Conservative writer and radio host Ben Shapiro is testing the waters of tolerance at UC Berkeley on Thursday after vicious and violent antifa protesters rioted against other conservative speakers such as Ann Coulter.
The Berkeley Provost has ordered concrete barriers to be installed to keep violent protesters out of a safety zone and offered “support and counseling services for students, staff and faculty” — not for people victimized by violent antifa protesters, but for people who might be offended by Shapiro’s speech, as IJR previously reported.
Oddly, of all places, the ardently left wing New York Times editorial page has issued a stunning editorial supporting, of all people, Ben Shapiro.
Staff editor and writer Bari Weiss observed that plans by antifa to stop Shapiro’s speech because they reason that he’s a “fascist” is absurd (emphasis added):
This time around, the activist group Refuse Fascism, which has hailed the left-wing extremist antifa movement as “courageous,” has taken the lead in condemning Mr. Shapiro’s speech, calling him a “fascist” on campus fliers and declaring in a Facebook post that his goal was to “spread ugly fascist views dressed up in slick-talking ‘intellectual’ garb.”
… [T]he brouhaha over Ben Shapiro is significant not because of what might go down Thursday at Berkeley, but because it is a perfect exhibition of a much broader phenomenon increasingly apparent in the wake of the Charlottesville, Va., demonstrations last month: the sloppy conflation between actual white supremacists and, well, run-of-the-mill conservatives, libertarians and classical liberals whose main beef is with some on the left who seem like they’d rather do without the First Amendment.
Better late than never, New York Times.