Following the University of Minnesota’s decision to censor a Young America’s Foundation campus lecture featuring Ben Shapiro in February, a major donor has decided to revoke his financial backing and instead partner with Young Americans for Freedom—the chapter affiliate of Young America’s Foundation—in order to bring real education to college students.
In a letter to University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, a financial supporter and member of the U of M’s class of 1962 writes with “great sadness” over his alma mater’s treatment of Shapiro and the conservative students who hosted him, YAF reports.
“I believe the treatment of Ben Shapiro was clearly a case of discrimination,” writes the concerned citizen. “It was not discrimination by race or gender. It was more damaging than that. You have discriminated against the free dissemination of ideas.”
Administrators at the University of Minnesota repeatedly denied requests by conservative students for desirable lecture venues on the central portion of campus, choosing instead to relegate Shapiro’s lecture to “an island” miles away from campus. At the time, Young America’s Foundation slammed the administrators’ decision as “absurd,” calling out “the school’s double standard in allowing prominent leftists to speak without similar restrictions” and “blatant anti-conservative bias.”
The anonymous letter continues with a stinging indictment of the underlying fear of campus leftists who inflict their censorship out of concern that students might be inspired by conservative ideas:
“The question then becomes why you discriminate against conservative thought. My simple theory is that the administration and faculty of our major bodies of higher education are fearful. They are fearful that once people like Ben Shapiro speak about their conservative ideas, the students will begin to understand a simple fact. It is the fact that they have been exposed to only one way of thinking and thus will be furious over having spent so much time and money only to find out that they have been essentially brainwashed.
Because of this, I have decided to give my annual contribution for scholarship at the U of M to the Young Americans for Freedom [the chapter affiliate of Young America’s Foundation].
An excellent example of how much damage you have done; I am not signing my name for fear of Political Retaliation.”
“We applaud this patriotic American’s decision to withhold support from an institution that undermines and discriminates against conservatives. Such a decision is an important first step in giving students a full, ideologically diverse education that includes conservative ideas. It’s a tragedy that this once-proud alumnus of the University of Minnesota has been abandoned by his alma mater,” said Young America’s Foundation spokesman Spencer Brown. “With the meaningful support of individuals such as the author of this letter, Young America’s Foundation is able to continue the vital work of holding schools accountable, including through YAF’s First Amendment lawsuit against the University of California, Berkeley.”