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Milo Yiannopoulos to visit Cal Poly SLO | College …

Alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos will return to Cal Poly later this month, once again at the invitation of the Cal Poly College Republicans.

Yiannopoulos will speak at Mott Athletic Center at 7 p.m. on April 26; he is set to be joined by conservative YouTube show hosts Austen Fletcher, known online as Fleccas, and Carl Benjamin, known as Sargon of Akkad.

In a statement released Thursday morning on Facebook, the College Republicans cited the cancellation of a Cal Poly-sponsored fake news panel in February as the inspiration behind the invitations.

The club originally invited Bill Whittle, whose remarks linking race to intelligence drew heated criticism, to participate in the February panel; when Whittle withdrew, the College Republicans offered up Yiannopoulos as a replacement but were denied.

“After they withdrew all their support and pulled their speakers a week before the event, we began to orchestrate an event of our own,” the club’s Facebook post said.

In a response to a Tribune inquiry on Wednesday, Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier wrote in an email that the event “is being presented by the club, not by the university,” but defended the university’s decision to allow Yiannopoulos who has used previous speaking engagements to decry feminism and abortion and to harass transgender college students to speak.

“Censoring language and viewpoints violates First Amendment rights and does not represent what Cal Poly stands for as a university,” Lazier wrote.

When he spoke at Cal Poly last year, Yiannopoulos was a rising star on the right; he was technology editor for Breitbart, with a lucrative book deal and a college campus tour generating fresh controversies.

While his appearance at Cal Poly was uneventful unlike the violent protests that led to his UC Berkeley speech being canceled Cal Poly and the California State University system spent more than $55,000 to provide security for the event: 109 police officers, including SWAT members. The event also cost the City of San Luis Obispo more than $9,000.

“University officials are discussing measures that will be taken in order to maintain a safe and secure campus environment while allowing the club to proceed with its event,” Lazier wrote.

In the 15 months since his last visit, Yiannopoulos resigned from his Breitbart position after his remarks defending pedophilia surfaced; his book deal was also canceled.

In October 2017, Buzzfeed published a lengthy article tying Yiannopoulos and his former boss, ex-Breitbart head and former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, to the burgeoning online white supremacist and neo-Nazi movement.

The story included video of Yiannopoulos singing “America the Beautiful” at a karaoke bar, with white supremacist leader Richard Spencer and others in the crowd delivering the Nazi salute.

However, Yiannopoulos continues to tour college campuses he is scheduled to speak at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on April 11.

While not so high profile as Yiannopoulos, both Fletcher and Benjamin have built a reputation for themselves in the online alt-right community.

Fletcher routinely attends protests for liberal causes and conducts interviews where he belittles and humiliates protesters. The “About” page of his YouTube account reads, “Leftist protesters roast themselves while being interviewed by a guy holding a microphone taped to a spoon.”

Like Yiannopoulos, Benjamin was an active influencer of the #GamerGate movement, a Twitter-based campaign that harassed women in the video game community, some of whom were forced into hiding after receiving death threats.

The Cal Poly College Republicans said all three men will take part in a panel to discuss fake news.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the Cal Poly Students for Quality Education who led the last protest against Yiannopoulos wrote that, “Anyone who invites Milo Yiannopoulos to our campus is not invested in productive or generative dialogue, rather they are invested in bullying and demonizing the most vulnerable in our community.”

The group added that they “refuse to debate the legality of Mr. Yiannopoulos’ presence, and we call on people of moral conscience to show up and resist the hatred, bigotry and propaganda that is Milo Yiannopoulos’ brand.”

The Tribune has reached out to Yiannopoulos for comment. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Meet The New California Counterculture: College Republicans

At the California College Republicans Convention this spring, a war was brewing between loud, unapologetic, Milo Yiannopoulosendorsed activists and moderate, policy-focused nerds. Guess who won?

Posted on April 29, 2018, at 10:31 a.m. ET

Shortly after 5 p.m. on a recent Saturday in April, the Chem 1179 lecture hall at the University of California, Santa Barbara, erupts in the kind of screaming you usually only hear when the headliner finally walks onstage at a concert. Coming down the right aisle of the auditorium is a man whose hair is highlighted with blonde streaks, in leopard-print shorts and a military-style jacket with red epaulettes, sunglasses still on (indoors), and diamond studs gleaming in his ears. The woman behind me turns the color of an anguished beet and screams his name: Milo!!!

Right-wing troll Milo Yiannopoulos has arrived as the surprise guest during the second day of this years California College Republicans Convention, where college Republicans from around the state are meeting for a weekend of speeches and drinking. The convention will conclude in a vote on the third day for a handful of leadership positions, including communications director, secretary, and the big one: chairperson. Today is mostly dedicated to students and guest speakers lecturing on foes in the liberal media (turns out its me!), the future of the GOP, and how to convince other millennials and Gen Z kids to become Republicans.

The mechanics of campus politics are rarely interesting. The stakes are low, the rules are complicated and tedious, and the impact of their elections is rarely explicitly seen or felt. But here the mood is more like a three-day prom, where its abundantly clear whos popular, whos not, and whos going to be prom king or queen. And Yiannopoulos might have just nabbed that ultimate honor without even running for it.

Yiannopoulos begins greeting his audience, currently losing their fucking minds over him. The woman who screamed his name clasps her hands over her mouth and looks like shes in physical pain, so much so that I have to ask if shes happy or (as I naively imagined) upset. In response, she screams, Im happy, Im happy! What the fuck! Oh my god, I dont have my glasses on!

Milo Yiannopoulos poses for photos with students at the California College Republicans Convention at the University of California, Santa Barbara, on April 7, 2018.

You might be someone who thinks of Yiannopoulos, who was booed out of a bar in New York this week, as a defeated figure of the far-right. But here, he walks among the students like a high school quarterback whos returned for homecoming, still the hero. Young women are literally weeping at the sight of him, boys are begging him for hugs and calling him gorgeous. One woman just wants to talk about free speech, telling him, You should be able to say anything you want. You cant say were for freedom of speech if youre going to critique people for what they say. Another takes a photo with him and screams, I cant wait to tell my parents I took a picture with a famous gay person! A brown man with family in India praises Yiannopoulos for being the only one talking about Islamist violence, which isnt the most uncomfortable thing to happen all weekend, but its certainly up there.

For most of the crowd, being in proximity to Yiannopoulos is the coolest fucking thing to ever happen. They love his type of politics: loud, ugly, self-serving, attention-grabbing, an approach in which a fierce attitude trumps any sort of discernible political policy. But for a small minority of college Republicans gathered here, this is their worst-case scenario.

For most of the crowd, being in proximity to Milo Yiannopoulos is the coolest fucking thing to ever happen.

When you have people that are actively spewing hate speech, which he has the right to say, I just dont think we should be the ones hosting it, says Michael Gofman, a 20-year-old UC Davis student who is running for chair of the College Republicans this year. Gofman strikes me as the most polite man in the world, so this seems like the strongest language he could possibly muster. I think hes terrible. I think hes bad for our party.

For Gofman, Yiannopoulos is emblematic of the larger division within the California College Republicans, an us versus them problem: us, the reasonable Republicans who want to talk about the issues, versus them, the bombastic, loud, flashy winners. Yiannopoulos is a celebrity, and within the Republican Party of 2018, celebrity wins. Tomorrow, theres an election to be held for the control of the party. A lot of the people attending think he doesnt have much of a chance, but hes still hopeful: Its too early to tell. Its going to be too close to call.

If the CCR Convention is prom, then Ariana Rowlands, a 21-year-old University of California, Irvine, student, is the queen. Rowlands, the biracial daughter of two immigrants, is immediately recognizable in any crowd at the convention you just need to look for a thick wave of curly black hair amongst the largely white, largely male crowd. She is the incumbent chairperson of CCR, a close friend of Yiannopoulos, and the reason hes made a surprise appearance; shes also brought him to UC Irvine.

This terms CCR convention is striking a similar tone to the last one, held in October 2017, where Rowlands won against incumbent Leesa Danzek. If you ask a Rowlands supporter about that election, theyd likely tell you Danzek was a rule-following, establishment cog. If you ask a Rowlands detractor, theyd likely tell you that Rowlands is an agent of chaos whos more interested in disrupting the status quo than enacting any real policies. Rowlands victory was, depending on who you asked, either an upset or upsetting. (Danzek herself did not responded to multiple requests for comment.)

Clockwise from top left: Ariana Rowlands, California College Republicans chair; Efrain Becerra, 32, of the College of the Sequoias and the Central Valley; Michael Gofman, of UC Davis; California State Fullerton students Jason Bonney (left), and Michael Emparan.

Since her initial win, Rowlands hasnt spent much time on time-honored college Republican activities like student recruitment or door-knocking for state candidates ahead of the June 5 California primaries, in races which may prove incredibly important for Republicans trying to keep control of the real House of Representatives; thats the kind of work that doesnt get national media attention. (Rowlands says this is merely because thus far in her term, its been too early to focus on something like campaigning for the primaries.) Instead, her pet projects are issues like free speech, fighting a left-leaning media, and building a border wall. Rowlands is more focused on a Trump- (and Yiannopoulos-) inspired brand of political activism, one that spreads conservative ideas by generating agitprop, rather than worrying too much about policies or convincing moderates to vote Republican.

These [students] are really told that theyre wrong, theyre bad people, theyre stupid, theyre racist for holding normal conservative beliefs, Rowlands tells me on the first day of the convention. Theyre tired of it, theyre sick of it. This is us standing up and saying weve had enough.

She posts photos of herself on Instagram holding guns, wearing MAGA apparel, and posing with Ann Coulter. (Caption: Haters gonna hate. ) Shes been a guest on Fox News to talk about the War on Christmas on campuses and has written for Breitbart News. Just under a month before the convention, she posted a photo on Instagram at the border wall with Yiannopoulos. Rowlands has managed to frame the idea of being a far-right conservative as a kind of counterculture, trading on the appeal of flouting whats typically expected of Californian college students by siding with the oldest, whitest, most establishment group you can think of.

CCR, and the way Rowlands guides it, matters to the Republican party on a state level. Whenever anyone needs any sort of campaign help or volunteers or potential job applicants, were the first people that [the Republicans] come to, Rowlands says. CCR members go door-knocking, canvas potential voters, and collect survey data about which side voters are leaning toward before an election. And this kind of campaigning is especially important for GOP candidates right now, as midterms across the country are turning out to be a battle even in the most entrenched Republican states. They help make calls, they do a lot of the ground organization, they walk precincts, they do all the hard work, says Matt Fleming, communications director for the California Republican Party. To say what they do is important almost diminishes what they do. We need them.

Republicans in California, meanwhile, are trying to change the idea that their state is a foregone Democrat conclusion, even going so far as to propose splitting up the state. Trump himself recently tweeted that there is a Revolution going on in California. But the worry among some Republicans, namely the more moderate ones, is that the midterms will act as a repudiation of Trump and consequently all Republicans, making the California Democratic supermajority even harder to beat.

The conflict between the students here at CCR is a microcosm of a much larger one happening in the Republican Party itself.

To Rowlands opponent Michael Gofman, the way to shore up the GOP against a blue wave is not through protesting or posing with controversial conservative celebrities on Instagram. We just want to come here and talk about the things we believe in and our vision for the California College Republicans, one thats a lot more issue-based, and talking about policy, he tells me. What we can do to get people elected, and less being campus activists.

Gofman is running on a slate called Unite CCR (Rowlands is Rise CCR; each slate has a number of candidates for different positions) and is a moderate in every sense: calm, gentle, and completely unassuming, were it not for his considerable height. If Rowlands is a bombastic, charismatic, galvanizing leader, Gofman is a consummate professional, the (young) adult in the room who never raises his voice, and thinks everyone could work together if they all just calmed down, followed the rules, and conducted things the way politicians used to, in the polite old days. Essentially, boring, deeply unsexy politics exactly the kind of approach that doesnt seem to work anymore in the post-Trump era.

The conflict bubbling within the California College Republicans between people like Rowlands and Gofman, and their respective slates, is similar to one were seeing nationally: Do Republican politicians need to be bold, unapologetic, and often wildly offensive, to be effective? Or should they return to the decorum and professional tenor formerly expected in politics? Should the right use the activism tactics more often employed by the left which might mean more events like the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville (which ended in violence and one death) or the free speech rally held in Boston last year to further their agenda, or should they focus on policy and campaigning? The conflict between the students here at CCR is a microcosm of a much larger one happening in the Republican Party itself.

After the speeches in the lecture hall are over, theres a catered dinner set up outside under a tent with twinkle lights, where Yiannopoulos will be giving his surprise comments. While Rowlands sits at a table near the front with Yiannopoulos, Gofman idles near the side of the tent. He claps politely after the speech. He doesnt want a photo.

While Rowlands is squarely in the now, doing what she can to make a splash the Rise CCR Facebook page boasts that this year they garnered more activity and press coverage than ever before Gofman is, at least in his view, trying to play a long game. My goal is a Republican Party thats inclusive and a big tent that houses all sorts of different people. When youre talking about lesbians arent real or that all Muslims are terrorists, its not going to help make our party bigger, he says. If we start focusing on gender and race, all of those regressive things that were accusing the Democrats of using, then we really have no high ground. The election, then, is a battle between decency in one corner and bombast in the other.

Hes definitely going to lose.

College students from 70 schools gathered for the California College Republicans Convention in Santa Barbara, California.

The afternoon before, the spring CCR convention kicked off with a casual welcome party at Goleta Beach Park, on the other end of campus, where 30 or so early attendees met up to drink Heineken in chilly weather. Rowlands was there in a one-piece Make America Great Again bathing suit, a California College Republicans flag draped over her shoulders (recently redesigned using the antifa colors), and white and gold Ivanka Trumpbrand sneakers. Otherwise, it just looked like a bunch of college students on the beach, standing around drinking in their alma mater sweatshirts and listening to Drake. (Later in the weekend, they will combine their MAGA hats with suits and ties, alongside at least one Supreme/Louis Vuitton hoodie.) So, your average campus gathering, aside from the fact that everyone was talking about the scourge of socialism.

Rowlands often frames herself as an underdog, which is strange, because shes the incumbent candidate with the loudest support of anyone here. Sometimes she can be a little harsh with people, said Dominick DiCesare, a 21-year-old UCSB student, a delegate, and a Rowlands supporter despite their minor disagreements. DiCesare, and most of the people hanging out at the park, felt like Rowlands represents a bigger, better, bolder direction all Republicans need to go in if they want the party to survive.

Knocking on doors isnt going to work. Activism works, DiCesare said. The left is going around and they have this high activism where they go march in protests and they make events and they videotape things. Why cant we do the same? The CCR gathering was briefly interrupted by a small crowd of men cheering on a guy whos trying to chug a beer. (It takes a very long time.)

Eric Lendrum, 23, a University of California, Santa Barbara, graduate, pumps his fist as the crowd cheers for him after giving a speech.

The chugger was Eric Lendrum, 23, a recent UCSB grad whos returned just for the CCR festivities. We are a tiny minority in the state right now. You have a split between conservatives, like, say, Travis Allan or Melissa Melendez, conservative populists versus establishment moderates like Chad Mayes, Arnold Schwarzenegger, saying, no, we need to go further left, he said, which just doesnt work.

Schwarzenegger in particular is a constant theme all weekend, touted as a model for the worst kind of Republican: a RINO, or Republican In Name Only. Most of the CRs here believe politicians like Schwarzenegger spend too much time trying to compromise with Democrats, their tone is too conciliatory, and their policies too left-leaning. Schwarzenegger is also one of the supporters of New Way California, a centrist advocacy group started by Mayes, which argues for a more moderate Republican party in the state in hopes of wooing independents and undecided voters. The CRs at Goleta Beach, echoing hard-line conservatives elsewhere, talk about Schwarzenegger as a traitor to the party, the very thing keeping Republicans from thriving.

