Controversy has followed commentator Milo Yiannopoulos on his “Most Dangerous Faggot” tour, and his Thursday appearance at the University of California, Irvine is proving to be no exception.
UC-Irvine College Republicans are planning to distribute 100 infant pacifiers at a school-sanctioned “safe zone training” event taking place just hours before the Yiannopoulos event, UC-Irvine College Republicans said in a press release.
The Gerber Baby pacifiers will include an attached label with the caption, “I survived! Milo tour 2016.”
UC-Irvine Republican Club president, Ariana Rowlands told the Orange County Register she fears for her fellow students who seem “dominated” by political correctness and often only hear the left’s side of the story.
“Conservatives on campuses, when we open our mouths, a lot of the time we face censorship,” Rowlands said. “If you say the gender pay gap isn’t real, they will argue with you and call you anti-feminist. If you support cops, you are a racist. They’ll misconstrue what you say and make it worse.”
Robert Petrosyan, College Republicans chairman at UC-Irvine, argued that both conservatives and liberals lose when students are “coddled,” citing the critique of campus sensitivity made by President Obama in September.
“These so called Safe Spaces are an anathema to free expression and are a not-so-veiled form of ‘totalitarian group think’ where ideological deviation is not tolerated and outside opinions are to be destroyed, not challenged,” Petrosyan said.
The “safe zone training” event will take place at the LGBT Resource Center. Douglas Haynes, UCI’s vice provost for academic equity, diversity and inclusion, has encouraged attendance, issuing a campus-wide communication earlier this month saying, “Bigotry has no place at UCI.”
Campus uproar has become a recurring theme surrounding Yiannopoulos’ appearances, with student protesters attempting to storm his event at the University of California, Los Angeles on Tuesday, and his May 25 DePaul University appearance being entirely shut down by protesters.
According to Carl Olson, UC-Irvine College Republican social chair, campus conservatives hope to have a different experience at their event on Thursday.
“Their event starts at 5:00 and ours starts at 7:00. We want to liberate our fellow students from the clutches of totalitarian political correctness and earnestly invite them to attend, listen and challenge our speaker with civil debate,” Olson said. “For those who are too timid or have been mentally incapacitated to engage in debate we are giving them baby pacifiers to help them cope with the appearance of a conservative speaker on campus.”