Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro held a lecture at California State University, Los Angeles, in February. One week ago, university President William Covino hosted a “healing space” meeting to brainstorm ways CSULA can block speakers like Shapiro from visiting the school in the future.
In the newly-released video obtained by the Young America’s Foundation, Covino can be seen emphatically saying he would “never” invite Shapiro to speak on campus, adding that it was students who invited the conservative personality and funded the event.
“I would have never invited anybody like Ben Shapiro,” the president said, later suggesting the university put in place a set of “criteria” that potential speakers must meet in order to be hosted at CSULA.
When asked by a student how he plans to block events like Shapiro’s from happening again, Covino didn’t offer a clear answer, only telling the student he believes — “very tragically and unfortunately” — the issue of hosting a conservative talker will arise again.
During the same session, professor Melinda Abdullah, chair of the college’s Pan-African Studies department, told Covino that she found Shapiro to be an advocate of “anti-blackness,” even calling him a “neo-Nazi,” which she said is “ironic” because she knows he’s Jewish.
“I get he’s Jewish, so that’s ironic that I’m calling him a neo-Nazi,” she said, “but that’s basically what he is. A neo-KKK member — let’s call him that.”