Chicago’s DePaul University is receiving large amounts of online backlash after the administration failed to allow authorities to intervene at a protest of conservative journalist Milo Yiannopoulos. During Yiannopoulos’ speaking engagement, two protesters came onto the stage and tried to stop the event by threatening violence upon the controversial journalist and trying to disrupt the speech by blowing whistles and chanting on stage. However, this entire time the campus security (along with additional security Milo and the group setting up the event paid for) sat in the background doing nothing.
The protesters on stage, later identified as Minister Edward Ward, and Kayla Johnson (who’s mother, Juanita Johnson, works for the Chicago Police as a director of administration), threatened Milo with violence, and forced the event to be shut down. After the event was forced to be closed, Milo asked attendants to walk with him to the University President’s office. Almost 24 hours later, the DePaul University president finally gave a response. However, there was no apology to Milo or the group that set the event for not intervening:
I awoke this morning to the reports and online videos of yesterday’s speech by Milo Yiannopoulos and the accompanying protest. I was sorry to see it. Mr. Yiannopoulos and I share very few opinions. […] Generally, I do not respond to speakers of Mr. Yiannopoulos’ ilk, as I believe they are more entertainers and self-serving provocateurs than the public intellectuals they purport to be. Their shtick is to shock and incite a strong emotional response they can then use to discredit the moral high ground claimed by their opponents. This is unworthy of university discourse, but not unfamiliar across American higher education. There will always be speakers who exploit the differences within our human community to their own benefit, blissfully unconcerned with the damage they leave behind. […] Yesterday’s speaker was invited to speak at DePaul, and those who interrupted the speech were wrong to do so. Universities welcome speakers, give their ideas a respectful hearing, and then respond with additional speech countering the ideas. I was ashamed for DePaul University when I saw a student rip the microphone from the hands of the conference moderator and wave it in the face of our speaker. […] I wish to thank our Student Affairs staff, Public Safety team, Student Center employees, Chicago police and temporary contract safety personnel. […] On behalf of the university, I apologize to the DePaul College Republicans. They deserved an opportunity to hear their speaker uninterrupted, and were denied it.
Because of their lack of response, DePaul University’s Facebook page has been profile bombed, and now only has a 1.3 star rating on the site’s review system. We will keep you updated on any more info for this story as it develops.