Dear Matt Teitelbaum,
First off, congratulations on the work you've been doing lately . We go to the same college, and it fills me with pride to see a classmate voicing their opinion.
Here are some issues you might consider addressing in the future. This is not a critique of your work. I will offer no opinion on whether Yiannopoulos should, or should not be invited to our university. These are merely questions (and one observation) I had after reading both of your recent pieces in Huffington Post.
1. You seem to think that you, and other students, can confront Yiannopoulos on the “battlefield” and present an intellectual argument strong enough to convert him and people like him. Do you really think that’s possible? Many people have already tried to do that same thing. They tried to do it with him, with Trump, DeVos, etc.. They presented valid arguments with overwhelming evidence, however they were unsuccessful in changing people’s minds. So how will you, or anyone else for that matter, be different in your efforts to confront Yiannopoulos and present valid arguments that actually inflict progressive change?
2. You mention how Yiannopoulos has been growing in influence since what happened at Berkley, and that it is because of the backlash he received that he now has a bigger platform to speak from. However you are also helping him grow in influence by increasing his “mentions.” How do you feel about that?
3. By hosting Yiannopoulos, you are supporting him. Even though there may be no money involved, you are providing him with a platform, you are legitimizing him, and you are continuing to help keep his name in the headlines. I understand your point about “avoiding the battle” and wanting to protect his freedom of speech. I have a deep love, respect, and admiration for our First Amendment. It is one of the things that makes America unique and wonderful. However choosing not to invite public figure to give a speech at a university is not an infringement upon the First Amendment. Additionally, inviting a speaker can be seen as validating their message. Do you think it’s possible to host someone, and give them a platform to preach their ideology, without supporting them?
And lastly, this isn’t a question, merely a comment. You condemn liberals for name-calling conservatives, and then refer to those same liberals as “regressive babies” and “the shame of the progressive movement.” In addition to these direct quotes, you insinuate that liberals are throwing tantrums and that liberals refuse to, or are incapable of having a true political debate. You also argue that liberals are armed only with ad hominem attacks, a technique which coincidently you employ in your argument as well. This is hypocritical.
In conclusion, I wish you the best of luck as you continue to write and give interviews. And I am grateful for the First Amendment which protects both of us, and many others, as we continue to voice our opinions.