Considering Californias current Democratic supermajority, the state might seem like an unlikely battleground for the soul of the Republican Party, at a college level or otherwise. But its more complicated than that. California was the birthplace of Jerry Falwells Moral Majority, the home base of alt-right media like Breitbart, and the state of origin for the Claremont Institute, the closest thing the Trump movement might have to an ideological center. Dotted across its blue expanse are long-standing pockets of conservatism such as Orange County, where last month the Board of Supervisors voted against Californias sanctuary laws. But Californias liberal gloss, combined with a student body who likely went to left-leaning high schools (or are currently going to left-leaning universities) means those students are now feeling politically alienated and ready to join forces with other students just like them.

Matthew Vitale, deputy Southern vice chair, helps members register for the organization’s convention; Kimo Gandall, parliamentarian, sits at a registration “help desk.”

California campuses are also a kind of ground zero for conservatives battling what they perceive as ideological censorship. In 2017, conflict erupted at the University of California, Berkeley, when staff and students announced they would be boycotting a series of appearances from right-wing speakers, including Coulter, Yiannopoulos, and Mike Cernovich. (The event was sneeringly called Free Speech Week.) Berkeley, though considered a deeply liberal campus, is being held up by right-wing activists and politicians as the most urgent example of free speech wars in America.

Trump has “really inspired a lot of people to speak up and not be afraid to speak their mind.”

Michael Gofmans slate, Unite CCR, is certainly more in line with Schwarzeneggers approach than Yiannopouloss, but its tough to know what his exact policies are, since no one campaigning or running for Unite showed up to any social events on the first day of the convention. This weekend is a last-ditch effort to get out the vote for Unite, especially considering how likely a Rise (or Rowlands) victory feels. (Gofman will later tell me that their absence was because Unite representatives were campaigning elsewhere, but where exactly is never made clear.) Regardless, they dont come to the beach for midday drinks, nor do they show up a few hours later to an empty and poorly lit parking lot next to the Courtyard by Marriott as it happens, a Romney-connected franchise for the cigar social. (They were supposed to have it on the Marriott property, but neglected to ask if they were allowed to smoke there. They were not.)

Theres a debate scheduled for Saturday between Rowlands and Gofman, but it seems unlikely itll happen because Rowlands says Unite, much like the administration previous to hers, is afraid to talk to her. I think its because they dont actually have any ideas, Rowlands said. Either way, she didnt seem worried; her missions are much bigger, taking conservatism further right and hoping to become the voice not just of aggrieved college students who feel voiceless in liberal-leaning institutions, but to affect that kind of change for the Republican party itself. I think that the type of conservatism weve adopted within CCR, the bold and unapologetic conservatism, is the way forward for the Republican party, she said, adding that Trump has really inspired a lot of people to speak up and not be afraid to speak their mind.

As students register outside, California College Republicans Chair Ariana Rowlands prepares to give a welcome speech at the podium at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Gofman shows up on Saturday to the Chemistry auditorium on the UCSB campus, late, looking disoriented and clearly exhausted. Hes a consummate professional in khakis and a button-up shirt, with his mental state written across his face: Look, Im trying, okay! He later revealed he had a final trick up his sleeve: a plan to combat widespread fear of Rowlands by introducing a motion for a secret ballot vote, instead of having delegates vote publicly, like they usually do. Chapters have told me, We will vote for you, all of us, if you get a secret ballot, he tells me later. People are scared of her.

When you provide an alternative thats loud, and bombastic, and incendiary, it gets people excited because its something different, he tells me in reference to Rowlands. Were both dissuading the vote from us and were not getting that experience thats going to help us in the real world. Gofman is anxious about populist leaders with a cult of personality hes Jewish, and his parents come from the Soviet Union.

Rowlands takes the podium at the front of the auditorium for her welcome speech, wearing a bright red dress and looking gleeful. The speech is largely forgettable; the only people in the audience who show much of a reaction are Unite slate loyalists sitting in the back two rows. They dont veer into full-on heckling, but are hissing insults about Rowlands to each other, looking at their phones to convey how bored they are, and muttering fact-checks under their breaths.

“She’s definitely going to win. Everyone hates her, and she’s going to win.”

Gofman might be a mild-mannered voice of reason looking to work together, but his supporters are furious. Theyre angry that people are allegedly removing themselves from the organization, that Rowlands personally threatens or screams at CCR members if they dont vote her way (she has denied this), that there are allegedly high school students present at the convention to pad out the membership of college chapters, that complicated, niche constitutional rules within CCR are being broken, and that Rowlands has gone from being an outsider trying to break in, to being the establishment herself and running everything with an iron fist. They also allege that Rowlands temperament has made the California Republicans take a big step back from her. (Fleming, their communications director, denies this. She certainly has a fiery personality, he told me. But like I said, a lot of people would call that enthusiasm.)

My biggest concern is its midterm elections time, says Kavya Maddali, a 22-year-old St. Marys student. We really need to be out there, getting the vote out. Rowlands focus on activism, say most on the Unite slate, means there will be a lack of attention on helping state Republicans who are running for office.

We have Republicans up north who are going to lose their seat this time around, and shes not willing to send CRs up there to walk, knock on doors, says Vanessa Mach, whos running as cochair with Gofman. She thinks that Rowlands considers those candidates too moderate to be real Republicans. We want to voice our concerns on getting politicians elected. She thinks activism will get people elected, which it wont.

To some, Rowlands focus on activism means shes more than just a distraction: Shes an ideological enemy. I would consider myself feverishly Republican, and Im all about President Trump, says Andrew Mendoza, 19, the CCR chair for UC Davis. After the election, everyone was trying to paint it as if she was representing the Trump party. Honestly, shes a Democrat. She operates as a Democrat. Mendoza resents Rowlands for making the student government centralized, how shes creating fuckin, like, a million committees with no clear purpose. But, he admits, Shes definitely going to win. Everyone hates her, and shes going to win.

College students vote for superlative awards by placing paper in labeled bags.

After Rowlands speech, most of the Unite slate immediately stands up to go get brunch, hang out on the beach, and have a few drinks. What they miss is a day largely dedicated to speeches from people like David Blair, the national director of youth for Trump. He gives the crowd tips on how to recruit other students to become CRs such as asking open-ended questions like, Hey, what do you think of freedom? and how to deal with hostile recruitment targets who think all Republicans are fascists. (His advice: Forget them. That is the person I am trying to beat. Im not trying to recruit them. Theyll come around one day when they have a job, pay taxes, have a family.)

And then theres Shawn Steel, a lawyer and former chair for the California Republican Party. His talk focuses largely on the nightmare that California has become his PowerPoint presentation includes a slide about how much human feces is found on the streets of San Francisco. (This is a pretty common Fox News report about how liberalism specifically is making Californias streets run brown.)

Hes also a big supporter of Rowlands, and the one who provided cigars for the cigar social in the parking lot. After his speech, Steel talks to me about Rowlands while we walk to a nearby Starbucks during the lunch break.

I think shes terribly important, he says. The left doesnt know what to do with her. Shes good-looking, shes articulate, shes Hispanic, theyre just befuddled. In a way, its Trumpian. She broke the eggs, unsettled a lot of people. She is actually a new force in Republican politics. Steel tells me this while asking the barista at Starbucks for a cold cup and a pen so he can write his own order down: Grande Frappuccino, no base, three pumps, non-fat milk three quarters of the way, packed with ice, blended, with a triple espresso on the side, two-thirds decaf, which he then pours into the finished Frappuccino.

While Steel sips on his very confusing and sad Frappuccino, he asks me about the ethnic origins of my name, which I tell him is from Kashmir. When he asks about my familys religious background, and I tell him were Hindu, he lights up. Oh, he says. You are definitely an outsiders outsider. Then he tells me about a calendar he has that marks all the great conflicts of radical Islams defeats.

Eventually, I manage to extract myself from the conversation, but not before a few parting words from Steel. “Bless your soul,” he says.

Members of the California College Republicans light and smoke cigars at the cigar social event on the first night of the three-day convention in Santa Barbara, California on April 6, 2018.

The open mic period on Saturday, which closes out the events leading up to the finale dinner, is mostly filled with people cheering on Rise and, more generally, America. (One student reads from a prepared speech, How do you define the American nation? In my search, I found that you can find America on every horse ranch, and every rodeo, it is rhythm and blues and rock and roll. If theres anything more Caucasian than calling R&B rhythm and blues I, in my search, have not yet found it.) But while two men are giving an unprompted lesson on how to dress for success as a Republican (shoes match your belt, French cuffs means youve levelled up), Yiannopoulos appears and literally steals the show.

While his adult-world influence may have waned, Yiannopoulos possesses a most potent form of political power in his ability to repurpose the same activist tactics that liberals traditionally use to pull people together. He has a clear list of enemies: liberals, feminists, academics, people of color. Though, he doesnt think hes a racist. “The reason people get upset with me is because I’m effective. And funny. I don’t have opinions that aren’t shared by a million Americans. I don’t say anything outrageous. I’m not a racist, I’m not a sexist, I’m not an outrageous terrible person, I just don’t mind who gets upset. To be more upset about humor than you are about actual real beliefs and policies is fucked up.” His tactics, just like Rowlands, though, are all about creating commotion, then using that mess to create solidarity. (Rowlands says Yiannopoulos financed his own trip to CCR; Yiannopoulos makes a quip during his dinner speech about how hes between billionaires right now and that his speech has to be short since its unpaid.)

And its working. When Yiannopoulos appears, you can see Gofman and the other Unite delegates even if theyre wholly starstruck immediately deflate. How do you beat the woman who brings Milo Yiannopoulos, a verified famous person, up close and personal to all these students? How do you campaign against celebrity? How do you even come back to the dry, process-oriented nature of the convention after Milo Yiannopoulos shows up to have dinner and, later, to go dancing with you? If the odds of Gofmans secret-ballot maneuver making an upset possible were long before, they seem even longer now.

After the final vote one student pushes my recorder into my chest, telling me, “You got your Marxist, third-world, shithole policies!”

Yiannopoulos gives a brief speech to the still-hungry crowd about how they need to come together as one, instead of splintering off into too-small subgroups. Youre facing an enemy that owns, controls, operates every branch of civil society and much of the government. And youre behaving like children. Snap the fuck out of it, he says to applause. You guys need to be working together. You have one generation left to fix this. Up to you if youre going to do it. It could seem, maybe, like a message of unity, if unity means siding with the biggest and loudest person on the playground.

Whether or not your chosen slice or faction or, as it seems to be the case, splinter is currently incumbent, effective organizations require discipline, leadership, and respect, he tells them. I dont see much of that here. Thats a shame, because it makes all of you ineffective. Everyone, including those on the Unite slate, clap as loud as they can, their eyes glassy and full of admiration.

Maddali, an Indian immigrant who has spent most of the weekend openly deriding Rowlands and her political methods, is now begging Yiannopoulos for a photo after his speech. Shes holding her phone to her chest like a blessed medallion.

Do I believe a lot of his ideology? Absolutely not, she says, citing his rampant anti-Muslim sentiment. I wanted a photo. Im not going to lie about that.

Despite considering most of the mainstream media unethical, Yiannopoulos is more than happy to talk to me after the pandemonium in the auditorium settles down. Back when he was still on Twitter he once incited his followers to harass me because of a tweet he didn’t like but he doesn’t seem to remember my name. He does, though, recognize the name BuzzFeed. Oh, BuzzFeed is cancerous, he says, referring, perhaps, to our reporting that helped collapse his book deal and expose his white nationalist connections. Just outright dishonest.

Later in his speech, he calls me perfectly nice before calling BuzzFeed fucking garbage. (This isnt the first time someone publicly mocks me and my profession at the convention, or the last: After the final vote, one student from California Polytechnic State University pushes my recorder into my chest, telling me, You got your Marxist, third-world, shithole policies. A PR tip, from a media professional: Dont fucking touch me!)

Yiannopoulos talks at great length, about a diverse range of topics, from the fact that hes met Mariah Carey to his belief that civil war is unavoidable to his personal victory of ending feminism. Eventually, he gets around to talking about Rowlands.

I just love her. I think shes great, he says. Shes got this instinctive, sophisticated understanding that if you pander to people who are dedicated to your annihilation, youre not going to persuade moderates. I can recognize star power when I see it. I have it. She has a little star power in her. She has potential.

Members of the California College Republicans Cal Poly Chapter pose for a group photo with political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.

This is so fucking triggering, dude.

Elias Rodriguez, a 21-year-old UCLA student, mutters this under his breath right before the vote officially starts on the final day. After dinner and Yiannopolous surprise appearance the day before, most of the attendees headed over to Velvet Jones, a nightclub in downtown Santa Barbara, where everyone got very drunk, danced to Flo Rida in a very horny way, and chanted USA! USA! USA! over Mi Gente. Consequently, today, everyone is hungover, a little exhausted, and extremely annoyed.

This is what CRs have become, he grumbles, resting his feet on the row of chairs in front of him in the second-last row of Chem 1179, sulking. A bunch of neckbeard assholes. They dont give a shit about American values. I just want Ari to lose and go party and have a good-ass time.

The election, like most of the conventions events, starts an hour late and takes hours to happen. Mendoza, the UC Davis student who called Rowlands a Democrat, quietly tosses a few empty champagne bottles in the trash outside the auditorium before the vote begins. My delegation needed motivation to sit through this, he says, smiling. Its my duty as chair!

The vote is what youd expect from campus politics or, frankly, democracy generally speaking: messy. Half the crowd is taking it far too seriously (parliamentarian Kimo Gandall keeps yelling, Sir, you are out of order! to anyone who talks without being called on; eventually people try to vote to remove him, which fails) and the other half is treating it like a complete joke (Im voting on whoever will annoy me the least, says one man in the gallery).

Gofman introduces the motion for a secret ballot, the big swing he was preparing for all weekend. This could change everything. Theres a scattering of support voiced, some from people who arent members of the very vocal Unite faction. Gofman refuses to admit defeat against Rowlands until he absolutely has to.

But, of course, he has to. The secret ballot doesnt happen, and he loses the vote for chairperson. Its not even close. It was never close. Unite loses every vote, for every representative, except for one.

This is democracy now, Vincent Wetzel, 24, says to comfort Rodriguez. These are the rules we have to play by. He tells everyone to shake hands with the victors.

“They don’t give a shit about American values. I just want Ari to lose and go party and have a good-ass time.”

Gofman relaxes immediately once he loses. His posture loosens, his chest doesnt seem filled with cement, and he actually sits down with me instead of shuffling from foot to foot. Once he comes down to earth, you can see the little American flag cufflinks hes wearing.

We thought we could get a secret ballot, he says, shrugging. I didnt know if I could win, but I at least wanted to offer people an option, one that most people didnt take. I really hope [Rowlands] takes this challenge as a message that people are dissatisfied with what shes doing. This group of people does not want me representing them. It bums me out, but I understand why.

In the three weeks since winning the election, Rowlands has been more vocal about deployments and door-knocking ahead of the state primary, posting a few times on Facebook and Instagram encouraging people to campaign for people like Bonnie Gore, whos running for Placer County supervisor, and Justin Fareed, whos running for Congress. (This week, Rowlands has been posting photos of herself door-knocking for Mimi Walters.) But still, her bread and butter is in aggressive activism. Shes been spending the last week defending the UC Merced College Republicans, who claim they were harassed and falsely accused of spreading hate after they set up a table encouraging people to call ICE on their undocumented classmates. We can, and will, keep all legal options on the table, Rowlands wrote on Facebook.

The myth many moderates and liberals have told themselves, especially since Trumps election, is that, if they wait long enough, hard-line conservatives will literally die out. But young people like Rowlands and her supporters are a testament to how wishful that thinking is. Theyre already spreading their views (and getting thousands of Instagram followers for them), and in a decade maybe less they will have moved on from campus politics into bigger things, the kind that might directly affect everyone in the country. They could become their generations Donald Trumps or Steve Bannons or Milo Yiannopouloses. Rowlands, Im sure, will take this as a compliment to her longevity and her influence, which on some level it is. But so far, she and people like her only have volume. And maybe, at some point in the future, that wont be enough anymore.

