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Pepperdine Graphic @PeppGraphic
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Pepperdine College Republicans presents @benshapiro in a few minutes! Stay with us as we live tweet the event.
Pepperdine College Republicans President and SGA President Austin Welch gives the opening remarks. “The administration and this community have been so supportive of this civil thought and discourse.”
Garen Kosoyan, president of Pepperdine College Democrats, gives the opening prayer. “We are here to engage in civil discourse as well.”
Ben Shapiro opens his conversation with a round of applause for people who are present and who do not agree with his views.
Shapiro acknowledges the meeting that occurred Thursday evening where clubs came together to discuss his appearance.
"That sounds incredibly boring," he said.
“What I’m interested in is making things better, not complaining about things that are bad,” Shapiro said when discussing an event that recently took place on campus called “Words that Hurt.”
Shapiro spoke on being called part of the "alt-right." "I spent the entire 2016 election cycle and parts of the 2017 year ripping apart the alt-right," Shapiro said.
“This is insane,” Shapiro said on being compared to the alt-right. “This is what I mean when I say you are putting me in a category with a bunch of people who I despise.”
"The whole point of having a Democratic Republic is that we can come together and discuss policy to come up with solutions," Shapiro said on expressing differing political views.
"Identity politics is corrupting our politics," Shapiro said.
"If you say I'm a racist, I'm not going to have a conversation with you because I think you're an asshole," Shapiro said.
Ben Shapiro has ended his lecture. His "going rule" is that if one disagrees with him, they go to the front of the line "because it's more fun."
At least 20 people have gotten up to ask questions.
Austin Welch asks the first question about what it's like for a conservative to not vote for Republic candidate in the 2016 election. Shapiro in his lecture said he did not vote for either Hillary Clinton or President Donald J. Trump.
"On policy there are many things to praise," Shapiro said. "On character there are certainly many things to criticize."
First audience question: How does Shapiro support a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border financially? His answer: Because he said he thinks it will "outlast the amount being spent on illegal immigrants."
"I also agree with you that the wall will not be all, end all," Shapiro said.
The audience member's follow-up question: What about legal immigration? His answer: "I was against what Trump initially termed the 'Muslim ban.'"
Garen Kosoyan asks the second audience question and acknowledges the "bitch fest" comment Shapiro made about last Thursday's gathering to discuss Shapiro's appearance. "I didn't want another Berkeley, so that's why I organized the event."
"I apologize for calling it a bitch fest if it was not in fact a bitch fest," Shapiro said. The audience laughed when Shapiro asked if the meeting did speak poorly about him, to which Garen answered that they did.
Third audience question speak on behalf of groups who met last week to discuss Shapiro's upcoming lecture. She asked about how Shapiro's faith impacts his politics.
"When it comes to these public policy discussions, you'd be hard pressed to find me using religion as a rationale," Shapiro answered.
Answering the fourth audience question about conservatism in a post-Trump era, Shapiro answered, "Donald Trump is not a King David-like figure... It's your job to be Nathan. It's your job to say something when he's doing something wrong."
An audience question asks about jail sentencing for those who sell crack cocaine versus powder cocaine. He answered that "virtually every law" effects members of the population in some way.
An audience member asks what Shapiro's preferential candidate would be in the 2020 election and his thoughts on populism. Shapiro answered that anyone who runs against President Trump will be "crushed."
"I'm not a populist. I think populism itself is dangerous," Shapiro said. He also said people didn't vote for Trump because of his ideologies, it was because he likes "punching things" and was aggressive in his campaign style.
An audience member did not ask a question, but made a statement that Shapiro should practice more humility in his discourse.
The audience member also referenced Milton Friedman in his statement as someone who Shapiro should look to when engaging in public discourse.
An audience member who is representing @PepperdineBSA asked why Shapiro denies institutional racism. Shapiro answered that it has to do with income mobility. "It's not where people started, it's why does that stuff last?"
"Statistically, this is really not happening," Shapiro said about Black people being targeted by police brutality. "Cops get off on everything, it's not limited to Black people."
Shapiro allowed this audience member a follow-up question. He brought up the psychology behind the statistics that impact Black individuals politically and socioeconomically in the U.S.
Shapiro answered, "It is true. Terrible things have happened to people that look like you, particularly your grandfather. Now the question is, what do you want to do about it? ... The best revenge is success."
The audience member asked why is it fair that some individuals have "to cross a volcano" while others have to "just go across the pond?"
"That's not something that can be cured by government. It's not my fault that I was born across the pond (an audience member "ooh-ed" after he said this) ... I don't decide where I was born, but the idea that my opinion matters less," Shapiro shook his head.
Alpha Phi Alpha President said that Pepperdine showed Shapiro respect and dignity in his speech. He also said that there is such a thing as systematic racism. "There's not going to be as many Black engineers as there are White engineers," he said.
The audience member's question (and the final question of the evening), "What is your means to an end?" Shapiro said he wants "everybody treating each other as individuals" and that limiting government can enable that.
"It's a disparity, not discrimination," Shapiro said on there allegedly being more Black engineers than there are White engineers at Pepperdine.
The Q&A portion of the evening has ended. "Thank you for having me. This is one of the best one's that we have done, and I've really enjoyed this university," Shapiro said. Some students gave Shapiro a standing ovation.
Thank you for joining the Graphic in our live tweeting of @benshapiro's on-campus event! Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday!
Correction: On there allegedly being more White engineers than Black.
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