Listen: California professor refuses to debate Ben Shapiro — but would like to fight him

A sociology professor at the University of California, Merced, said he would never debate conservative commentator Ben Shapiro (above) — but did offer to fight him. In a recent rant, the professor made it clear that he's no fan of Shapiro, referring to the pundit as an “a**hole white supremacist.” (Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon)

Kevin Joseph Ryan

Campus Reform posted audio footage of an in-class rant by a sociology professor at the University of California, Merced, in which he said he would never debate conservative commentator Ben Shapiro — but did offer to fight him.

“Y’all think I wouldn’t enjoy ripping this fool’s shoulder out of his socket? Oh my God, y’all don’t know. Y’all don’t know,” lecturer Fernando Cortes Chirino can be heard saying.

Chirano made it clear that he’s no fan of  Shapiro, referring to the pundit as an “a**hole white supremacist.”

In reference to one of Shapiro’s recent campus lectures, Chirino said, “I wish I’d have been there. I love chopping heads off [indecipherable]. Especially white supremacists.”

He added that anyone who does not consider Shapiro racist is a “closeted racist.”

“Don’t be in the closet about your white supremacy, come on out,” Chirino said. “Defend how this is not racist. Defend how this is not a white supremacist.”

He also accused Shapiro of fueling “post-Obama racism” with “race-neutral discourse.”

Chirino did not respond to TheBlaze’s interview requests, although we can confirm that his voicemail greeting features audio clips from a Malcom X speech. TheBlaze also reached out to UC-Merced Dean Elizabeth Dumont, Sociology Department Chair Paul Almeida, and Sociology Department Dean Elizabeth J. Whitt. They have not responded.

What’s this about wanting to fight Shapiro?

In the rant, Chirino referred to a recent New York Times profile that described Shapiro as a “gladiator,” as well as a recent fundraising effort for which UC-Merced students raised $40,000 to have Shapiro speak at the school.

“Gladiator? You should pass this around. While I won’t debate this fool, why don’t you all set up some sort of an MMA [mixed martial arts] thing between me and him. And then, the winner can take those $40,000 and give them to whatever charity they want.  … Gladiator my ass,” Chirino said. “I am completely down for this charity match. Oh, I am completely down with that. I got all day.”

He continued: “I wouldn’t debate him, because being in the same room as that fool is putting this nonsense fascist ideologue on equal footing with me, using my real degree to legitimize garbage politics that are at best nonsensical.”

Chirino holds a master’s degree in sociology and a doctorate in sociology, both from University of California, Irvine.

Shapiro, 33, holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA and a law degree from Harvard and has written nine books. He also hosts a highly celebrated podcast, gives lectures on free speech, and continues to work as a lawyer.

At the conclusion of the class, Chirino urged students to “go home, think about this. Tear your hair out. Explain to me why [Shapiro] is not a white supremacist. If you cannot, the fact is that you’ve been apologizing, that you’ve been defending a white supremacist. It’s OK to come clean — I won’t forgive you, but people change. You don’t gotta be like that.”

According to the Daily Wire, Harry Duran, the president of the UC-Merced College Republicans, said the professor’s rant “deeply disturbs” the student organization.

“Shapiro, [along with] all members of the UC-Merced College Republicans, were repeatedly called ‘white supremacists’ and ‘fascists’ during Fernando Chirino’s lecture,” Duran said. “This spreading of false and harmful information to the students of UC-Merced not only labels Republican club members in a horrific fashion, but destroys the fabric of our intellectual space.”

(Content warning: Rough language):