A few hours after the convention ends, I make my way to a Jack in the Box across the street from my hotel room to eat the Spicy Chicken Sandwich I promised myself when this was all over. As I walk by a gas station, Michael Gofman pulls up to fill up his car for the drive home. He no longer looks like a politician, instead wearing a T-shirt, like some kind of college hooligan. When he sees me, he gives me a small wave and I wave back. Seeing him like this fills me with pathos, and then relief. Maybe it was better he didnt win. Those people never deserved him.

Students cast votes by holding up paper as the secretary counts their votes, one by one, during the final election on Sunday, April 8, 2018.

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Meet Milo Yiannopoulos, the Appealing Young Face of the …

Milo Yiannopoulos is a beast.

The 31-year-old, boastfully gay Breitbart writeror dangerous faggothas quickly become a hero to young conservatives and libertarians for smacking down the ridiculous out-of-control social justice warriors who troll college campuses.

If Donald Trump defies political correctness, Yiannopoulosan avid Trump supporter prone to calling The Donald daddyobliterates it.

A woman confronted Yiannopoulos during his speech in a packed American University auditorium last month, asking if his controversial rhetoric invalidated minority views.

Fuck your feelings, he told her.

The kids loved it. Me too.

How could you not? As the student left becomes insufferably extreme, Milos become the perfect counterpunch.

Hes irreverent. Hes exciting.

To an old guy like mea whole decade Milos senior!hes punk rock.

At 62, punctuated by a tall poof of bleached hair his friends will tell you, he is always on, whether hes railing against the matriarchy, bragging about his own fabulousness or discussing his love of black dick, wrote Fusion last year.

Hes a middle finger to the establishment, left and right.

Slamming #NeverTrump Republicans last week, Yiannopoulos scolded the GOP for offending young Trump supporters like himself, Unlike most right-wing writers, my biggest demographic is 18-34 year olds.

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Those werent just any old voters you were alienating, Milo said to anti-Trump Republicans. They include the next generation of conservative firebrands, who are currently gravitating to Trump, the alt-right, and me.

The alt-right.

There are worse things than political correctness.

***

In March, Yiannopoulos coauthored a 3,500-word piece for Breitbart called An Establishment Conservatives Guide To The Alt-Right.

Although initially small in number, Yiannopoulos and Allum Bokhari explained, the alt-right has a youthful energy and jarring, taboo-defying rhetoric that have boosted its membership and made it impossible to ignore.

This movement is young, they do defy taboos and unfortunately, the alt-right has become impossible to ignore.

Because its racist.

I dont mean racist like the left does, where merely being white and male is a sin.

I mean rationalizing that youre intellectually or culturally superior because youre white. I mean believing that black and brown people are less valuable to society and should be viewed with contempt.

Ive never met Milo Yiannopoulos and am not really that concerned with whether hes a racist or not. Such accusations are what the left does ad nauseam and part of what Yiannopoulos rightly fights against.

But I do think he flirts with racism: The alt-right openly crack jokes about the Holocaust, loudlyalbeit almost entirely satiricalexpresses its horror at race-mixing They have no real problem with race-mixing writes Yiannopoulos.

I do think he opens windows that concern me: Anything associated as closely with racism and bigotry as the alternative right will inevitably attract real racists and bigots, admits Yiannopoulos. The alt-rights intellectuals would also argue that culture is inseparable from race, he writes.

I know well where this kind of collectivist thinking can lead. (You can read at The Beast about my own Southern Avenger controversy).

Ive spent the last eight years as part of the Ron and Rand Paul-inspired liberty movement, speaking to groups like Young Americans for Liberty (a few YAL local chapters have sponsored some Milo Yiannopoulos events). Today, YAL is the largest center-right youth group in America.

As an organization dedicated to individual liberty.

The alt-right is the polar opposite of libertarianism.

Analyzing a subset of the alt-right who call themselves neoreactionaries, Voxs Dylan Matthews explains this important distinction, Most modern libertarians are individualists, motivated by a desire to prevent the masses from oppressing the individual

Neoreactionaries are not individualists neoreaction places huge value on group membership and group loyalty, Matthews says.

They are tribalists, and for the most partlets not mince wordsthey are racists.

Much of Yiannopouloss Breitbart essay defends the alt-right from charges of racism (Are they actually bigots? No more than death metal devotees in the 80s were actually Satanists, says Yiannopoulos), while virtually every critique (The Racist Moral Rot At The Heart Of The Alt-Right, says National Reviews Ian Tuttle) you will find (Responding To The Alt-Right: Are They Bigots, Or Just Stupid Children? asks The Daily Wires Ben Shapiro) of the movement (Yes, The Alt-Right Are Just A Bunch Of Racists, says The Federalists Robert Tracinski) focuses first and foremost (You Cant Whitewash The Alt-Rights Bigotry, says libertarian Cathy Young) on the obvious racism (there are elements within Hitlerism and Nazism that I admire, says Alternative Rights Alex Fontana) alt-righters dont even try to hide (I dont think we can pray away the gay, but maybe we can pray the blacks back to Africa? says tweeter @_AltRight_).

Then again, sometimes Milo just seems to be having a bit of anti-PC funlike his antiwhite bedroom policy which Yiannopoulos says he would gladly break for Daddy Trump.

Either way, race or racism is always at the center of the alt-right debate.

Theres a reason for this.

Despite Yiannopouloss promotion of cultural libertarianisma much-needed call for freer speech, which I agree withthe heart of alt-right tribalism leads to something that is definitively anti-libertarian and functionally authoritarian. The alt-right is characterized by an extreme collectivism that is unavoidably racist.

Libertarians can also be extreme in their obsession with individualism. There is such a thing as a common good and a minimal government is necessary for some basic societal functions.

There have always been libertarians who argue against any possible form of collectivism and such debates are not new. Arguments in the 1950s and 60s between traditionalists like Russell Kirk and libertarians such as Frank Meyer explored whether emphasis should be placed more on the collectivefamily, community, countryor individual human beings with inalienable natural rights.

This tension between traditionalists and libertarians is what has been considered the American conservative tradition for most of its existence. The alt-right mostly rejects traditional American conservatismthat of classical liberalism and the individualism that has always been a central focus.

The alt-right takes the traditionalist aspect of that older right ideological coalition, the collective concerns of family, community, country, to the extreme end of race.

Individuals become subservient to the collective, and the new line between friend and foe becomes who is within or without a particular group.

For the alt-right, that group is white people.

Its no coincidence that alt-righters who dont like libertarians or more traditional conservatives often refer to them as cuckservatives. The Daily Callers Matt Lewis explains the term, A cuckold, of course, is a legitimate word for the husband of an adulterous wife (but) the people who throw this term around are most likely referencing a type of pornography whereby a (usually, white) man is humiliated (or ironically thrilled) by being forced to watch his wife having sex with another (usually, black) man

So what does this have to do with conservatism or politics? asks Lewis. By supporting immigration reform, criminal justice reform, etc., a white conservative is therefore surrendering his honor and masculinity

A cuckservative is, therefore, a race traitor, Lewis notes.

The Daily Caller reported of Yiannopouloss recent event at American University, One angry audience member took his time at the mic to just call Yiannopoulos a fucking prick for expressing his opinions. The writer shot back that his adversary was a cuck, short for cuckold, which has become a popular slur among Milos fanbase to sling at opponents.

The audience roared in its approval and chanted cuck as well.

Did this young audience even know what they were chanting? Does Yiannopoulos? Or is it just for kicks?

And if so, is it even funny?

Whats going on here?

***

Whos a major cuckservative? according to the alt-right? Rand Paul. Why? For pursuing criminal justice reform, engaging in minority outreach, not demonizing Hispanics in the immigration debate and daring to criticize Donald Trump.

Rand Paul is not supposed to help non-whites, according to the alt-right. Hes betraying his tribe.

Yes, this racist tripe is what some are seriously discussing in 2016.

Its also the inevitable end result of collectivist-racialist thinking.

Criticizing extreme Black Lives Matter protesters, for example, something many conservatives do and often with good cause, can quickly become an indictment, and perhaps even hatred, of African Americansas if the average black American isnt just trying to get by day-to-day like the rest of us.

But if you go down this collectivist path, you end up forgetting about that. Individuals humanity is diminished. Everything and everyone becomes political.

It becomes as if black lives dont actually matter, and police brutality isnt even a real thing.

For the alt-right, who cares? Theyre black.

You begin to see people of a different color, people whove done essentially nothing bad or to you, as enemies.

Its a horrible and unhealthy way to go through life and view your fellow man.

Discussing immigration can become a loathing of all Hispanics. Perhaps you might even cheer a candidate who calls Mexicans rapists. Being politically incorrect when discussing the relationship between Islam and jihad-based terrorisma discussion that should happencan quickly devolve into condemnation of all Muslims and Arabs. Perhaps you might even like politicians who want to ban them from entering the U.S.

The mainstream right does this toofor every racist or xenophobic thing that Trump says, and the alt-right cheersthere are mainstream conservative outlets that indulge the same prejudices. The potential to replace the identity politics of the left with that of the rightas the alt-right hopeshas conservative radio, television, and websites that would probably not hesitate to facilitate such a trend if they were ratings and traffic getters.

Its scary. Its an unnerving time for those who value individual freedom and human dignity. The trend on the youth right for a number of years now has been toward libertarianism. This new alt-right is basically the same old racism being passed off as something high-minded or even hip.

So, yes, Im disturbed by an auditorium full of young people chanting cuck! or that the speaker theyre listening to also leads an alt-right chorus. Its not a defense of the left, who deserve every bit of scorn they receive and moreits concern for the right.

Particularly the young right.

My worry is that passionate, well-meaning, but still intellectually curious young libertarians and conservatives might wander too far into what the alt-right is peddling. Particularly in an election year when Ron Paul isnt running for president, Rand Pauls campaign did not live up to expectations and the alt-rights favorite candidate, Donald Trump, is the likeliest Republican nominee.

Even the most non-racist, liberty-minded person accustomed to intellectual pursuits could be attracted to shiny and popular new objects. Sometimes out of boredom.

***

Milo Yiannopoulos is cool. Even I think so.

But the alt-right is not, and no one should think so. Its not edgy, its not new and its not good. Its surrendering to the worst parts of our nature.

Its darkness. Its fatalism.

Just like how the crazy left condemns all whites, or males, or heterosexualsyoung rightists attracted to this movement will inevitably start judging their fellow man primarily by the color of their skin.

No matter how they spin it, thats exactly what the alt-right wants you to do.

Dont.

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Berkeley Cancels Milo Yiannopoulos Speech, and Donald Trump …

BERKELEY, Calif. A speech by the divisive right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley, was canceled on Wednesday night after demonstrators set fires and threw objects at buildings to protest his appearance.

The university announced the cancellation on Twitter around 6 p.m. local time, about an hour after a section of the campus erupted in protest.

All buildings on campus were locked down for several hours, and the university police said on Twitter that students should leave the area because of the violent demonstration. The lockdown was lifted around 10:55 p.m. local time.

Early Thursday morning, President Trump spoke out against the university for canceling the event.

In an appearance on Fox and Friends on Thursday, Kellyanne Conway, one of Mr. Trumps top advisers, compared the protest to those that took place at airports across the country over the weekend in opposition to the presidents executive order on immigration.

I dont even know if they know what theyre protesting, she said. Is it the free speech? Having someone maybe on your campus who has a dissenting point of view or wants to present an alternative point of view?

Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor of California and a former mayor of San Francisco, tweeted that he was appalled at Mr. Trumps apparent threat to take away the universitys federal funding.

Mr. Yiannopoulos, an editor at Breitbart News, is known for his gleeful attacks on political correctness that can sometimes veer into offensive and racially charged language. He has called feminism a cancer and Malala Yousafzai schoolmarmish, and as a gay immigrant says that he has faced backlash from other gay people when revealing his politics.

His flamethrower approach has aroused a fierce backlash.

He was barred from Twitter last year for inciting trolls to attack the Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones.

Ms. Jones was among those who spoke out last month when Mr. Yiannopoulos announced he had signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster that was said to be worth $250,000. The publisher defended its decision to publish Mr. Yiannopoulos in a letter to authors and attempted to reassure them that the book would not include hate speech. At least one author, Roxane Gay, pulled her next book from the publisher in response to its decision to work with Mr. Yiannopoulos.

His scheduled speech at U.C. Davis last month devolved into a tense standoff between protesters and the police. It was called off before it could begin over security concerns.

Mr. Yiannopoulos was invited by the Berkeley College Republicans, a student group that portrayed the event, which was to have been held Wednesday night, as a way to jolt the liberal campus with a different perspective.

More than 100 faculty members called for blocking the event in a letter to Chancellor Nicholas Dirks. It cited a speech Mr. Yiannopoulos delivered at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he belittled a transgender student by name.

On Twitter, the Berkeley campus police described the episode on Wednesday night as major protest attacks and urged people to stay away. Crowds lingered despite police orders to disperse.

The university deeply regrets the cancellation of the event, said Dan Mogulof, a spokesman.

Mr. Mogulof blamed the violence on outsiders whom he said disrupted what had been a peaceful protest.

This university was essentially invaded by more than 100 individuals clad in ninja-like uniforms who were armed and engaged in paramilitary tactics, Mr. Mogulof said. They were implementing a very clear plan to engage in violence, disruption and property destruction.

No serious injuries were reported, Mr. Mogulof said, and a tally of damage to the university and surrounding areas was still underway Thursday morning.

On Facebook, Mr. Yiannopoulos said he had been evacuated from the campus after violent left-wing protesters tore down barricades, lit fires, threw rocks and Roman candles at the windows and breached the ground floor of the building.

He added, One thing we do know for sure: The Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.

After Berkeley, he had no future appearances scheduled, according to his website.

Thomas Fuller reported from Berkeley, Calif., and Christopher Mele from New York. Mike McPhate contributed reporting.

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Milo Yiannopoulos’s Twitter ban, explained – Vox

As a fun, mild action movie, the new Ghostbusters is a highly unlikely candidate to become a cultural game changer.

But as one of the first action movies ever to sport an all-female headlining cast, the franchise reboot has become one of the most controversial films of the year. Now the movie has inadvertently contributed to Twitter taking a major step in its efforts to combat harassment: the banning of alt-right hero Milo Yiannopoulos from the platform.

Tuesday night, Twitter permanently suspended Yiannopoulos from the website. The social media platform had previously suspended him twice in June, but reinstated him each time after rounds of protests from Yiannopouloss many fans.

The permanent banning comes after the highly public role Yiannopoulos played in the intense round of Twitter harassment the vast majority of it overwhelmingly and explicitly racist that Ghostbusters star and Saturday Night Live comedian Leslie Jones received on Monday following the US release of the film.

Jones, who plays the character of Patty Tolan in the film, spent most of the day retweeting some of the abuse she had been receiving before declaring shed had enough:

She also minced no words for Twitters notoriously lax harassment prevention system:

The harassment against Jones follows more than a year of sustained backlash against the new Ghostbusters remake. Though many franchise fans have claimed to be upset for varying reasons, the most evident cause one brutally manifested in the abuse against Jones is sexist dislike of the all-female cast.

That factor doesnt fully explain Yiannopouloss role in the harassment of Jones, but its a crucial component of the culture Yiannopoulos is spearheading.

Geek culture has witnessed Ghostbusters-style backlashes against diverse reimaginings of beloved franchises more and more frequently in recent years.

In 2014, Gamergate the anti-feminist harassment movement that surfaced in gaming culture and spread into larger internet culture also fought against many gaming franchises that sought to be more diverse.

Since then, the movement has effectively become a cornerstone of the alt-right, and still continues to influence everything from the presidential election to major tech conferences. It overlaps with large swaths of 4chan, men’s rights activism, the online atheist movement, pickup artist culture, Reddit, and Tumblr.

Gamergates tactics included “brigading” the act of a group targeting specific subjects and strategizing ways to collectively harass or threaten them and sustained negative focus on any media product deemed to be pandering to feminism or progressive calls for diverse representation.

These practices and emphasis on anti-diverse stances have merged into not only the internets larger alt-right culture but into other areas of geek culture as well, such as the Sad/Rabid Puppies campaign, which rigged the nominations for the science fiction/fantasy communitys fan-voted Hugo Awards.

Other films have been targeted, too. Last year opened with a similar, though smaller, anti-feminist backlash against Mad Max: Fury Road from longtime fans and men’s rights activists, then closed with waves of protest against the diverse cast and woman-focused storyline of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The anti-Ghostbusters backlash springs from the same gatekeeping, anti-diversity impulse.

Though members of those casts received their share of sniping on and off Twitter, the targeted brigading in those cases was primarily directed at boycotts of the films themselves, rather than at individual actors.

Yes, other members of the Ghostbusters cast, notably Melissa McCarthy, the only other member of the films central foursome active on Twitter, have also endured misogynistic harassment. But the racist bent of the harassment aimed at Jones has been remarkably targeted and vicious.

Though multiple attempts have been made to paint the Ghostbusters backlash as a product of what is perceived (largely inaccurately) as a more general trend of fan entitlement, the nature of Joness harassment is very clearly and overwhelmingly a product of extreme racism that has nothing to do with the Ghostbusters franchise or with fandom in general.

As the only black woman prominently featured among these recent examples of diverse casting in franchise films, Jones is easily the most vulnerable target for this kind of attack.

Twitter is a notoriously unsafe space for women, but its even more toxic for women of color. Abusive attacks on women of color tend to involve more violent language, occur more frequently, and be far more overtly racist and dehumanizing, by orders of magnitude.

So race is explicitly the primary factor in what happened to Jones over the weekend. But theres another factor in the rampant brigades sending wave after wave of attacks against Jones.

And thats Milo Yiannopoulos.

In 2014, Yiannopoulos, a British media pundit for the right-wing news website Breitbart, became the beloved conservative idol of Gamergate by writing sympathetic articles covering the movement. Ever since, Yiannopoulos or “Nero,” as he is nicknamed on Twitter has essentially played commander to a veritable army of mostly male extremists hailing from Reddit, 4chan, and Twitter.

When hes discussed in the media, Yiannopoulos is most frequently described as a “troll.” But for a man with 300,000 followers eager to imitate his example, troll hardly seems the right descriptor, or an adequate to describe the immense influence he has over his fans. Past attempts by Twitter to suspend him for his offensive speech have only galvanized his followers, who used hashtags like #FreeMilo to successfully call for Twitter to reinstate his account.

Yiannopoulos, like many of his followers, has been staunchly opposed to the Ghostbusters remake for over a year. The subreddit r/KotakuinAction, which grew out of Gamergate and remains a geek culture alt-right haven, has been obsessed with tracking and negatively posting about Ghostbusters for months.

But while these campaigns have at least ostensibly been ideological, Yiannopouloss tweets on the subject have been pointedly misogynistic. And, in Joness case, theyve been transphobic and racist for a while now:

Theres more where that came from.

The harassment against Jones didnt start with Yiannopoulos. It gradually escalated over Sunday and Monday, as more people began to react to Joness Twitter celebrations of the film.

But it got a swift push from Yiannopoulos Monday evening. In response to a tweet in which Jones described a litany of extreme examples of the racist harassment she had been receiving, Yiannopoulos accused her of being unable to handle “hate mail” and playing the victim:

This tweet was all he needed to summon hours and hours of harassment against Jones that responded both to him and to her directly though at that point, neither of them had actually directly interacted.

After hundreds of these kinds of replies, a baffled Jones, who had apparently never heard of Yiannopoulos, wondered who he was, then retweeted an explanation calling him “the Uncle Tom of gay [people]” which incensed Yiannopouloss followers.

Jones then called him out and blocked him.

As a part of the general harassment campaign, Yiannopouloss followers created a series of fake tweets, some of which appear to have been made using browser developer tools, others at the fake Twitter creation site Let Me Tweet That for You; a look at the site shows a number of similar fake tweets made recently and also attributed to Jones.

Yiannopoulos “screencapped” and reacted with fake shock to the tweets, leading many Twitter users to believe that the tweets came from Joness real account. The tenor of the fake tweets portrayed Jones as speaking in an exaggerated “street” slang and depicted her as dropping anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs. When Jones tweeted that she had blocked @Nero, she was inundated with racist replies in response an (extremely offensive) representative sample comes from a self-described Gamergater, “shitposter.”

Within the alt-rights fortified castle on Reddit, users were positively gleeful over Joness upset reaction, particularly at r/KotakuinAction and the notoriously offensive r/OpieandAnthony. (Warning: Link may contain racial slurs and hate speech.)

“We finally made one of them fully implode,” reads one typical response at the Trump forum r/The_Donald. Its unclear who “We” and “them” are, but its a safe bet that “we” encompasses the general alt-right movement and “them” is a mix of anything including feminists, progressive internet communities (so-called “social justice warriors” in alt-right speak), and the four new Ghostbusters themselves.

The tone on Twitter was likewise oddly triumphant:

Its notable that Twitter seems more vulnerable to brigading from the internets alt-right corners Reddit, 4chan and 8chan, various mens rights forums, and other niche right-wing, libertarian-leaning, heavily male-dominated communities than other social media platforms.

This is most likely due to its public and easily accessible nature. The ease with which anyone can make an account and begin directly tweeting at verified users may be a selling point for Twitter, but it also makes it extremely easy to populate “sock puppets” (that is, to create unconnected internet accounts all posing as different people) and proliferate harassment across the site.

And while other sites make it relatively easy to report and take action against harassment just look at how quickly Instagram reportedly jumped to protect Taylor Swift from snake emoji following themassive blowup between her and the Kardashian clan over the weekend Twitter is notoriously slow to act in any way.

To date, though Twitter has banned a handful of extremely abusive internet trolls like Chuck C. Johnson, others, like notorious pick-up artist Roosh V (who once bragged about date-raping a woman), are still effectively active on Twitter despite long patterns of harassment and many attempts by victims of their trolling, most of whom are women, to get them banned.

When Twitter does act to remove harassment and abuse, the action almost always comes only after sustained public outcry. In essence, increasingly it seems as though the only way to get Twitter to take action against abuse is to be famous.

More than a day after Jones had begun retweeting her harassment and over five hours after the war between Neros followers and Jones had begun, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey stepped in:

Dorseys tweet would seem to indicate that Twitter wanted to take action against the harassment. And many of Joness supporters wanted to make it clear what the first step should be:

The hashtag #BanNero began circulating.

Yiannopouloss presence on Twitter, and his response to Jones, seemed to shift the Ghostbusters backlash into something incredibly visceral and vicious. In the internet war of words, Yiannopoulos essentially took aim at Jones and fired thousands of eager, angry Twitter users in her direction. Thats not the kind of direct “trolling” that easily gains a Twitter ban, but rather a more tacit, indirect form of harassment stemming from his direct influence over his community of followers.

Historically, however, Twitter hasnt viewed this kind of indirect targeting by a major “troll” like Yiannopoulos or Roosh V as an example of actual, substantiated harassment. And as late as Tuesday, it looked as though Twitter would take no direct action against Yiannopoulos, though in a statement issued Monday night to BuzzFeed, the platform insisted that it had taken some action to ban other users who’d participated in the harassment of Jones.

Instead, Twitter announced that it will be opening up its verification process the procedure that allows verified users to obtain a blue check by their names to the general public instead of to select public figures. Yiannopoulos clearly viewed this as a sort of victory.

Yiannopoulos then moved on to focusing on theRepublican National Convention, where he threw a “Gays for Trump” party Tuesday night one attended by both Roosh V and Chuck C. Johnson and posed like a rock star with eager fans.

But Twitter seemed finally ready to commit to making a move on Yiannopoulos. Tuesday night, the site suspended him once more only this time, it issued a statement to Yiannopoulos, which he shared withBuzzFeed, that the ban would be permanent:

People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter. But no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Over the past 48 hours in particular, weve seen an uptick in the number of accounts violating these policies and have taken enforcement actions against these accounts, ranging from warnings that also require the deletion of Tweets violating our policies to permanent suspension.

We know many people believe we have not done enough to curb this type of behavior on Twitter. We agree. We are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to better allow us to identify and take faster action on abuse as its happening and prevent repeat offenders. We have been in the process of reviewing our hateful conduct policy to prohibit additional types of abusive behavior and allow more types of reporting, with the goal of reducing the burden on the person being targeted. Well provide more details on those changes in the coming weeks.

In a response issued through Breitbart, Yiannopoulos called the banning “cowardly” and declared that “Twitter has confirmed itself as a safe space for Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists, but a no-go zone for conservatives. … Anyone who cares about free speech has been sent a clear message: youre not welcome on Twitter.” Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, he deflected responsibility for sending harassment Joness direction.

Ina conversation with Vox reporter Zack Beauchamp Tuesday night, Yiannopoulos added that he welcomed Twitters decision:

Is anything more wonderful than getting banned? Are you insane? My life is more fun now, and its about to get a lot more fun. …

Ive been preparing for this for six months. I could not have asked for a better time.

Its unlikely that banning Yiannopoulos on Twitter will do much to quash his direct influence over his followers just as it apparently failed to quash his Tuesday night party:

Predictably, currently on Twitter the #FreeMilo hashtag is once again being deployed, as his followers rally around his cause.

But at the very least, Twitters decision to permanently ban Yiannopoulos from the site is historic and most likely will serve as a stepping stone for Twitter to refine and increase its tools for fighting abuse. In particular, this should increase Twitters ability to identify the kind of largely indirect harassment that Yiannopoulos specialized in: not individual acts of trolling, but rather homing in on a target and goading other Twitter followers to go on the attack.

Hopefully, the move will also put some much-needed distance between two sides of an ongoing and escalating culture war and might even make it harder for these battles to be waged through harassment.

Vox reporter Zack Beauchamp contributed to this report.

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Breitbarts Milo Yiannopoulos resigns following outrage over …

Milo Yiannopoulos, the incendiary writer who helped make Breitbart News a leading organ of the alt-right, resigned from the news organization Tuesday after a video of him endorsing pedophilia resurfaced online over the weekend.

Yiannopoulos has been a flame-throwing provocateur whose writing has offended women, Muslims, blacks and gay people ever since former Breitbart executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon hired him as a senior editor in 2014.

Bannon, now President Trumps senior adviser, championed the British-born Yiannopouloss inflammatory commentary and promoted him as a conservative truth-teller and champion of free speech. In turn, his popularity helped raise Breitbarts profile among Trumps supporters and the alt-right, a vaguely defined collection of nationalists, anti-immigration proponents and anti-establishment conservatives. Adherents of the alt-right are known for espousing racist, anti-Semitic and sexist points of view.

Breitbart News has stood by me when others caved, Yiannopoulos said in a statement announcing his resignation. They have been a significant factor in my success.

(Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

As recently as last week, Breitbart editor Alexander Marlow in an interview called Yiannopoulos the No.1 free speech warrior of his generation in America at the moment.

But Yiannopouloss views on pedophilia apparently went too far even for Breitbart.

The site was under pressure to take action against Yiannopoulos, 32, from its own staff, which had threatened to revolt if he wasnt fired or disciplined, according to people familiar with the discussions.

In a video interview early last year, Yiannopoulos condoned sexual relations with boys as young as 13 and joked about a sexual encounter he said he had with a Catholic priest as a teenager.

Youre misunderstanding what pedophilia means, he told the hosts of a podcast. Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13 years old who is sexually mature. Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty.

A group called the Reagan Battalion was among those calling attention to the interview to highlight its opposition to Yiannopouloss speaking role at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in the Washington area.

The reemergence of the video triggered a cascade of adverse consequences for Yiannopoulos.

First, CPACs organizer, the American Conservative Union, rescinded its invitation to him as a conference speaker. The groups chairman said in a statement that the organization found his comments disturbing and the video offensive.

Then Simon & Schuster canceled an agreement to publish Yiannopouloss forthcoming memoir, Dangerous, for which it paid him a $250,000 advance. The publisher said it decided to cancel the book which had drawn protests before the pedophilia flap arose after careful consideration.

Yiannopoulos, meanwhile, defended himself on Facebook on Sunday and Monday as the tide of controversy rose.

I do not support pedophilia. Period, he wrote. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst. There are selectively edited videos doing the rounds, as part of a coordinated effort to discredit me from establishment Republicans, that suggest I am soft on the subject.

The openly gay writer made his name with a knack for taunting various groups and manipulating the outrage that followed. He led a Twitter campaign last year against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones that was so vitriolic that Twitter banned him. He has called feminism cancer in his campus appearances, and he once wrote a Breitbart story headlined, Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy.

The departure of Yiannopoulos was met with a mixed reaction by Breitbarts staff, which learned of his resignation via Twitter. There was no internal announcement, said one staff member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

He was on an island off to himself, the journalist said. Milo has virtually nothing to do with the news operation.

But Yiannopouloss outrageous commentary did reflect poorly on the organization, said Lee Stranahan, a Breitbart reporter who streamed remarks on Periscope in the moments before the star columnist staged a news conference in New York.

I dont wish anybody badly, but do I kind of hope Milo goes away? Stranahan said. I think I do. I think that would be best for everybody. … Because hes not adding to the brand.

He was also critical of the sites heavy promotion of Yiannopoulos, noting that the writers face was often featured prominently on the website.

Stranahan asserted that Yiannopouloss resignation might allow the site to focus on the left and Islamists, which he described as the biggest threat to America.

Addressing the media in New York on Tuesday, Yiannopoulos was alternately defiant, apologetic and self-pitying. He repeated his denunciation of child sexual abuse and said he would donate 10 percent of the royalties from his book, if it eventually gets published, to organizations that advocate on behalf of abuse victims.

But he added, This is a cynical media witch hunt by people who do not care about children. They care about destroying me.

He also said he will continue to speak and write in the same fashion. I dont think that anything that has happened to me in the past 24 hours will stop me from being as offensive, provocative and outrageously funny on any subject I please.

Manuel Roig-Franzia contributed to this report.

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Milo Yiannopoulos Banned From Venmo and PayPal

MiloYiannopoulos has been banned from both Venmo and its parent company PayPal after the former Breitbart tech editor used the platforms to send anti-Semitic content to a Jewish journalist.

When an individual violates PayPals longstanding Acceptable Use Policy, the company will take action as deemed appropriate, the company said in a statement. We ensure that people do not use our platform and services to promote hate, violence or discriminatory intolerance.

News of the ban was first reported byYiannopoulos on Instagram, who posted screengrabs of messages he received from both companies.

Also Read: Milo Yiannopoulos Defends ‘Gunning Journalists Down’ Comment After Annapolis Shooting: It Was a ‘Private Joke’

A person familiar with the matter said the decision to oust Yiannopoulos from the platforms came after he sent a Jewish journalist $14.88. The figure is a highly charged white supremacist dog whistle.

The 14 is a reference to domestic terrorists David Lanes 14-word credo: We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children. The 88 is often used in Neo-Nazi circles as a veiled referenced to Heil Hitler (H is the eight letter of the alphabet), according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The ban from Venmo and PayPal is not related toYiannopoulos comments earlier this week when he told theNew York Observerthat he looked forward to the day when vigilante squads start gunning journalists down on sight. Many criticizedYiannopoulos following the attack at a Maryland newspaper on Thursday that left five dead.

When reached by TheWrap, Yiannopoulos declined to comment for this story and insisted that the media should apologize to him for insinuating that he was responsible for the deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette.He has also vowed to sue the New York Observerand reporter Davis Richardson for its story on him.

Check out Yiannopoulos Instagram posts below:

hmm!

