Conservative journalist Milo Yiannopoulos scheduled to speak on campus in February

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As the nation’s political climate continues to polarize in the wake of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, the Berkeley College Republicans will host conservative journalist and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who has emerged as one of the more divisive voices from the political milieu,  for a talk on campus Feb. 1.

The speaking appointment is part of an 18-stop tour across U.S. colleges, including UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara and UCLA in addition to UC Berkeley. According to Celine Bookin, a campus freshman and member of BCR, Yiannopoulos has attracted supporters from the conservative side — and college republicans in particular — because of his unfiltered way of speaking and disregard of political correctness.

“That’s something conservatives respond well to, including myself, getting things said that need to be said,” Bookin said. “We don’t like dancing around the issues.”

The tour has already been met with controversy since its first stop Dec. 1 at West Virginia University. WVU President E. Gordon Gee released a statement Friday condemning Yiannopoulos’ use of a homophobic slur targeted at a faculty member, but defended the campus’s right to host the speaker. Additionally, Yiannopoulos was banned from Depaul University following a speech he gave in May, which the university said contained “inflammatory language” and created a “hostile environment.”

According to Caiden Nason, vice president of membership of Cal Berkeley Democrats, Yiannopoulos’ appearance has the potential to incite people rather than contribute to conversations.

“Students who have identities attacked by Trump have already been harassed following the election, and Milo’s appearance here is only going to enable more people to harass them,” Nason said in an email. “To UC Berkeley students, Milo’s appearance reflects a group of students on campus who are more interested in causing problems than having conversations.”

Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said in email that “campus administration wishes to make clear that an invitation of this sort in no way suggests our endorsement of a particular point of view,” adding that campus policy allows for open debate at UC Berkeley without interference from the administration.

“While we realize that the presence of certain speakers is likely to upset some members of our campus community, University policy, principles of intellectual and academic freedom, and the U.S. Constitution require that students and faculty members retain the right to invite individuals onto campus to participate,” Mogulof said in an email.

Bookin said while Berkeley is one of the better campuses for free discourse, conservative opinion is still not broadly represented and open debate and diversity of opinion are important for campus. She added that even if members of the student body disagree with Yiannopoulos’ viewpoints, she hopes they will come to the talk with an open mind.

Bookin added that she anticipates some form of backlash from the liberal community at UC Berkeley when Yiannopoulos comes to campus.

“It may or may not involve Milo being able to enter the building he is speaking in, may involve a walk out or a riot, all sorts of things,” Bookin said. “All these things have happened with conservative speakers.”

The location of Yiannopoulos’ talk has not yet been released, nor have tickets been made available for sale. Pieter Sittler, internal vice president of BCR, said members of BCR have chosen not to comment on Yiannopoulos’ talk while logistical plans and security detail are still in progress.

Yiannopoulos’ team could not be reached for comment regarding the speaking engagement.

Contact Camryn Bell at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @cbell_DC.

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  • Fox Carson

    While I don’t agree with him saying TG is a mental illness and I’m not religious to say abortion is the devil, you have to take some of his opinions with a grain of salt. I like Milo, he is very intelligent and I appreciate how blunt and brutal he is with his opinion and honesty towards his feelings of situations. I’ve had people insult me because of my weight, but it was just desperation attempts. I’m fat, but I’m active too and working to lose it. I’m not going to sugarcoat things and say “I’m completely healthy” because I’m not. I will say things could be far worse with me, though, but I don’t expect people to go out of their way to cater to me just because I’m big. That’s ridiculous.

  • I have a lot of mixed feelings abou Milo, I think most of his behaviour is some comedy act designed to piss off liberls and to make himself rich. Yes, he makes good points i.e. The sjw movement and intersectional feminists do stifle free speech and dissenting views. Also, rape culture on campus stats are overblown like crazy. However, there is a serious rise of hate on the internet coming from internet trolls who are egged on by milo. This is very troubling in a democracy.

