Why we need to have Milo Yiannopoulos speak at Rutgers

‘I’ll admit it, I’m a fan’

Milo Yiannopoulos is coming to Rutgers this week. I’ll admit, I’m a fan. But his appearance means more than just a service to his American supporters. It means a huge step in promoting dialogue about real issues on university campuses that has long been stifled by campus thought police.

First, a little background knowledge: according to his own website, “[Milo’s] writing has appeared in the Telegraph, the Wall Street Journal, the Times, WIRED, the Observer, the Spectator, Business Insider, Attitude, the Catholic Herald and many other places.” But he truly found a place in the online spotlight through the Gamergate scandal of yesteryear. Many journalists, including Milo, joined the Gamergate debate as a response to what they saw as the forceful injection of progressive, leftist views into an industry that did not want or ask for them.

Comic books and science fiction have seen the same intrusion of leftist ideology in the past decade, but when video games were attacked in the same way, as Milo remarked, “gamers [were] the first people who rose up and said ‘no’ to the social justice warriors.” He later saw another spike in fame and notoriety during the Tim Hunt scandal, where he appeared defending the Nobel Prize winner after feminists assailed him for allegedly sexist comments.

There is a pattern here. Milo has consistently and unflinchingly stood by the free exchange of ideas and expression and by the accurate reporting  of news in a way that the vast majority of his journalistic peers are unwilling to. In an age where every company is bending over backwards to conform to liberal and feminist agendas, in an age where Nobel Prize winners are hounded out of their jobs by lies and exaggeration, in an age where men and women (especially in universities) suffer from falsified rape and sexual assault allegations that ruin reputations with minimal evidence, there needs to be a voice of reason. Milo is that voice, and he isn’t bothering to pussyfoot around with his message. He is the proverbial Kool-Aid man, bursting through the wall of social justice and offering refreshing swigs of cold, hard facts.

Some would say Milo’s appeal comes simply from the fact that he is homosexual and conservative, an unlikely combination in the eyes of many. While this may be true as a foundation for his character, his true intrigue comes from his willingness to say anything to anyone, and the fact that he brings factual analysis to a debate which is so often fraught with irrationality and intellectual dishonesty. His unique position offers him a shield from the vitriolic identity politics of the left. He has an air of carefree rebellion that is a breath of fresh air to young people with libertarian or conservative bents, and even to disaffected liberals unhappy with the state of the current left in America and the United Kingdom. Vital voices that were once silenced or stifled are breaking through the interference because of characters like Milo giving them the confidence to do so.

With this speech specifically, Milo is fostering an incredibly important dialogue on the phenomenon of extreme progressivism on university campuses. This is a topic that people often tiptoe around or ignore, which hampers discussion and the progression of ideas.  We’re inviting Milo to speak here because he has proven to be unafraid and hard-hitting in his criticism of the trampling of individual rights. Social justice has had its reign in universities for too long, dictating our thoughts, our speech, our actions. Milo’s message is as vital as it is fabulous, a beacon of liberty shining through the clouds of identity politics, collectivism, and censorship that pervade today’s campuses. Do we seek to provoke, to enrage? Yes, a thousand times yes. But behind the frivolity there is a message, that we the youth, we the intelligentsia of the future, we the people, WE will always stand against those who wish to rule us.

Rutgers University