DePaul BLM leaders: Milo made us do it

A coalition of black students and faculty at DePaul University is outraged at the “[public] shaming” of protesters who forcibly shut down a recent Milo Yiannopoulos speech on campus.

Milo Yiannopoulos’ appearance at DePaul University was cut short last month when Black Lives Matter protesters confiscated a microphone, blew a safety whistle in the firebrand’s face, and threatened him with physical violence, but now black leaders are demanding that the school’s president apologize for apologizing.

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In a letter released after the fact, DePaul president Rev. Dennis Holtschneider spent the first several paragraphs of his remarks chastising Yiannopoulos as a “self-serving” provocateur who is “unworthy of university discourse.”

Only towards the end of his letter does Holtschneider condemn the protesters, saying he was “ashamed for DePaul University,” though he tempers that critique by comparing the protesters’ ambitions to those of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives at Normandy on D-Day.

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“Here in Normandy, I expected to be moved by the generosity of those who gave their lives on the beaches early on June 6, 1944. I did not expect, however, to be shocked when I realized that most of the soldiers were the same ages as our students today,” he wrote. “I realize that many of yesterday’s protesters hold similarly noble goals for a more inclusive world for those traditionally held aside by our society.”

In response to that milquetoast statement, DePaul’s Black Leadership Coalition, composed of university faculty and students, released a five-page statement Thursday asking for another apology from Holtschneider, this time for “publicly shaming” the protesters who forced Yiannopoulos to end the event for his own safety.

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“In his statement[,] President Holtschneider did not apologize for failing to assess, [sic] what many viewed as a high potential for dissension and turmoil,” the statement reads. “Nor did he apologize for failing to rescind the College Republicans’ invitation to provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, or for publicly shaming the two leading African American protesters.”

The statement makes at least two other mentions of Holtschneider’s neglect to rescind Yiannopoulos’ invitation, saying Yiannopoulos should have been disinvited simply for his political views, which featured prominently in Holtschneider’s own criticisms of Yiannopoulos.

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The statement then goes on to dispute the university’s characterization of the event, and argues that “the point of departure in framing the event should not be the protest, but rather, racial tensions on campus and President Holtschneider’s [sic] inability to correctly forecast the disruptive potential of the event.”

Meanwhile, the group also suggests that the protesters should not be subject to disciplinary action since they apparently did not violate any university policy.

Naturally, the statement concludes with a list of eight demands, including the establishment of a faculty “diversity advocate” within each academic department, a new vice president of diversity, and an African American center for students.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski