating your classmates on whatever beliefs you hold most dear and true. But this? This is a shameful response. Disgraceful.

  16. Dick Pointer says:

    I don’t agree with the author: their weighing of the costs and benefits of having Shapiro is fear-mongering over the incitation of violence which there isn’t real evidence for. I think questioning Shapiro will net do the opposite of normalizing him. Nevertheless, many people who didn’t read the article are overreacting, wouldn’t have expected more from the Hoyas comment section.

  17. Wow. You only believe that freedom of speech is for those who agree with you. Censorship is your brand? DUDE…WHAT?

  18. Why is it that free speech is only free if the ideology reflects your own? The problem is that people (especially alt-left snowflakes) think anything that does not agree with their beliefs is somewhat racist. Ben Shapiro is not racist. You “think” he is racist because he does not agree with you. I watched some of his debates before, and they have absolutely zero ad hominem attacks. He talks with real facts from real peer-reviewed research, unlike the dumb snowflakes who think feelings = facts. He had not once talked down or attacked someone simply because of their sex or race. The type of thinking reflected in this letter concisely summarizes what is wrong with many people of this generation.

  19. Holy crap. Lol.

    A questioner went against Shapiro with the exact claims you made in your article.

    Not only did Shapiro just eviscerate and provide context to the accusations made in this article, he also correctly guessed that the accusations were not of the questioner’s himself; they were drawn from a separate person or source – aka, this article.

    Starts at 2:36 in this video:

    I sincerely hope this has been quite the lesson for yourself, Claire Hazbun. If you’re going to throw around charges as harsh and damning as “racist,” you’d better make damn sure they’re actually “racist.”

  20. This is a truly disgusting article. How dare someone have a differing opinion than your own. The left knows they don’t stand a chance in an intellectual debate so they try to silence others. Each day more people are realizing that the left are the true fascists.

  21. Hopeforthefuture says:

    After reading through these comments, I’m happy to see that the majority of people support free speech. Gives me hope that less people are falling for the indoctrination from these universities. People are starting to realize how regressive liberals are.

  22. Donald Wheeler says:

    Wow. What a racist, anti-semitic, hateful college student. I hope this is not a good example of what’s coming through. If so, this level of ignorance and hate does not bode well for the future

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