Earlier this month, the Bruin Republicans at UCLA invited the performance artist Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at an event tilted “Ten Things I Hate About Mexico.”
Days later, they thought better of their decision, cancelling their event with a vacuous, nihilistic enabler of bigots, to the credit of a faction in their leadership. “The decision to host Milo has polarized the leadership of the organization between those wishing to move forward with the event and those who wish to cancel it,” they wrote on their Facebook page, adding, “We would like to make it clear that any public backlash to this event has nothing to do with our cancellation and that we have been more than willing to stand up to both protesters and administrative figures as evidenced by our Ben Shapiro event last quarter.”
In addition to the expected backlash, the initial announcement of the event had caused Gabriel Rossman, a conservative professor sympathetic to the group, to publish an open letter in The Weekly Standard affirming the Bruin Republicans’ First Amendment right to host Yiannopoulos while forcefully arguing that they ought to voluntarily cancel their invitation.
Whether or not Rossman’s advice had any influence on their decision, his letter ought to be read by Republican college students on other campuses as they ponder whether or not to affiliate themselves with a given speaker, and by liberal faculty and administrators as an example of the counsel young people on the right can receive when there are ideologically friendly members of the faculty to mentor and advise them.