Panel - Colleges Reject Conservative Speakers

May 25, 2016 - Arianna Huffington 05/25/2016 Views: 1,555

Arianna Huffington, Ricky Velez and Franchesca Ramsey examine why notable conservatives such as George W. Bush are repeatedly being disinvited to speak on college campuses. (6:37)

Okay, welcome back.I'm here with my panel.

First up-- Nightly Show contributor Ricky Velez.

-(applause and cheering)-Hey.

And Nightly Show contributor Franchesca Ramsey.

(applause and cheering)

And her new book,

The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life,

One Night at a Time, is out now.

And she's the co-founder,of course,

and editor-in-chiefof The Huffington Post--

-Arianna Huffington.-(applause and cheering)

Yeah! And for everyone at home,

join our conversation right nowon Twitter @NightlyShow

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Okay, so graduation seasonis upon us.

And recently, President Obama,

in his commencement speechat Rutgers--

he gave the graduatesa little bit of flack

for disinviting Condoleezza Ricea couple of years ago,

saying dropping herwas misguided.

(as Obama): "I don't thinkthat's how democracy works best,

when we're not even willingto listen each other."



Then he, like,paused for an hour,

and then he finished his speech,right?

But this also speaksto a larger trend.

Apparently,over the past 15 years or so,

the number of largelyconservative speakers being

disinvited to collegeshas risen dramatically.

-(laughter)-Oh, my God.

Look at that number! Okay.

What the hell's going onon colleges?

-Anybody have any idea?-It's rude, man! That's rude!

-It's rude?-Actually, I think that...

You ever been disinvitedto a party?

-That (bleep) will hurtyour feelings. -(laughter)

-I feel out of the zeitgeist.-WILMORE: Mm-hmm.

I gave two commencementaddresses this year,

and I have one more to go,

and I haven't been disinvitedfrom any, but... -Yeah.


-(applause and cheering)-There's still time, right.

But I still wanted to...

First of all, I don't agreewith disinviting guest speakers.

-WILMORE: Sure.-But I think...

Well, because it's cold-blooded.You invite them,

and then,they get disinvited, right.

Yeah, but my point is

-that I think what has happened,since the Iraq war... -Mm-hmm.

...has made everybody feel

-that this was sucha dreadful decision... -Yeah.

...that this was the worst,

-most tragic foreign policydecision ever... -Sure. our lifetime and before.

-Mm-hmm. -And so, the people whowere part of that decision...

I mean George W. Bush wasdisinvited seven times, which...

-(laughter and groaning)-Yes. It's true.

An ex-president.In fact, we have a...

Can we show that? I know we weregonna maybe show with another...

Yes. Okay, here are someof the people.

George W. Bush-- seven times!

An ex-president,for goodness sakes.

Ann Coulter, I understand, yeah.


But John McCain?John McCain's a war hero!

-VELEZ: This is... this is...-RAMSEY: I honestly want to know

who is paying Ann Coulterto speak anywhere?

(laughter and groaning)

-Other than Fox News.-(applause and cheering)

-WILMORE: Right. -VELEZ:No, but this is a bubble.

-This is a bubble. This is abubble. -WILMORE: It's a bubble?

-Oh, college is.-College has become a bubble.

A lot of these schools-- there'sGeorgetown, Boston College.

-Mm-hmm. -This isn't happeningat Nassau Community College.


-But it's not! It's not!-John McCain was disinvited

-at Nassau Community College,you think? -Yeah. -(laughter)

Yes, they would be so hyped.


The point hereis that they were invited.

-WILMORE: Yes.-If they were not invited,

-of course, there's no issue,and if I was in charge, -Sure.

they would neverhave been invited.

-But... but... but they were.-(laughter) -Yes.

It's clear, Arianna,if you were running a college,

it's clear, it's clearwho's gonna get invited.

Larry, you wouldhave gotten invited.

-Yeah.-I hope you would have accepted.

-Oh, of course.-But my point is that

it actually... createssomething incredibly dangerous.

Because that's the excusethat tyrants use.

-Sure.-"I find your speech offensive.

-Shut it down. -I'm goingto torture you and kill you."

There's a differencebetween torturing someone

and just saying, like,"I don't really want to hear

what you have to say."Like, I just don't...

-They're not the same.-You have that right,

to not invite them,but we're talking

about once they've been invited.

Nobody here is saying youdon't have the right to invite.

Okay, and there aredifferent ways to protest.

This happened at, I thinkit was at DePaul University.

Some, uh,activist hijacked an event

by the college Republicans,I think it was.

There was the guy-- what'shis name? Milo Yiannopoulos?

HUFFINGTON: Milo Yiannopoulos.Yeah, I can tell you.

-It's a Greek name.-Yeah. Well... Yeah. -(laughter)

Uh... very good, Arianna,very good.

-(laughter, applause)-I don't know how you got that.

I thought... I thoughtthat's why I was invited. I...

-Yes. Absolutely.-(laughter)

I appreciate you helpinga brother out like that.

If you need any helpon any Deshauns

-or that kind of stuff...-(laughter)

just let me know.

Let me know.I'm there for you.

-(whooping, applause)-Uh, okay, but what happened...

what happened here was that, uh,

so, the activistactually came up on the stage

and stopped the eventfrom happening.

See, I thinkthat's going too far.

I think booing is fine,you know.

I hate this ideathat when people...

critique someone's speech,someone says,

"Oh, my free speechis being impeded!"

It's, like, no, you havethe freedom to say something

-and people have the freedom...-Of course.

-I'm not saying aboutcritiquing. -Oh, absolutely.

Nobody's sayingyou can't critique.

Again, I don't thinkthat it's right

-that they took the mike awayfrom him, -WILMORE: Right.

but I do see lots of peoplesaying bigoted things

and just being like,"Just my opinion! Free speech!"

And it's, like, okay,I have the free speech

to tell you that you're a bigotand I don't like what you had

-to say. -Right. Sure. Ricky,you were gonna say something?

The definition of a liberalright now,

it has changed, I think.

Are you talking abouton college campuses, or...?

On college campuses everywhere,it's just...

being liberal was,uh, being understanding,

willing to listento other people's opinions

and the rest of that,and that's gone.

And now that that's gone,

it makes a collegea dangerous place,

because you're only gonna learnwhat's in that lane,

and that's not good, ever.

-I think if your opinion...-(applause)

I mean, I-I think if your...I think if your opinion upholds

the mistreatmentof someone else,

then you absolutely havethe right to critique it,

but I also hate this idea

that this is justput upon college students,

as if college students are,like, these big babies.

I dare you to tell a baby boomer

that the Beatles are overrated,

-(laughter)-and they will freak... out.

-I'm about to freak out rightnow. -And they will freak out!

Hold on.

-I'm just saying... -The Beatlesare not overrated, young lady!

-(laughter)-But that's what I'm saying.

Not... Now I got a flyattacking me!

They are so quick to say

-that it's college students.-'Cause it's true!

-Now these are fightin' words!-Exactly!

All right, Arianna,bring us home, bring us home.

So, I think weare mixing up two things.

-Yeah. -Nobody here is sayingwe cannot critique.

-Mm-hmm. -What we are saying is,do we have the right

to censor someoneby disinviting them

or by taking the microphoneaway from them,

-and I say absolutely yesto the first, -Yeah.

-no, to the second.-Can't we just live

in one large obelisk together?

-Yeah. Exactly, and...-That's what I say.

All right, we'll be right back.

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