Janet Napolitano complained Monday about Ben Shapiro, saying funds could be spent instead on “real, intellectual speakers,” following his $600,000 September speech at the University of California, Berkeley.
The University of California system president and former Homeland Security secretary under President Barack Obama made the remark following Shapiro’s visit to the school, according to The Daily Wire.
“We could divert these dollars to sponsoring real, intellectual speakers and debates,” said Napolitano, referring to the $600,000 spent on Shapiro’s event.
Napolitano did not elaborate on exactly which speakers, if not Shapiro, she would consider intellectual.
While UC Berkeley received criticism for police handling of protesters of other conservative speakers in 2017, Shapiro praised their enforcement of the law in an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation. Police arrested nine individuals at his speech, reported The Los Angeles Times. (EXCLUSIVE: Ben Shapiro Talks Berkeley, Campus Culture, And Political Correctness)
“You need law and order in order to protect the First Amendment,” said Shapiro. “Berkeley, for a year, had ignored that. Now, they seem to be returning to their senses.”
But the conservative author also lamented the campus culture in which students often equate “hate speech” with violence.
“I do think there is something cancerous happening with regard to free speech on campus,” he said to TheDCNF. “When you think speech is violence, then presumably when I say something that offends you, I’ve done some act of violence towards you and you get to respond in kind.”
TheDCNF reached out to Shapiro and Napolitano for additional comment, but received none in time for press.
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