‘RIP, 1st Amendment’: New York City Mayor intervenes to cancel Milo Yiannopoulos university talk
Yiannopoulos was due to speak to a Liberal Studies class on the intersection of Halloween, culture, and politics, but NYU staff canceled the appearance after a request from the mayor himself, for “public safety reasons.”
Earlier on Tuesday, New York City Council members had urged the university to cancel the talk, denouncing the “hate” expressed by Yiannopoulos and the event’s proximity to Saturday’s shooting dead of 11 worshippers in a synagogue in Pittsburgh. The council also pointed out that nearby Halloween parades would have the city’s police force stretched thin.
Milo was characteristically venomous in his response.
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As of today, I am without question the most censored man in America. The entire city of New York is terrified of one gay man stepping out of line and calling out the Left as the intolerant, censorious crybabies they are. And they just proved it—by censoring me again. I couldn’t ask for more conclusive proof: The Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, today demanded my talk at NYU be canceled (“rescheduled” in their euphemistic language) and the President of NYU has complied. So. It’s not happening. I’ll post my talk online tomorrow instead. RIP, First Amendment. They’re not even pretending any more.
“The entire city of New York is terrified of one gay man stepping out of line and calling out the Left as the intolerant, censorious crybabies they are,” he wrote on Instagram. “And they just proved it—by censoring me again.”
“RIP, First Amendment. They’re not even pretending any more,” he concluded.
The professor who invited Yiannopoulos to speak, Michael Rectenwald, also disagreed with the mayor’s decision.
“While Milo Yiannopoulos is blamed for the threat to public safety, leftist protesters are the ones who pose the actual danger, with their proclivity for violence,” Rectenwald told Washington Square News, a student newspaper.
“I was merely trying to arrange a cultural exchange between my class and a harmless person from the center-right.”
Rectenwald was slammed by social justice types for inviting Yiannopoulos to speak in the first place, but is no stranger to controversy himself, having been placed on a leave of absence in 2016 for speaking out against political correctness and ‘safe space’ culture on campus.
Believe it or not @NYU you don’t HAVE to find hate speech a platform. Not all (free) speech is equal. He is no Buckley, but a there to recruit youth TO SPREAD HATE.— Nomiki Konst 🌹 (@NomikiKonst) October 28, 2018
“This is a way to get Milo a platform to speak on campus without the problems of protest” https://t.co/Qd1ptfsWqY
Yiannopoulos’ speaking engagements have drawn crowds of angry protesters before, and NYU canceled a talk by the conservative firebrand in 2016, also citing security concerns.
Starting as a tech reporter for right-wing news site Breitbart, Milo rose to prominence after covering the ‘gamergate’ controversy – which centered on feminism and ‘social justice’ in the video games industry – in 2014. Yiannopoulos drew laughs from conservatives and anger from liberals with headlines like “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy,” “would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?” and “Muslims will bring lamb chops, yoghurt and gang-rape to America.”
After his controversial ‘Dangerous Faggot’ speaking tour of US college campuses and an appearance at the Republican National Convention in 2016, Milo’s stock fell early last year when he resigned from Breitbart and had a lucrative book deal canceled after a recording emerged of him defending pederasty and questioning age of consent laws.
Ostracized by many on the right, Milo still produces videos and gives speeches, albeit to smaller crowds.
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