A post shared by MILO (@milo.yiannopoulos) on Jun 28, 2018 at 3:09pm PDT

Megyn Kelly calls Trump out on womenTrump famously feuded former anchor Kelly after she asked him a tough question at a Republican primary debate about derogatory statements he’s made about women. Trump took it personally, judging by his response on Twitter and in interviews. He later famously said Kelly must have had “blood coming out of her wherever” regarding the question. Watch the debate question here.

Kelly to Trump: “Facts matter”Trump kept hammering at Kelly on Twitter and elsewhere. When he called her out for not using the IBT poll when he was leading the Republican primary field, Kelly rebuked him with a tweet showing she did use the poll. “Facts matter,” she wrote.

Fox mocksTrumpwith statement on debate skippingpollAfter polled his Twitter followers to see ifhe should drop out of a Fox-hosted Republican primary debate,Fox responded artfully with a sarcastic statement that it had learnedfrom “secret” sources Trump might be treated unfairly as president by foreign leaders.

Bill O’Reilly calls out Trump’s tweet with totally wrong stats”The O’Reilly Factor” grilled Trump in a Nov. 2015 interview about his tweet that erroneously said black people killed whites at a rate of 81 percent, while whites kill blacks at a rate of 15 percent.O’Reilly told Trump, “You shouldn’t tweet.” Trump did not take that advice.

Chris Wallace bucks Trump calling media “enemy of the public”After his press conference in January 2017, Trump continued his attack on media he doesn’t like on Twitter. Anchor ChrisWallace wasn’t having it on “Fox & Friends.” Wallace said Trump’s comments “crossed an important line” and said they were dangerous.

Wallace says the media is too easy on TrumpIn an interview with TheWrap, Wallace said he thinks Sunday political shows in particular should be tougher on Trump.”I think if anything, the media has treated him too well.By that I mean theyve allowed him to play by different rules.” Read the full interview.

O’Reilly tells Trump Putin is “a killer”In a February interview, O’Reilly brought up Trump’s apparent refusal to criticize Vladimir Putin, calling the Russian president “a killer.” Trump famously responded by saying, “What, you think our country is so innocent?” Watch it here.

Smith wails on Trump’s refusal to talk about Russia hacksNobody on Fox hits Trump harder than Shep Smith. “We have a right to know You call us fake news and put us down like children for asking questions on behalf of the American people.” Watch it here.

Neil Cavuto tells Trump he’s problem, not mainstream mediaResponding to Trump’s tweet claiming the mainstream media wants him off social media, Cavuto called out Trump for losing track of his own agenda. “Mr. President, it is not the fake news media that’s your problem, it’s you,” Cavuto said. Watch it here.

Smith blasts Trump administration on Russia: “Lie after lie after lie”Shep Smith was at it again following the news breaking about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer. He took the Trump administration to task for its many lies about meetings with Russia, including Jared Kushner failing to report the meeting on his security clearance forms. “My grandmother used to say, ‘What a tangled web we weave when first we try to deceive,'” Smith declared on air, leaving fellow anchor Chris Wallace speechless. Watch it here.

Trumps favorite network has pushed back a few times

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Maryland shooting: Milo Yiannopoulos slammed after …

CONTROVERSIAL commentator Milo Yiannopoulos has come under criticism in the wake of the Maryland newsroom shooting.

It emerged that the former senior editor for Breitbart News, who has made a living out of making deliberately provocative remarks about women, people of colour and transgender people, had recently told two reporters that he cant wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists.

READ MORE: Five dead as gunman attacks newsroom

He told The Observers David Richardson that this is now his standard response to a request for comment.

He sent a similar message to Will Sommer, a reporter for the Daily Beast.

In the wake of the tragic shooting, people on social media have criticised the 33-year-old for his earlier remarks:

Yiannopoulos has addressed the connection to his remarks on Facebook, saying: Youre about to see a raft of news stories claiming that I am responsible for inspiring the deaths of journalists. The truth, as always, is the opposite of what the media tells you.

He continued: I sent a troll about vigilante death squads as a *private* response to a few hostile journalists who were asking me for comment, basically as a way of saying, F**k off. They then published it.

Amazed they were pretending to take my joke as a threat, I reposted these stories on Instagram to mock them and to make it clear that I wasnt being serious.

He went on to say: I made a private, offhand troll to two hostile reporters, who breathlessly publicised it and like vermin their fellow journalists swarmed to remind the world how much they hate Milo. If the Left was truly horrified by violence against journalists, they would have shown it in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo. As you all know, they didnt.

Yiannopoulos is known to have ties with US President Donald Trump, billionaire Robert Mercer and white supremacist Richard Spencer.

Police were called to the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, 50km east of Washington DC, on Thursday afternoon local time, after several people were shot dead.

The suspect in the shooting was reported as a white male in his 20s who was armed with a shotgun. His name or a motive is not yet known.

US President Donald Trump, who was in Wisconsin for the groundbreaking of a new electronics plant, tweeted that his thoughts and prayers are with the victims.

The motive for the shooting is not yet known.

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Milo Yiannopoulos on gunning journalists down remark: I …

Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos said he was being sarcastic when he told a reporter that he fantasized about the gunning down of journalists, after a massive social media backlash blamed him for inciting violence ahead of theCapital Gazette newspaper shooting on Thursday.

I cant wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight, Mr. Yiannopoulosreportedly told the Observer over text message, in response to a question about a story on a New York City restaurant he is said to frequent.

When asked by Observer reporter Davis Richardson to elaborate on the statement, Mr. Yiannopoulos said it was his standard response to a request for comment. He also reportedly sent the same message to The Daily Beasts Will Sommer.

Social media users immediately blamed Mr. Yiannopoulos for inciting violence against journalists after a gunman shot and killed five people and wounded several others Thursday afternoon at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.

In a Facebook post, Mr. Yiannopoulos said his comment was meant as a troll of inquiring journalists and that reports he was inciting violence were wholly false.

I regret nothing I said, though of course like any normal person I am saddened to hear of needless death, he wrote. Amazed they were pretending to take my joke as a threat, I reposted these stories on Instagram to mock them and to make it clear that I wasnt being serious.

If there turns out to be any dimension to this crime related to my private, misreported remarks, the responsibility for that lies squarely and wholly with the Beast and the Observer for drumming up fake hysteria about a private joke, and with the verified liberals who pretended they thought I was serious, he continued. I made a private, offhand troll to two hostile reporters, who breathlessly publicized it and like vermin their fellow journalists swarmed to remind the world how much they hate Milo. If the Left was truly horrified by violence against journalists, they would have shown it in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo. As you all know, they didnt.

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Milo Yiannopoulos to visit Cal Poly SLO | College …

Alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos will return to Cal Poly later this month, once again at the invitation of the Cal Poly College Republicans. Yiannopoulos will speak at Mott Athletic Center at 7 p.m. on April 26; he is set to be joined by conservative YouTube show hosts Austen Fletcher, known online as Fleccas, and Carl Benjamin, known as Sargon of Akkad. In a statement released Thursday morning on Facebook, the College Republicans cited the cancellation of a Cal Poly-sponsored fake news panel in February as the inspiration behind the invitations. The club originally invited Bill Whittle, whose remarks linking race to intelligence drew heated criticism, to participate in the February panel; when Whittle withdrew, the College Republicans offered up Yiannopoulos as a replacement but were denied. “After they withdrew all their support and pulled their speakers a week before the event, we began to orchestrate an event of our own,” the club’s Facebook post said. In a response to a Tribune inquiry on Wednesday, Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier wrote in an email that the event “is being presented by the club, not by the university,” but defended the university’s decision to allow Yiannopoulos who has used previous speaking engagements to decry feminism and abortion and to harass transgender college students to speak. “Censoring language and viewpoints violates First Amendment rights and does not represent what Cal Poly stands for as a university,” Lazier wrote. When he spoke at Cal Poly last year, Yiannopoulos was a rising star on the right; he was technology editor for Breitbart, with a lucrative book deal and a college campus tour generating fresh controversies. While his appearance at Cal Poly was uneventful unlike the violent protests that led to his UC Berkeley speech being canceled Cal Poly and the California State University system spent more than $55,000 to provide security for the event: 109 police officers, including SWAT members. The event also cost the City of San Luis Obispo more than $9,000. “University officials are discussing measures that will be taken in order to maintain a safe and secure campus environment while allowing the club to proceed with its event,” Lazier wrote. In the 15 months since his last visit, Yiannopoulos resigned from his Breitbart position after his remarks defending pedophilia surfaced; his book deal was also canceled. In October 2017, Buzzfeed published a lengthy article tying Yiannopoulos and his former boss, ex-Breitbart head and former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, to the burgeoning online white supremacist and neo-Nazi movement. The story included video of Yiannopoulos singing “America the Beautiful” at a karaoke bar, with white supremacist leader Richard Spencer and others in the crowd delivering the Nazi salute. However, Yiannopoulos continues to tour college campuses he is scheduled to speak at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on April 11. While not so high profile as Yiannopoulos, both Fletcher and Benjamin have built a reputation for themselves in the online alt-right community. Fletcher routinely attends protests for liberal causes and conducts interviews where he belittles and humiliates protesters. The “About” page of his YouTube account reads, “Leftist protesters roast themselves while being interviewed by a guy holding a microphone taped to a spoon.” Like Yiannopoulos, Benjamin was an active influencer of the #GamerGate movement, a Twitter-based campaign that harassed women in the video game community, some of whom were forced into hiding after receiving death threats. The Cal Poly College Republicans said all three men will take part in a panel to discuss fake news. In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the Cal Poly Students for Quality Education who led the last protest against Yiannopoulos wrote that, “Anyone who invites Milo Yiannopoulos to our campus is not invested in productive or generative dialogue, rather they are invested in bullying and demonizing the most vulnerable in our community.” The group added that they “refuse to debate the legality of Mr. Yiannopoulos’ presence, and we call on people of moral conscience to show up and resist the hatred, bigotry and propaganda that is Milo Yiannopoulos’ brand.” The Tribune has reached out to Yiannopoulos for comment. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Meet The New California Counterculture: College Republicans

