Ben Shapiro presented “To Save America, Wokeness Must Be Destroyed,” and took questions from observers Wednesday evening.
The event was sponsored in part by the Iowa State Committee on Lectures, and Young Americans For Freedom, a student organization that promotes the principles of limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise, a strong national defense and traditional values, as outlined in the Sharon Statement.
Shapiro’s lecture was to serve as a critique of left-wing ideologies and how the elimination of “wokeness” will save America.
“The only way you’re going to be able to break the chains of history is to make good decisions," Shapiro said during his lecture. "What people on the left like to talk about isn’t actions and solutions; all they [the left] like to do is bitch about problems that occurred 60 years ago.”
Thomas King, a sophomore majoring in biology, delivered the first question to Shapiro and prefaced it with, “as a biologist here at ISU, I can confirm that there are two genders, by the way,” followed by a question regarding CNN+.
An unidentified questioner prefaced their question by chanting “Black Lives Matter” three times, afterwards expressing they were joking.
“When he started that I was like ‘Oh my goodness!’ because for a second I thought he was Black, but I think he seemed to be white, so when I saw that and people started booing where we were sitting, I was taken aback,” said Cindy d'Almeida, a Black freshman at Iowa State majoring in biology.
D'Almeida said she could see some of the points made by Shapiro but not all of them.
“There were some points, like the sexual education in classes and schools, where it really didn’t make sense to why that wouldn’t be taught in school,” d’Almeida said.
The point d’Almeida is referencing is a portion of Shapiro’s lecture where he said sexual education does not need to be taught in schools to children and that humans have been able to propagate for centuries without being taught sexual education.
Shapiro spoke on social issues in regard to sexuality and gender and said men are men and women are women, expressively in opposition to left-wing ideology, according to him.
“We may say there are ‘male’ and ‘female,’ but there are in-betweens,” d’Almeida said. “There are more mixes of ‘X’ and ‘Y’ chromosomes.”
On social media platforms such as Twitter and the Iowa State University subreddit, some students voiced their disapproval for Shapiro’s arrival, expressed in a post titled, Please don't go to the Ben Shapiro thing to make a scene and give him content by Reddit user u/alienatedframe. D’Almeida shared her stance on Shapiro’s arrival.
“I feel like if they want to have somebody like that on campus, then they should,” d’Almeida said. "It may affect some people negatively, but as long as they can have their own people represent them too, then everybody should.”