  • blm are the real thugs

  • Nathan Hale

    Berkeley is the place where all the refugees from the 60’s are hiding, dreaming of their dated revolution.

    • Fox Carson

      Love your name.

  • Nathan Hale

    The public forum is a place where ideas clash, old ideas fall, and new ideas rise up. Deal with your defeat.

  • Nathan Hale

    Milo is the catalyst who can spark a true reformation of Berkeley’s toxic environment of dated political correctness. The entire Berkeley community has fallen prey to the dogma that is eroding their standing as an institution of higher education. The reason people think Milo is an entertaining comedian is because he is able to trigger the nervous laughter that signals truth.

  • AuntyMM

    What’s the point of giving space to differing points of view
    when everyone is talking past each other? If I were in charge at UC, I would
    insist that there be a true dialog, which in this case would probably require
    stringent mediation.

    I am really tired of people who spout this kind of snarky
    sullenness getting away with not being required to answer serious questions
    responsively and instead being allowed to provoke more fascist behavior.

    What’s the point of free speech if verbal abuse like this is
    not called to account?

  • Daniel Duerst

    Check out this INSANE footage of the anti Milo Yiannopoulos protest @ DePaul University! MUST WATCH PLAYLIST! https://youtu.be/vn-l3C8kn94?list=PLoQTg3myRNTeBbH_wcuw6VEX77ZiFst8H

    • Nathan Hale

      The thugs at BLM apparently get a free pass from the campus cops. Too bad. The elephant has a very long memory.

  • Freedom of speech should be the most protected value and law in any Western Democracy. Milo has the right to speak at the university, I agree with approx 50% if his views, the rest is just a comedy act. He is a narcissistic and badly needs all the attention and praise. However, as a former feminist and leftist, I can say that many of his arguments in this area are quite accurate. Trust me, I have lived, worked and breathed with feminist and know what they are all about.

  • I used to be a leftist and feminist, I am sad to say that now I am neither. I think it is healthier to engage in debate and examine each issue carefully weighing both sides of the argument. While, I disagree with most of Milo’s tactics in getting his message across and think he is a serious narcissistic like his role model Trump, he makes very important points about the sjw, feminist and black lib movement. Universities are coddling students, suppressing free speech, and businesses are being targeted for traditional family values. This is a serious threat to liberty and we should all be concerned. A teacher lost his job in class for stating an opinion that he does not believe in abortion but others are free to their own opinion. This is a law and ethics teacher who gave this opinion in light of a discussion on the topic. There is another case of a guy going into a women’s changeroom undressing just to be provocative, and when security came he said he identified as a woman and he demanded that his rights be respected and he was allowed to continue. The result, the young girls and women had to leave the change room because they were comfortable with a man with his genitalia in the girls showers. This is sick to the core, the west has lost all common sense, this is why the alt – right is rising. A man like Milo could only be this popular because of the extremist views our society has taken. If we want to get rid of Milo, then allow all opinions to be shared equally at universities and there will be no audience for his lectures.

    • Fox Carson

      Sensible, I agree with a majority of what he says, minus the religious and mental illness stuff. He is over the top, but I love a good laugh. You can say it’s harsh, but hey, both sides make fun of the other, I just find the right to be a bit more witty personally.

  • ShadrachSmith

    I love Milo, Milo for deputy press secretary. I would love to see Milo give the daily White House press briefing. “There is nothing the president wants to tell you today. Check his twitter or Breitbart. Questions?”

  • yes please trigger all of our special snowflakes.

    • Dantalia

      It’s funny because Milo’s one of the most hypersensitive snowflakes of them all.

      • Nathan Hale

        Milo is tough as nails. He can stand up there and take the abuse, but he gives it back in spades. And, the Left cannot accept his courage.

  • Daniel Duerst

    Check out this INSANE footage of the anti Milo Yiannopoulos protest @ DePaul University. MUST WATCH PLAYLIST: https://youtu.be/vn-l3C8kn94?list=PLoQTg3myRNTeBbH_wcuw6VEX77ZiFst8H