At the California College Republicans Convention this spring, a war was brewing between loud, unapologetic, Milo Yiannopoulosendorsed activists and moderate, policy-focused nerds. Guess who won? Posted on April 29, 2018, at 10:31 a.m. ET Shortly after 5 p.m. on a recent Saturday in April, the Chem 1179 lecture hall at the University of California, Santa Barbara, erupts in the kind of screaming you usually only hear when the headliner finally walks onstage at a concert. Coming down the right aisle of the auditorium is a man whose hair is highlighted with blonde streaks, in leopard-print shorts and a military-style jacket with red epaulettes, sunglasses still on (indoors), and diamond studs gleaming in his ears. The woman behind me turns the color of an anguished beet and screams his name: Milo!!! Right-wing troll Milo Yiannopoulos has arrived as the surprise guest during the second day of this years California College Republicans Convention, where college Republicans from around the state are meeting for a weekend of speeches and drinking. The convention will conclude in a vote on the third day for a handful of leadership positions, including communications director, secretary, and the big one: chairperson. Today is mostly dedicated to students and guest speakers lecturing on foes in the liberal media (turns out its me!), the future of the GOP, and how to convince other millennials and Gen Z kids to become Republicans. The mechanics of campus politics are rarely interesting. The stakes are low, the rules are complicated and tedious, and the impact of their elections is rarely explicitly seen or felt. But here the mood is more like a three-day prom, where its abundantly clear whos popular, whos not, and whos going to be prom king or queen. And Yiannopoulos might have just nabbed that ultimate honor without even running for it. Yiannopoulos begins greeting his audience, currently losing their fucking minds over him. The woman who screamed his name clasps her hands over her mouth and looks like shes in physical pain, so much so that I have to ask if shes happy or (as I naively imagined) upset. In response, she screams, Im happy, Im happy! What the fuck! Oh my god, I dont have my glasses on! Milo Yiannopoulos poses for photos with students at the California College Republicans Convention at the University of California, Santa Barbara, on April 7, 2018. You might be someone who thinks of Yiannopoulos, who was booed out of a bar in New York this week, as a defeated figure of the far-right. But here, he walks among the students like a high school quarterback whos returned for homecoming, still the hero. Young women are literally weeping at the sight of him, boys are begging him for hugs and calling him gorgeous. One woman just wants to talk about free speech, telling him, You should be able to say anything you want. You cant say were for freedom of speech if youre going to critique people for what they say. Another takes a photo with him and screams, I cant wait to tell my parents I took a picture with a famous gay person! A brown man with family in India praises Yiannopoulos for being the only one talking about Islamist violence, which isnt the most uncomfortable thing to happen all weekend, but its certainly up there. For most of the crowd, being in proximity to Yiannopoulos is the coolest fucking thing to ever happen. They love his type of politics: loud, ugly, self-serving, attention-grabbing, an approach in which a fierce attitude trumps any sort of discernible political policy. But for a small minority of college Republicans gathered here, this is their worst-case scenario. For most of the crowd, being in proximity to Milo Yiannopoulos is the coolest fucking thing to ever happen. When you have people that are actively spewing hate speech, which he has the right to say, I just dont think we should be the ones hosting it, says Michael Gofman, a 20-year-old UC Davis student who is running for chair of the College Republicans this year. Gofman strikes me as the most polite man in the world, so this seems like the strongest language he could possibly muster. I think hes terrible. I think hes bad for our party. For Gofman, Yiannopoulos is emblematic of the larger division within the California College Republicans, an us versus them problem: us, the reasonable Republicans who want to talk about the issues, versus them, the bombastic, loud, flashy winners. Yiannopoulos is a celebrity, and within the Republican Party of 2018, celebrity wins. Tomorrow, theres an election to be held for the control of the party. A lot of the people attending think he doesnt have much of a chance, but hes still hopeful: Its too early to tell. Its going to be too close to call. If the CCR Convention is prom, then Ariana Rowlands, a 21-year-old University of California, Irvine, student, is the queen. Rowlands, the biracial daughter of two immigrants, is immediately recognizable in any crowd at the convention you just need to look for a thick wave of curly black hair amongst the largely white, largely male crowd. She is the incumbent chairperson of CCR, a close friend of Yiannopoulos, and the reason hes made a surprise appearance; shes also brought him to UC Irvine. This terms CCR convention is striking a similar tone to the last one, held in October 2017, where Rowlands won against incumbent Leesa Danzek. If you ask a Rowlands supporter about that election, theyd likely tell you Danzek was a rule-following, establishment cog. If you ask a Rowlands detractor, theyd likely tell you that Rowlands is an agent of chaos whos more interested in disrupting the status quo than enacting any real policies. Rowlands victory was, depending on who you asked, either an upset or upsetting. (Danzek herself did not responded to multiple requests for comment.) Clockwise from top left: Ariana Rowlands, California College Republicans chair; Efrain Becerra, 32, of the College of the Sequoias and the Central Valley; Michael Gofman, of UC Davis; California State Fullerton students Jason Bonney (left), and Michael Emparan. Since her initial win, Rowlands hasnt spent much time on time-honored college Republican activities like student recruitment or door-knocking for state candidates ahead of the June 5 California primaries, in races which may prove incredibly important for Republicans trying to keep control of the real House of Representatives; thats the kind of work that doesnt get national media attention. (Rowlands says this is merely because thus far in her term, its been too early to focus on something like campaigning for the primaries.) Instead, her pet projects are issues like free speech, fighting a left-leaning media, and building a border wall. Rowlands is more focused on a Trump- (and Yiannopoulos-) inspired brand of political activism, one that spreads conservative ideas by generating agitprop, rather than worrying too much about policies or convincing moderates to vote Republican. These [students] are really told that theyre wrong, theyre bad people, theyre stupid, theyre racist for holding normal conservative beliefs, Rowlands tells me on the first day of the convention. Theyre tired of it, theyre sick of it. This is us standing up and saying weve had enough. She posts photos of herself on Instagram holding guns, wearing MAGA apparel, and posing with Ann Coulter. (Caption: Haters gonna hate. ) Shes been a guest on Fox News to talk about the War on Christmas on campuses and has written for Breitbart News. Just under a month before the convention, she posted a photo on Instagram at the border wall with Yiannopoulos. Rowlands has managed to frame the idea of being a far-right conservative as a kind of counterculture, trading on the appeal of flouting whats typically expected of Californian college students by siding with the oldest, whitest, most establishment group you can think of. CCR, and the way Rowlands guides it, matters to the Republican party on a state level. Whenever anyone needs any sort of campaign help or volunteers or potential job applicants, were the first people that [the Republicans] come to, Rowlands says. CCR members go door-knocking, canvas potential voters, and collect survey data about which side voters are leaning toward before an election. And this kind of campaigning is especially important for GOP candidates right now, as midterms across the country are turning out to be a battle even in the most entrenched Republican states. They help make calls, they do a lot of the ground organization, they walk precincts, they do all the hard work, says Matt Fleming, communications director for the California Republican Party. To say what they do is important almost diminishes what they do. We need them. Republicans in California, meanwhile, are trying to change the idea that their state is a foregone Democrat conclusion, even going so far as to propose splitting up the state. Trump himself recently tweeted that there is a Revolution going on in California. But the worry among some Republicans, namely the more moderate ones, is that the midterms will act as a repudiation of Trump and consequently all Republicans, making the California Democratic supermajority even harder to beat. The conflict between the students here at CCR is a microcosm of a much larger one happening in the Republican Party itself. To Rowlands opponent Michael Gofman, the way to shore up the GOP against a blue wave is not through protesting or posing with controversial conservative celebrities on Instagram. We just want to come here and talk about the things we believe in and our vision for the California College Republicans, one thats a lot more issue-based, and talking about policy, he tells me. What we can do to get people elected, and less being campus activists. Gofman is running on a slate called Unite CCR (Rowlands is Rise CCR; each slate has a number of candidates for different positions) and is a moderate in every sense: calm, gentle, and completely unassuming, were it not for his considerable height. If Rowlands is a bombastic, charismatic, galvanizing leader, Gofman is a consummate professional, the (young) adult in the room who never raises his voice, and thinks everyone could work together if they all just calmed down, followed the rules, and conducted things the way politicians used to, in the polite old days. Essentially, boring, deeply unsexy politics exactly the kind of approach that doesnt seem to work anymore in the post-Trump era. The conflict bubbling within the California College Republicans between people like Rowlands and Gofman, and their respective slates, is similar to one were seeing nationally: Do Republican politicians need to be bold, unapologetic, and often wildly offensive, to be effective? Or should they return to the decorum and professional tenor formerly expected in politics? Should the right use the activism tactics more often employed by the left which might mean more events like the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville (which ended in violence and one death) or the free speech rally held in Boston last year to further their agenda, or should they focus on policy and campaigning? The conflict between the students here at CCR is a microcosm of a much larger one happening in the Republican Party itself. After the speeches in the lecture hall are over, theres a catered dinner set up outside under a tent with twinkle lights, where Yiannopoulos will be giving his surprise comments. While Rowlands sits at a table near the front with Yiannopoulos, Gofman idles near the side of the tent. He claps politely after the speech. He doesnt want a photo. While Rowlands is squarely in the now, doing what she can to make a splash the Rise CCR Facebook page boasts that this year they garnered more activity and press coverage than ever before Gofman is, at least in his view, trying to play a long game. My goal is a Republican Party thats inclusive and a big tent that houses all sorts of different people. When youre talking about lesbians arent real or that all Muslims are terrorists, its not going to help make our party bigger, he says. If we start focusing on gender and race, all of those regressive things that were accusing the Democrats of using, then we really have no high ground. The election, then, is a battle between decency in one corner and bombast in the other. Hes definitely going to lose. College students from 70 schools gathered for the California College Republicans Convention in Santa Barbara, California. The afternoon before, the spring CCR convention kicked off with a casual welcome party at Goleta Beach Park, on the other end of campus, where 30 or so early attendees met up to drink Heineken in chilly weather. Rowlands was there in a one-piece Make America Great Again bathing suit, a California College Republicans flag draped over her shoulders (recently redesigned using the antifa colors), and white and gold Ivanka Trumpbrand sneakers. Otherwise, it just looked like a bunch of college students on the beach, standing around drinking in their alma mater sweatshirts and listening to Drake. (Later in the weekend, they will combine their MAGA hats with suits and ties, alongside at least one Supreme/Louis Vuitton hoodie.) So, your average campus gathering, aside from the fact that everyone was talking about the scourge of socialism. Rowlands often frames herself as an underdog, which is strange, because shes the incumbent candidate with the loudest support of anyone here. Sometimes she can be a little harsh with people, said Dominick DiCesare, a 21-year-old UCSB student, a delegate, and a Rowlands supporter despite their minor disagreements. DiCesare, and most of the people hanging out at the park, felt like Rowlands represents a bigger, better, bolder direction all Republicans need to go in if they want the party to survive. Knocking on doors isnt going to work. Activism works, DiCesare said. The left is going around and they have this high activism where they go march in protests and they make events and they videotape things. Why cant we do the same? The CCR gathering was briefly interrupted by a small crowd of men cheering on a guy whos trying to chug a beer. (It takes a very long time.) Eric Lendrum, 23, a University of California, Santa Barbara, graduate, pumps his fist as the crowd cheers for him after giving a speech. The chugger was Eric Lendrum, 23, a recent UCSB grad whos returned just for the CCR festivities. We are a tiny minority in the state right now. You have a split between conservatives, like, say, Travis Allan or Melissa Melendez, conservative populists versus establishment moderates like Chad Mayes, Arnold Schwarzenegger, saying, no, we need to go further left, he said, which just doesnt work. Schwarzenegger in particular is a constant theme all weekend, touted as a model for the worst kind of Republican: a RINO, or Republican In Name Only. Most of the CRs here believe politicians like Schwarzenegger spend too much time trying to compromise with Democrats, their tone is too conciliatory, and their policies too left-leaning. Schwarzenegger is also one of the supporters of New Way California, a centrist advocacy group started by Mayes, which argues for a more moderate Republican party in the state in hopes of wooing independents and undecided voters. The CRs at Goleta Beach, echoing hard-line conservatives elsewhere, talk about Schwarzenegger as a traitor to the party, the very thing keeping Republicans from thriving. Considering Californias current Democratic supermajority, the state might seem like an unlikely battleground for the soul of the Republican Party, at a college level or otherwise. But its more complicated than that. California was the birthplace of Jerry Falwells Moral Majority, the home base of alt-right media like Breitbart, and the state of origin for the Claremont Institute, the closest thing the Trump movement might have to an ideological center. Dotted across its blue expanse are long-standing pockets of conservatism such as Orange County, where last month the Board of Supervisors voted against Californias sanctuary laws. But Californias liberal gloss, combined with a student body who likely went to left-leaning high schools (or are currently going to left-leaning universities) means those students are now feeling politically alienated and ready to join forces with other students just like them. Matthew Vitale, deputy Southern vice chair, helps members register for the organization’s convention; Kimo Gandall, parliamentarian, sits at a registration “help desk.” California campuses are also a kind of ground zero for conservatives battling what they perceive as ideological censorship. In 2017, conflict erupted at the University of California, Berkeley, when staff and students announced they would be boycotting a series of appearances from right-wing speakers, including Coulter, Yiannopoulos, and Mike Cernovich. (The event was sneeringly called Free Speech Week.) Berkeley, though considered a deeply liberal campus, is being held up by right-wing activists and politicians as the most urgent example of free speech wars in America. Trump has “really inspired a lot of people to speak up and not be afraid to speak their mind.” Michael Gofmans slate, Unite CCR, is certainly more in line with Schwarzeneggers approach than Yiannopouloss, but its tough to know what his exact policies are, since no one campaigning or running for Unite showed up to any social events on the first day of the convention. This weekend is a last-ditch effort to get out the vote for Unite, especially considering how likely a Rise (or Rowlands) victory feels. (Gofman will later tell me that their absence was because Unite representatives were campaigning elsewhere, but where exactly is never made clear.) Regardless, they dont come to the beach for midday drinks, nor do they show up a few hours later to an empty and poorly lit parking lot next to the Courtyard by Marriott as it happens, a Romney-connected franchise for the cigar social. (They were supposed to have it on the Marriott property, but neglected to ask if they were allowed to smoke there. They were not.) Theres a debate scheduled for Saturday between Rowlands and Gofman, but it seems unlikely itll happen because Rowlands says Unite, much like the administration previous to hers, is afraid to talk to her. I think its because they dont actually have any ideas, Rowlands said. Either way, she didnt seem worried; her missions are much bigger, taking conservatism further right and hoping to become the voice not just of aggrieved college students who feel voiceless in liberal-leaning institutions, but to affect that kind of change for the Republican party itself. I think that the type of conservatism weve adopted within CCR, the bold and unapologetic conservatism, is the way forward for the Republican party, she said, adding that Trump has really inspired a lot of people to speak up and not be afraid to speak their mind. As students register outside, California College Republicans Chair Ariana Rowlands prepares to give a welcome speech at the podium at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Gofman shows up on Saturday to the Chemistry auditorium on the UCSB campus, late, looking disoriented and clearly exhausted. Hes a consummate professional in khakis and a button-up shirt, with his mental state written across his face: Look, Im trying, okay! He later revealed he had a final trick up his sleeve: a plan to combat widespread fear of Rowlands by introducing a motion for a secret ballot vote, instead of having delegates vote publicly, like they usually do. Chapters have told me, We will vote for you, all of us, if you get a secret ballot, he tells me later. People are scared of her. When you provide an alternative thats loud, and bombastic, and incendiary, it gets people excited because its something different, he tells me in reference to Rowlands. Were both dissuading the vote from us and were not getting that experience thats going to help us in the real world. Gofman is anxious about populist leaders with a cult of personality hes Jewish, and his parents come from the Soviet Union. Rowlands takes the podium at the front of the auditorium for her welcome speech, wearing a bright red dress and looking gleeful. The speech is largely forgettable; the only people in the audience who show much of a reaction are Unite slate loyalists sitting in the back two rows. They dont veer into full-on heckling, but are hissing insults about Rowlands to each other, looking at their phones to convey how bored they are, and muttering fact-checks under their breaths. “She’s definitely going to win. Everyone hates her, and she’s going to win.” Gofman might be a mild-mannered voice of reason looking to work together, but his supporters are furious. Theyre angry that people are allegedly removing themselves from the organization, that Rowlands personally threatens or screams at CCR members if they dont vote her way (she has denied this), that there are allegedly high school students present at the convention to pad out the membership of college chapters, that complicated, niche constitutional rules within CCR are being broken, and that Rowlands has gone from being an outsider trying to break in, to being the establishment herself and running everything with an iron fist. They also allege that Rowlands temperament has made the California Republicans take a big step back from her. (Fleming, their communications director, denies this. She certainly has a fiery personality, he told me. But like I said, a lot of people would call that enthusiasm.) My biggest concern is its midterm elections time, says Kavya Maddali, a 22-year-old St. Marys student. We really need to be out there, getting the vote out. Rowlands focus on activism, say most on the Unite slate, means there will be a lack of attention on helping state Republicans who are running for office. We have Republicans up north who are going to lose their seat this time around, and shes not willing to send CRs up there to walk, knock on doors, says Vanessa Mach, whos running as cochair with Gofman. She thinks that Rowlands considers those candidates too moderate to be real Republicans. We want to voice our concerns on getting politicians elected. She thinks activism will get people elected, which it wont. To some, Rowlands focus on activism means shes more than just a distraction: Shes an ideological enemy. I would consider myself feverishly Republican, and Im all about President Trump, says Andrew Mendoza, 19, the CCR chair for UC Davis. After the election, everyone was trying to paint it as if she was representing the Trump party. Honestly, shes a Democrat. She operates as a Democrat. Mendoza resents Rowlands for making the student government centralized, how shes creating fuckin, like, a million committees with no clear purpose. But, he admits, Shes definitely going to win. Everyone hates her, and shes going to win. College students vote for superlative awards by placing paper in labeled bags. After Rowlands speech, most of the Unite slate immediately stands up to go get brunch, hang out on the beach, and have a few drinks. What they miss is a day largely dedicated to speeches from people like David Blair, the national director of youth for Trump. He gives the crowd tips on how to recruit other students to become CRs such as asking open-ended questions like, Hey, what do you think of freedom? and how to deal with hostile recruitment targets who think all Republicans are fascists. (His advice: Forget them. That is the person I am trying to beat. Im not trying to recruit them. Theyll come around one day when they have a job, pay taxes, have a family.) And then theres Shawn Steel, a lawyer and former chair for the California Republican Party. His talk focuses largely on the nightmare that California has become his PowerPoint presentation includes a slide about how much human feces is found on the streets of San Francisco. (This is a pretty common Fox News report about how liberalism specifically is making Californias streets run brown.) Hes also a big supporter of Rowlands, and the one who provided cigars for the cigar social in the parking lot. After his speech, Steel talks to me about Rowlands while we walk to a nearby Starbucks during the lunch break. I think shes terribly important, he says. The left doesnt know what to do with her. Shes good-looking, shes articulate, shes Hispanic, theyre just befuddled. In a way, its Trumpian. She broke the eggs, unsettled a lot of people. She is actually a new force in Republican politics. Steel tells me this while asking the barista at Starbucks for a cold cup and a pen so he can write his own order down: Grande Frappuccino, no base, three pumps, non-fat milk three quarters of the way, packed with ice, blended, with a triple espresso on the side, two-thirds decaf, which he then pours into the finished Frappuccino. While Steel sips on his very confusing and sad Frappuccino, he asks me about the ethnic origins of my name, which I tell him is from Kashmir. When he asks about my familys religious background, and I tell him were Hindu, he lights up. Oh, he says. You are definitely an outsiders outsider. Then he tells me about a calendar he has that marks all the great conflicts of radical Islams defeats. Eventually, I manage to extract myself from the conversation, but not before a few parting words from Steel. “Bless your soul,” he says. Members of the California College Republicans light and smoke cigars at the cigar social event on the first night of the three-day convention in Santa Barbara, California on April 6, 2018. The open mic period on Saturday, which closes out the events leading up to the finale dinner, is mostly filled with people cheering on Rise and, more generally, America. (One student reads from a prepared speech, How do you define the American nation? In my search, I found that you can find America on every horse ranch, and every rodeo, it is rhythm and blues and rock and roll. If theres anything more Caucasian than calling R&B rhythm and blues I, in my search, have not yet found it.) But while two men are giving an unprompted lesson on how to dress for success as a Republican (shoes match your belt, French cuffs means youve levelled up), Yiannopoulos appears and literally steals the show. While his adult-world influence may have waned, Yiannopoulos possesses a most potent form of political power in his ability to repurpose the same activist tactics that liberals traditionally use to pull people together. He has a clear list of enemies: liberals, feminists, academics, people of color. Though, he doesnt think hes a racist. “The reason people get upset with me is because I’m effective. And funny. I don’t have opinions that aren’t shared by a million Americans. I don’t say anything outrageous. I’m not a racist, I’m not a sexist, I’m not an outrageous terrible person, I just don’t mind who gets upset. To be more upset about humor than you are about actual real beliefs and policies is fucked up.” His tactics, just like Rowlands, though, are all about creating commotion, then using that mess to create solidarity. (Rowlands says Yiannopoulos financed his own trip to CCR; Yiannopoulos makes a quip during his dinner speech about how hes between billionaires right now and that his speech has to be short since its unpaid.) And its working. When Yiannopoulos appears, you can see Gofman and the other Unite delegates even if theyre wholly starstruck immediately deflate. How do you beat the woman who brings Milo Yiannopoulos, a verified famous person, up close and personal to all these students? How do you campaign against celebrity? How do you even come back to the dry, process-oriented nature of the convention after Milo Yiannopoulos shows up to have dinner and, later, to go dancing with you? If the odds of Gofmans secret-ballot maneuver making an upset possible were long before, they seem even longer now. After the final vote one student pushes my recorder into my chest, telling me, “You got your Marxist, third-world, shithole policies!” Yiannopoulos gives a brief speech to the still-hungry crowd about how they need to come together as one, instead of splintering off into too-small subgroups. Youre facing an enemy that owns, controls, operates every branch of civil society and much of the government. And youre behaving like children. Snap the fuck out of it, he says to applause. You guys need to be working together. You have one generation left to fix this. Up to you if youre going to do it. It could seem, maybe, like a message of unity, if unity means siding with the biggest and loudest person on the playground. Whether or not your chosen slice or faction or, as it seems to be the case, splinter is currently incumbent, effective organizations require discipline, leadership, and respect, he tells them. I dont see much of that here. Thats a shame, because it makes all of you ineffective. Everyone, including those on the Unite slate, clap as loud as they can, their eyes glassy and full of admiration. Maddali, an Indian immigrant who has spent most of the weekend openly deriding Rowlands and her political methods, is now begging Yiannopoulos for a photo after his speech. Shes holding her phone to her chest like a blessed medallion. Do I believe a lot of his ideology? Absolutely not, she says, citing his rampant anti-Muslim sentiment. I wanted a photo. Im not going to lie about that. Despite considering most of the mainstream media unethical, Yiannopoulos is more than happy to talk to me after the pandemonium in the auditorium settles down. Back when he was still on Twitter he once incited his followers to harass me because of a tweet he didn’t like but he doesn’t seem to remember my name. He does, though, recognize the name BuzzFeed. Oh, BuzzFeed is cancerous, he says, referring, perhaps, to our reporting that helped collapse his book deal and expose his white nationalist connections. Just outright dishonest. Later in his speech, he calls me perfectly nice before calling BuzzFeed fucking garbage. (This isnt the first time someone publicly mocks me and my profession at the convention, or the last: After the final vote, one student from California Polytechnic State University pushes my recorder into my chest, telling me, You got your Marxist, third-world, shithole policies. A PR tip, from a media professional: Dont fucking touch me!) Yiannopoulos talks at great length, about a diverse range of topics, from the fact that hes met Mariah Carey to his belief that civil war is unavoidable to his personal victory of ending feminism. Eventually, he gets around to talking about Rowlands. I just love her. I think shes great, he says. Shes got this instinctive, sophisticated understanding that if you pander to people who are dedicated to your annihilation, youre not going to persuade moderates. I can recognize star power when I see it. I have it. She has a little star power in her. She has potential. Members of the California College Republicans Cal Poly Chapter pose for a group photo with political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos. This is so fucking triggering, dude. Elias Rodriguez, a 21-year-old UCLA student, mutters this under his breath right before the vote officially starts on the final day. After dinner and Yiannopolous surprise appearance the day before, most of the attendees headed over to Velvet Jones, a nightclub in downtown Santa Barbara, where everyone got very drunk, danced to Flo Rida in a very horny way, and chanted USA! USA! USA! over Mi Gente. Consequently, today, everyone is hungover, a little exhausted, and extremely annoyed. This is what CRs have become, he grumbles, resting his feet on the row of chairs in front of him in the second-last row of Chem 1179, sulking. A bunch of neckbeard assholes. They dont give a shit about American values. I just want Ari to lose and go party and have a good-ass time. The election, like most of the conventions events, starts an hour late and takes hours to happen. Mendoza, the UC Davis student who called Rowlands a Democrat, quietly tosses a few empty champagne bottles in the trash outside the auditorium before the vote begins. My delegation needed motivation to sit through this, he says, smiling. Its my duty as chair! The vote is what youd expect from campus politics or, frankly, democracy generally speaking: messy. Half the crowd is taking it far too seriously (parliamentarian Kimo Gandall keeps yelling, Sir, you are out of order! to anyone who talks without being called on; eventually people try to vote to remove him, which fails) and the other half is treating it like a complete joke (Im voting on whoever will annoy me the least, says one man in the gallery). Gofman introduces the motion for a secret ballot, the big swing he was preparing for all weekend. This could change everything. Theres a scattering of support voiced, some from people who arent members of the very vocal Unite faction. Gofman refuses to admit defeat against Rowlands until he absolutely has to. But, of course, he has to. The secret ballot doesnt happen, and he loses the vote for chairperson. Its not even close. It was never close. Unite loses every vote, for every representative, except for one. This is democracy now, Vincent Wetzel, 24, says to comfort Rodriguez. These are the rules we have to play by. He tells everyone to shake hands with the victors. “They don’t give a shit about American values. I just want Ari to lose and go party and have a good-ass time.” Gofman relaxes immediately once he loses. His posture loosens, his chest doesnt seem filled with cement, and he actually sits down with me instead of shuffling from foot to foot. Once he comes down to earth, you can see the little American flag cufflinks hes wearing. We thought we could get a secret ballot, he says, shrugging. I didnt know if I could win, but I at least wanted to offer people an option, one that most people didnt take. I really hope [Rowlands] takes this challenge as a message that people are dissatisfied with what shes doing. This group of people does not want me representing them. It bums me out, but I understand why. In the three weeks since winning the election, Rowlands has been more vocal about deployments and door-knocking ahead of the state primary, posting a few times on Facebook and Instagram encouraging people to campaign for people like Bonnie Gore, whos running for Placer County supervisor, and Justin Fareed, whos running for Congress. (This week, Rowlands has been posting photos of herself door-knocking for Mimi Walters.) But still, her bread and butter is in aggressive activism. Shes been spending the last week defending the UC Merced College Republicans, who claim they were harassed and falsely accused of spreading hate after they set up a table encouraging people to call ICE on their undocumented classmates. We can, and will, keep all legal options on the table, Rowlands wrote on Facebook. The myth many moderates and liberals have told themselves, especially since Trumps election, is that, if they wait long enough, hard-line conservatives will literally die out. But young people like Rowlands and her supporters are a testament to how wishful that thinking is. Theyre already spreading their views (and getting thousands of Instagram followers for them), and in a decade maybe less they will have moved on from campus politics into bigger things, the kind that might directly affect everyone in the country. They could become their generations Donald Trumps or Steve Bannons or Milo Yiannopouloses. Rowlands, Im sure, will take this as a compliment to her longevity and her influence, which on some level it is. But so far, she and people like her only have volume. And maybe, at some point in the future, that wont be enough anymore. A few hours after the convention ends, I make my way to a Jack in the Box across the street from my hotel room to eat the Spicy Chicken Sandwich I promised myself when this was all over. As I walk by a gas station, Michael Gofman pulls up to fill up his car for the drive home. He no longer looks like a politician, instead wearing a T-shirt, like some kind of college hooligan. When he sees me, he gives me a small wave and I wave back. Seeing him like this fills me with pathos, and then relief. Maybe it was better he didnt win. Those people never deserved him. Students cast votes by holding up paper as the secretary counts their votes, one by one, during the final election on Sunday, April 8, 2018.

