Star Parker is a conservative commentator who founded and heads the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a nonprofit that fights poverty and talks about faith and freedom, according to Campus Reform. A conservative group at the University of Northwestern in Minnesota invited Star to give a lecture on abortion’s effect on the black community.
But Kayla Hoye, UNW’s director of student programs, decided to bar Star from speaking on campus. She told the school’s Young America’s Foundation chapter that “our staff has been very adamant about bringing speakers to campus who educate and expand worldviews, but we really don’t bring speakers who radically hold beliefs that UNW as a whole would not agree with.”
Hold on a second. So are you trying to tell me that UNW as a whole isn’t pro-life and doesn’t want to decrease abortion in a community disproportionately affected by it?
The administrator goes on to say that it “may be different if we were able to bring a panel and provide a variety of thought, but in the past UNW has stayed away from sensationalized speakers.”
Ok so now it seems like this is more of a problem with style, not substance. And UNW did later say that it remains pro-life and referenced Star’s “communication style,” but again, no details whatsoever. And this isn’t the first time a Christian school has banned a conservative speaker, either. Remember that Gonzaga University in Washington state banned Ben Shapiro back in November, saying that his speeches brought protests with “extremely divisive and hateful speech and behavior.”
You know, because Shapiro is responsible for what other people say. Sounds legit. Anyways, fast-forward to February and Gonzaga said that Shapiro could come, as long as his speech is in line with the school’s mission statement. What values does the mission statement include? Oh, you know, “social justice” and “diversity.” So you can come to speak, Ben, but only if you don’t bash the very concepts you’ve built your career on bashing.
UPDATE: The University of Northwestern has said that YAF “did not follow policies and procedures that are in place for student club events” and that, “in addition, university administration had significant concerns regarding Ms. Parker’s contract, which contained certain requirements the university could not accommodate.”
“One component of the contract stated UNW would be required to open the event to the general public and YAF would hold UNW responsible for removing people disrupting the event, requiring us to hire off-duty law enforcement to manage potential threats and/or disruptions,” the school said. “The university has not been required to have this type of security for previous events, which indicates YAF’s expectation that a disruption may occur.”