In scathing testimony offered Tuesday, conservative activist Ben Shapiro blasted a California committee on hate speech for their bias against conservatives and on the dangers of the state defining "hate speech."
Here's video of Ben Shapiro's testimony:
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What did he say?
"Your job obviously here at the legislature is to ensure that our freedom of expression is maintained that our First Amendment rights are maintained," Shapiro began, "and what that means first and foremost in my experience on college campuses, is that the heckler's veto must be stopped."
The "heckler's veto" is a phrase describing the unfair shutting out of speech by opponents through threats of violence or shouting down.
"I was at Cal State Los Angeles in February, 2016," he explained, "and there was almost a riot there and the police were not allowed to do their jobs and students were physically assaulted in the crowd. It is the job of this legislature to ensure the police can do their jobs and when they do do their jobs and they're allowed to do that at places like UC Berkeley, everything goes fine.
"And I'd like to make a point here about UC Berkeley," Shapiro said. "The reason it cost $600,000 to bring me to UC Berkeley was not because of me. Everybody keeps suggesting that because I was coming, I'm so controversial and so terrible. I came exactly one year before and it cost this many dollars, it cost zero dollars for security at UC Berkeley."
"The reason it cost $600,000 at UC Berkeley is because Antifa and violent groups had decided that Berkeley was their domain and they were going to run roughshod over law enforcement there," he continued.
On the state defining "hate speech"
"And this does bring up one final point in the long period of time to discuss," he added, "and that is, the problem with a legislative body such as yours trying to draw lines specifically about what hate speech constitutes because the fact is that one of the reasons groups like Antifa show up is not because they know who I am, it's because they've been told by people that I am promulgating hate speech which is utterly false, and utterly untrue.
"There are people who say vile things and with whom I disagree," he explained. "Among them, people like Milo Yiannopoulos who sent me a picture of a black baby on the day of my child's birth because I wasn't sufficiently standing up for the white population supposedly.
"But that does not mean that the legislature gets to decide what hate speech is," he argued. "I've been labeled a promulgator of hate speech when I was the No. 1 target of hate speech according to the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), according to the journalistic community in 2016."
"So let me suggest that as a legislature," he concluded, "your chief job is to ensure that my taxpayer dollars in this state go toward making sure that people like me and people with whom I disagree get to speak in place like college campuses and not toward regulating what speech you find good and what speech you find bad, because it's a really dangerous business. And there's speech I don't like, there's speech you don't like, but if we can't agree that there's a difference between speech and violence, we're not going to be able to have a free state, let alone a free country. Thanks."
What happened at Shapiro's speech at UC Berkeley?
As he notes in his speech to the commission, his appearance at Berkeley was met with left-wing histrionics from Antifa and other extremist left-wing groups. This is just the latest example of free speech being eroded on American campuses.