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July 26, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed

Meet Milo Yiannopoulos, the Appealing Young Face of the …

Milo Yiannopoulos is a beast. The 31-year-old, boastfully gay Breitbart writeror dangerous faggothas quickly become a hero to young conservatives and libertarians for smacking down the ridiculous out-of-control social justice warriors who troll college campuses. If Donald Trump defies political correctness, Yiannopoulosan avid Trump supporter prone to calling The Donald daddyobliterates it. A woman confronted Yiannopoulos during his speech in a packed American University auditorium last month, asking if his controversial rhetoric invalidated minority views. Fuck your feelings, he told her. The kids loved it. Me too. How could you not? As the student left becomes insufferably extreme, Milos become the perfect counterpunch. Hes irreverent. Hes exciting. To an old guy like mea whole decade Milos senior!hes punk rock. At 62, punctuated by a tall poof of bleached hair his friends will tell you, he is always on, whether hes railing against the matriarchy, bragging about his own fabulousness or discussing his love of black dick, wrote Fusion last year. Hes a middle finger to the establishment, left and right. Slamming #NeverTrump Republicans last week, Yiannopoulos scolded the GOP for offending young Trump supporters like himself, Unlike most right-wing writers, my biggest demographic is 18-34 year olds. Get The Beast In Your Inbox! Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast. A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don’t). Subscribe Thank You! You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason. Those werent just any old voters you were alienating, Milo said to anti-Trump Republicans. They include the next generation of conservative firebrands, who are currently gravitating to Trump, the alt-right, and me. The alt-right. There are worse things than political correctness. *** In March, Yiannopoulos coauthored a 3,500-word piece for Breitbart called An Establishment Conservatives Guide To The Alt-Right. Although initially small in number, Yiannopoulos and Allum Bokhari explained, the alt-right has a youthful energy and jarring, taboo-defying rhetoric that have boosted its membership and made it impossible to ignore. This movement is young, they do defy taboos and unfortunately, the alt-right has become impossible to ignore. Because its racist. I dont mean racist like the left does, where merely being white and male is a sin. I mean rationalizing that youre intellectually or culturally superior because youre white. I mean believing that black and brown people are less valuable to society and should be viewed with contempt. Ive never met Milo Yiannopoulos and am not really that concerned with whether hes a racist or not. Such accusations are what the left does ad nauseam and part of what Yiannopoulos rightly fights against. But I do think he flirts with racism: The alt-right openly crack jokes about the Holocaust, loudlyalbeit almost entirely satiricalexpresses its horror at race-mixing They have no real problem with race-mixing writes Yiannopoulos. I do think he opens windows that concern me: Anything associated as closely with racism and bigotry as the alternative right will inevitably attract real racists and bigots, admits Yiannopoulos. The alt-rights intellectuals would also argue that culture is inseparable from race, he writes. I know well where this kind of collectivist thinking can lead. (You can read at The Beast about my own Southern Avenger controversy). Ive spent the last eight years as part of the Ron and Rand Paul-inspired liberty movement, speaking to groups like Young Americans for Liberty (a few YAL local chapters have sponsored some Milo Yiannopoulos events). Today, YAL is the largest center-right youth group in America. As an organization dedicated to individual liberty. The alt-right is the polar opposite of libertarianism. Analyzing a subset of the alt-right who call themselves neoreactionaries, Voxs Dylan Matthews explains this important distinction, Most modern libertarians are individualists, motivated by a desire to prevent the masses from oppressing the individual Neoreactionaries are not individualists neoreaction places huge value on group membership and group loyalty, Matthews says. They are tribalists, and for the most partlets not mince wordsthey are racists. Much of Yiannopouloss Breitbart essay defends the alt-right from charges of racism (Are they actually bigots? No more than death metal devotees in the 80s were actually Satanists, says Yiannopoulos), while virtually every critique (The Racist Moral Rot At The Heart Of The Alt-Right, says National Reviews Ian Tuttle) you will find (Responding To The Alt-Right: Are They Bigots, Or Just Stupid Children? asks The Daily Wires Ben Shapiro) of the movement (Yes, The Alt-Right Are Just A Bunch Of Racists, says The Federalists Robert Tracinski) focuses first and foremost (You Cant Whitewash The Alt-Rights Bigotry, says libertarian Cathy Young) on the obvious racism (there are elements within Hitlerism and Nazism that I admire, says Alternative Rights Alex Fontana) alt-righters dont even try to hide (I dont think we can pray away the gay, but maybe we can pray the blacks back to Africa? says tweeter @_AltRight_). Then again, sometimes Milo just seems to be having a bit of anti-PC funlike his antiwhite bedroom policy which Yiannopoulos says he would gladly break for Daddy Trump. Either way, race or racism is always at the center of the alt-right debate. Theres a reason for this. Despite Yiannopouloss promotion of cultural libertarianisma much-needed call for freer speech, which I agree withthe heart of alt-right tribalism leads to something that is definitively anti-libertarian and functionally authoritarian. The alt-right is characterized by an extreme collectivism that is unavoidably racist. Libertarians can also be extreme in their obsession with individualism. There is such a thing as a common good and a minimal government is necessary for some basic societal functions. There have always been libertarians who argue against any possible form of collectivism and such debates are not new. Arguments in the 1950s and 60s between traditionalists like Russell Kirk and libertarians such as Frank Meyer explored whether emphasis should be placed more on the collectivefamily, community, countryor individual human beings with inalienable natural rights. This tension between traditionalists and libertarians is what has been considered the American conservative tradition for most of its existence. The alt-right mostly rejects traditional American conservatismthat of classical liberalism and the individualism that has always been a central focus. The alt-right takes the traditionalist aspect of that older right ideological coalition, the collective concerns of family, community, country, to the extreme end of race. Individuals become subservient to the collective, and the new line between friend and foe becomes who is within or without a particular group. For the alt-right, that group is white people. Its no coincidence that alt-righters who dont like libertarians or more traditional conservatives often refer to them as cuckservatives. The Daily Callers Matt Lewis explains the term, A cuckold, of course, is a legitimate word for the husband of an adulterous wife (but) the people who throw this term around are most likely referencing a type of pornography whereby a (usually, white) man is humiliated (or ironically thrilled) by being forced to watch his wife having sex with another (usually, black) man So what does this have to do with conservatism or politics? asks Lewis. By supporting immigration reform, criminal justice reform, etc., a white conservative is therefore surrendering his honor and masculinity A cuckservative is, therefore, a race traitor, Lewis notes. The Daily Caller reported of Yiannopouloss recent event at American University, One angry audience member took his time at the mic to just call Yiannopoulos a fucking prick for expressing his opinions. The writer shot back that his adversary was a cuck, short for cuckold, which has become a popular slur among Milos fanbase to sling at opponents. The audience roared in its approval and chanted cuck as well. Did this young audience even know what they were chanting? Does Yiannopoulos? Or is it just for kicks? And if so, is it even funny? Whats going on here? *** Whos a major cuckservative? according to the alt-right? Rand Paul. Why? For pursuing criminal justice reform, engaging in minority outreach, not demonizing Hispanics in the immigration debate and daring to criticize Donald Trump. Rand Paul is not supposed to help non-whites, according to the alt-right. Hes betraying his tribe. Yes, this racist tripe is what some are seriously discussing in 2016. Its also the inevitable end result of collectivist-racialist thinking. Criticizing extreme Black Lives Matter protesters, for example, something many conservatives do and often with good cause, can quickly become an indictment, and perhaps even hatred, of African Americansas if the average black American isnt just trying to get by day-to-day like the rest of us. But if you go down this collectivist path, you end up forgetting about that. Individuals humanity is diminished. Everything and everyone becomes political. It becomes as if black lives dont actually matter, and police brutality isnt even a real thing. For the alt-right, who cares? Theyre black. You begin to see people of a different color, people whove done essentially nothing bad or to you, as enemies. Its a horrible and unhealthy way to go through life and view your fellow man. Discussing immigration can become a loathing of all Hispanics. Perhaps you might even cheer a candidate who calls Mexicans rapists. Being politically incorrect when discussing the relationship between Islam and jihad-based terrorisma discussion that should happencan quickly devolve into condemnation of all Muslims and Arabs. Perhaps you might even like politicians who want to ban them from entering the U.S. The mainstream right does this toofor every racist or xenophobic thing that Trump says, and the alt-right cheersthere are mainstream conservative outlets that indulge the same prejudices. The potential to replace the identity politics of the left with that of the rightas the alt-right hopeshas conservative radio, television, and websites that would probably not hesitate to facilitate such a trend if they were ratings and traffic getters. Its scary. Its an unnerving time for those who value individual freedom and human dignity. The trend on the youth right for a number of years now has been toward libertarianism. This new alt-right is basically the same old racism being passed off as something high-minded or even hip. So, yes, Im disturbed by an auditorium full of young people chanting cuck! or that the speaker theyre listening to also leads an alt-right chorus. Its not a defense of the left, who deserve every bit of scorn they receive and moreits concern for the right. Particularly the young right. My worry is that passionate, well-meaning, but still intellectually curious young libertarians and conservatives might wander too far into what the alt-right is peddling. Particularly in an election year when Ron Paul isnt running for president, Rand Pauls campaign did not live up to expectations and the alt-rights favorite candidate, Donald Trump, is the likeliest Republican nominee. Even the most non-racist, liberty-minded person accustomed to intellectual pursuits could be attracted to shiny and popular new objects. Sometimes out of boredom. *** Milo Yiannopoulos is cool. Even I think so. But the alt-right is not, and no one should think so. Its not edgy, its not new and its not good. Its surrendering to the worst parts of our nature. Its darkness. Its fatalism. Just like how the crazy left condemns all whites, or males, or heterosexualsyoung rightists attracted to this movement will inevitably start judging their fellow man primarily by the color of their skin. No matter how they spin it, thats exactly what the alt-right wants you to do. Dont.

