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Photo: Stephanie Keith / Stringer
The University had previously stated Gavin McInnes uses “hateful and discriminatory” rhetoric. Photo: Stephanie Keith / Stringer

Threat of violence prompts Penn State to cancel Proud Boys founder’s speech

Penn State University has canceled the polarizing event of Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes because of concerns for public safety. 

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Penn State University has canceled the polarizing event of Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes because of concerns for public safety. 

The University had previously stated Gavin McInnes uses “hateful and discriminatory” rhetoric but were willing to grant a student club the right to bring the controversial founder on campus. Resulting in students landing a petition to block McInnes from speaking at the university. 

Although many cite that free speech should be allowed, it is the “platforming fascists and promoting hateful, meritless disinformation with thousands of student-fee dollars,” warns the Student Committee for Defense and Solidarity as reported by NPR. 

As of last week the university was refusing to cancel McInnes and another controversial speaker, Alex Stein’s engagements, with organizers claiming they will add “a unique perspective” through comedy.

But students’ refuse to see what’s comical of hate speech that generates further divisiveness in an already conflicting topic like immigration, political correctness and gender roles. 

However, Penn State issued an announcement via Twitter stating “due to the threat of escalating violence associated with tonight’s event [Oct. 24], Penn State University Police determined that it was necessary to cancel the speaking event in the interest of campus safety.” 

The cancellation prompted a great response, protesters shouting “Whose campus? Our campus!” as  the Daily Collegian’s Arthur LaBan reported.

“We are very disappointed,” student group Uncensored America, which organized the event, told NPR on Tuesday. “We wanted people from all different political viewpoints to have a fun, entertaining, and peaceful evening. Sadly, attendees were intimidated by violent protests and could not enter the venue safely.”

Ultimately, Penn State’s reversal put the safety of the campus and students before “hate speech.”


 

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