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July 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed

Berkeley Cancels Milo Yiannopoulos Speech, and Donald Trump …

BERKELEY, Calif. A speech by the divisive right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley, was canceled on Wednesday night after demonstrators set fires and threw objects at buildings to protest his appearance. The university announced the cancellation on Twitter around 6 p.m. local time, about an hour after a section of the campus erupted in protest. All buildings on campus were locked down for several hours, and the university police said on Twitter that students should leave the area because of the violent demonstration. The lockdown was lifted around 10:55 p.m. local time. Early Thursday morning, President Trump spoke out against the university for canceling the event. In an appearance on Fox and Friends on Thursday, Kellyanne Conway, one of Mr. Trumps top advisers, compared the protest to those that took place at airports across the country over the weekend in opposition to the presidents executive order on immigration. I dont even know if they know what theyre protesting, she said. Is it the free speech? Having someone maybe on your campus who has a dissenting point of view or wants to present an alternative point of view? Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor of California and a former mayor of San Francisco, tweeted that he was appalled at Mr. Trumps apparent threat to take away the universitys federal funding. Mr. Yiannopoulos, an editor at Breitbart News, is known for his gleeful attacks on political correctness that can sometimes veer into offensive and racially charged language. He has called feminism a cancer and Malala Yousafzai schoolmarmish, and as a gay immigrant says that he has faced backlash from other gay people when revealing his politics. His flamethrower approach has aroused a fierce backlash. He was barred from Twitter last year for inciting trolls to attack the Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones. Ms. Jones was among those who spoke out last month when Mr. Yiannopoulos announced he had signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster that was said to be worth $250,000. The publisher defended its decision to publish Mr. Yiannopoulos in a letter to authors and attempted to reassure them that the book would not include hate speech. At least one author, Roxane Gay, pulled her next book from the publisher in response to its decision to work with Mr. Yiannopoulos. His scheduled speech at U.C. Davis last month devolved into a tense standoff between protesters and the police. It was called off before it could begin over security concerns. Mr. Yiannopoulos was invited by the Berkeley College Republicans, a student group that portrayed the event, which was to have been held Wednesday night, as a way to jolt the liberal campus with a different perspective. More than 100 faculty members called for blocking the event in a letter to Chancellor Nicholas Dirks. It cited a speech Mr. Yiannopoulos delivered at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he belittled a transgender student by name. On Twitter, the Berkeley campus police described the episode on Wednesday night as major protest attacks and urged people to stay away. Crowds lingered despite police orders to disperse. The university deeply regrets the cancellation of the event, said Dan Mogulof, a spokesman. Mr. Mogulof blamed the violence on outsiders whom he said disrupted what had been a peaceful protest. This university was essentially invaded by more than 100 individuals clad in ninja-like uniforms who were armed and engaged in paramilitary tactics, Mr. Mogulof said. They were implementing a very clear plan to engage in violence, disruption and property destruction. No serious injuries were reported, Mr. Mogulof said, and a tally of damage to the university and surrounding areas was still underway Thursday morning. On Facebook, Mr. Yiannopoulos said he had been evacuated from the campus after violent left-wing protesters tore down barricades, lit fires, threw rocks and Roman candles at the windows and breached the ground floor of the building. He added, One thing we do know for sure: The Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down. After Berkeley, he had no future appearances scheduled, according to his website. Thomas Fuller reported from Berkeley, Calif., and Christopher Mele from New York. Mike McPhate contributed reporting.

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July 20, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed

Milo Yiannopoulos’s Twitter ban, explained – Vox

As a fun, mild action movie, the new Ghostbusters is a highly unlikely candidate to become a cultural game changer. But as one of the first action movies ever to sport an all-female headlining cast, the franchise reboot has become one of the most controversial films of the year. Now the movie has inadvertently contributed to Twitter taking a major step in its efforts to combat harassment: the banning of alt-right hero Milo Yiannopoulos from the platform. Tuesday night, Twitter permanently suspended Yiannopoulos from the website. The social media platform had previously suspended him twice in June, but reinstated him each time after rounds of protests from Yiannopouloss many fans. The permanent banning comes after the highly public role Yiannopoulos played in the intense round of Twitter harassment the vast majority of it overwhelmingly and explicitly racist that Ghostbusters star and Saturday Night Live comedian Leslie Jones received on Monday following the US release of the film. Jones, who plays the character of Patty Tolan in the film, spent most of the day retweeting some of the abuse she had been receiving before declaring shed had enough: She also minced no words for Twitters notoriously lax harassment prevention system: The harassment against Jones follows more than a year of sustained backlash against the new Ghostbusters remake. Though many franchise fans have claimed to be upset for varying reasons, the most evident cause one brutally manifested in the abuse against Jones is sexist dislike of the all-female cast. That factor doesnt fully explain Yiannopouloss role in the harassment of Jones, but its a crucial component of the culture Yiannopoulos is spearheading. Geek culture has witnessed Ghostbusters-style backlashes against diverse reimaginings of beloved franchises more and more frequently in recent years. In 2014, Gamergate the anti-feminist harassment movement that surfaced in gaming culture and spread into larger internet culture also fought against many gaming franchises that sought to be more diverse. Since then, the movement has effectively become a cornerstone of the alt-right, and still continues to influence everything from the presidential election to major tech conferences. It overlaps with large swaths of 4chan, men’s rights activism, the online atheist movement, pickup artist culture, Reddit, and Tumblr. Gamergates tactics included “brigading” the act of a group targeting specific subjects and strategizing ways to collectively harass or threaten them and sustained negative focus on any media product deemed to be pandering to feminism or progressive calls for diverse representation. These practices and emphasis on anti-diverse stances have merged into not only the internets larger alt-right culture but into other areas of geek culture as well, such as the Sad/Rabid Puppies campaign, which rigged the nominations for the science fiction/fantasy communitys fan-voted Hugo Awards. Other films have been targeted, too. Last year opened with a similar, though smaller, anti-feminist backlash against Mad Max: Fury Road from longtime fans and men’s rights activists, then closed with waves of protest against the diverse cast and woman-focused storyline of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The anti-Ghostbusters backlash springs from the same gatekeeping, anti-diversity impulse. Though members of those casts received their share of sniping on and off Twitter, the targeted brigading in those cases was primarily directed at boycotts of the films themselves, rather than at individual actors. Yes, other members of the Ghostbusters cast, notably Melissa McCarthy, the only other member of the films central foursome active on Twitter, have also endured misogynistic harassment. But the racist bent of the harassment aimed at Jones has been remarkably targeted and vicious. Though multiple attempts have been made to paint the Ghostbusters backlash as a product of what is perceived (largely inaccurately) as a more general trend of fan entitlement, the nature of Joness harassment is very clearly and overwhelmingly a product of extreme racism that has nothing to do with the Ghostbusters franchise or with fandom in general. As the only black woman prominently featured among these recent examples of diverse casting in franchise films, Jones is easily the most vulnerable target for this kind of attack. Twitter is a notoriously unsafe space for women, but its even more toxic for women of color. Abusive attacks on women of color tend to involve more violent language, occur more frequently, and be far more overtly racist and dehumanizing, by orders of magnitude. So race is explicitly the primary factor in what happened to Jones over the weekend. But theres another factor in the rampant brigades sending wave after wave of attacks against Jones. And thats Milo Yiannopoulos. In 2014, Yiannopoulos, a British media pundit for the right-wing news website Breitbart, became the beloved conservative idol of Gamergate by writing sympathetic articles covering the movement. Ever since, Yiannopoulos or “Nero,” as he is nicknamed on Twitter has essentially played commander to a veritable army of mostly male extremists hailing from Reddit, 4chan, and Twitter. When hes discussed in the media, Yiannopoulos is most frequently described as a “troll.” But for a man with 300,000 followers eager to imitate his example, troll hardly seems the right descriptor, or an adequate to describe the immense influence he has over his fans. Past attempts by Twitter to suspend him for his offensive speech have only galvanized his followers, who used hashtags like #FreeMilo to successfully call for Twitter to reinstate his account. Yiannopoulos, like many of his followers, has been staunchly opposed to the Ghostbusters remake for over a year. The subreddit r/KotakuinAction, which grew out of Gamergate and remains a geek culture alt-right haven, has been obsessed with tracking and negatively posting about Ghostbusters for months. But while these campaigns have at least ostensibly been ideological, Yiannopouloss tweets on the subject have been pointedly misogynistic. And, in Joness case, theyve been transphobic and racist for a while now: Theres more where that came from. The harassment against Jones didnt start with Yiannopoulos. It gradually escalated over Sunday and Monday, as more people began to react to Joness Twitter celebrations of the film. But it got a swift push from Yiannopoulos Monday evening. In response to a tweet in which Jones described a litany of extreme examples of the racist harassment she had been receiving, Yiannopoulos accused her of being unable to handle “hate mail” and playing the victim: This tweet was all he needed to summon hours and hours of harassment against Jones that responded both to him and to her directly though at that point, neither of them had actually directly interacted. After hundreds of these kinds of replies, a baffled Jones, who had apparently never heard of Yiannopoulos, wondered who he was, then retweeted an explanation calling him “the Uncle Tom of gay [people]” which incensed Yiannopouloss followers. Jones then called him out and blocked him. As a part of the general harassment campaign, Yiannopouloss followers created a series of fake tweets, some of which appear to have been made using browser developer tools, others at the fake Twitter creation site Let Me Tweet That for You; a look at the site shows a number of similar fake tweets made recently and also attributed to Jones. Yiannopoulos “screencapped” and reacted with fake shock to the tweets, leading many Twitter users to believe that the tweets came from Joness real account. The tenor of the fake tweets portrayed Jones as speaking in an exaggerated “street” slang and depicted her as dropping anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs. When Jones tweeted that she had blocked @Nero, she was inundated with racist replies in response an (extremely offensive) representative sample comes from a self-described Gamergater, “shitposter.” Within the alt-rights fortified castle on Reddit, users were positively gleeful over Joness upset reaction, particularly at r/KotakuinAction and the notoriously offensive r/OpieandAnthony. (Warning: Link may contain racial slurs and hate speech.) “We finally made one of them fully implode,” reads one typical response at the Trump forum r/The_Donald. Its unclear who “We” and “them” are, but its a safe bet that “we” encompasses the general alt-right movement and “them” is a mix of anything including feminists, progressive internet communities (so-called “social justice warriors” in alt-right speak), and the four new Ghostbusters themselves. The tone on Twitter was likewise oddly triumphant: Its notable that Twitter seems more vulnerable to brigading from the internets alt-right corners Reddit, 4chan and 8chan, various mens rights forums, and other niche right-wing, libertarian-leaning, heavily male-dominated communities than other social media platforms. This is most likely due to its public and easily accessible nature. The ease with which anyone can make an account and begin directly tweeting at verified users may be a selling point for Twitter, but it also makes it extremely easy to populate “sock puppets” (that is, to create unconnected internet accounts all posing as different people) and proliferate harassment across the site. And while other sites make it relatively easy to report and take action against harassment just look at how quickly Instagram reportedly jumped to protect Taylor Swift from snake emoji following themassive blowup between her and the Kardashian clan over the weekend Twitter is notoriously slow to act in any way. To date, though Twitter has banned a handful of extremely abusive internet trolls like Chuck C. Johnson, others, like notorious pick-up artist Roosh V (who once bragged about date-raping a woman), are still effectively active on Twitter despite long patterns of harassment and many attempts by victims of their trolling, most of whom are women, to get them banned. When Twitter does act to remove harassment and abuse, the action almost always comes only after sustained public outcry. In essence, increasingly it seems as though the only way to get Twitter to take action against abuse is to be famous. More than a day after Jones had begun retweeting her harassment and over five hours after the war between Neros followers and Jones had begun, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey stepped in: Dorseys tweet would seem to indicate that Twitter wanted to take action against the harassment. And many of Joness supporters wanted to make it clear what the first step should be: The hashtag #BanNero began circulating. Yiannopouloss presence on Twitter, and his response to Jones, seemed to shift the Ghostbusters backlash into something incredibly visceral and vicious. In the internet war of words, Yiannopoulos essentially took aim at Jones and fired thousands of eager, angry Twitter users in her direction. Thats not the kind of direct “trolling” that easily gains a Twitter ban, but rather a more tacit, indirect form of harassment stemming from his direct influence over his community of followers. Historically, however, Twitter hasnt viewed this kind of indirect targeting by a major “troll” like Yiannopoulos or Roosh V as an example of actual, substantiated harassment. And as late as Tuesday, it looked as though Twitter would take no direct action against Yiannopoulos, though in a statement issued Monday night to BuzzFeed, the platform insisted that it had taken some action to ban other users who’d participated in the harassment of Jones. Instead, Twitter announced that it will be opening up its verification process the procedure that allows verified users to obtain a blue check by their names to the general public instead of to select public figures. Yiannopoulos clearly viewed this as a sort of victory. Yiannopoulos then moved on to focusing on theRepublican National Convention, where he threw a “Gays for Trump” party Tuesday night one attended by both Roosh V and Chuck C. Johnson and posed like a rock star with eager fans. But Twitter seemed finally ready to commit to making a move on Yiannopoulos. Tuesday night, the site suspended him once more only this time, it issued a statement to Yiannopoulos, which he shared withBuzzFeed, that the ban would be permanent: People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter. But no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Over the past 48 hours in particular, weve seen an uptick in the number of accounts violating these policies and have taken enforcement actions against these accounts, ranging from warnings that also require the deletion of Tweets violating our policies to permanent suspension. We know many people believe we have not done enough to curb this type of behavior on Twitter. We agree. We are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to better allow us to identify and take faster action on abuse as its happening and prevent repeat offenders. We have been in the process of reviewing our hateful conduct policy to prohibit additional types of abusive behavior and allow more types of reporting, with the goal of reducing the burden on the person being targeted. Well provide more details on those changes in the coming weeks. In a response issued through Breitbart, Yiannopoulos called the banning “cowardly” and declared that “Twitter has confirmed itself as a safe space for Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists, but a no-go zone for conservatives. … Anyone who cares about free speech has been sent a clear message: youre not welcome on Twitter.” Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, he deflected responsibility for sending harassment Joness direction. Ina conversation with Vox reporter Zack Beauchamp Tuesday night, Yiannopoulos added that he welcomed Twitters decision: Is anything more wonderful than getting banned? Are you insane? My life is more fun now, and its about to get a lot more fun. … Ive been preparing for this for six months. I could not have asked for a better time. Its unlikely that banning Yiannopoulos on Twitter will do much to quash his direct influence over his followers just as it apparently failed to quash his Tuesday night party: Predictably, currently on Twitter the #FreeMilo hashtag is once again being deployed, as his followers rally around his cause. But at the very least, Twitters decision to permanently ban Yiannopoulos from the site is historic and most likely will serve as a stepping stone for Twitter to refine and increase its tools for fighting abuse. In particular, this should increase Twitters ability to identify the kind of largely indirect harassment that Yiannopoulos specialized in: not individual acts of trolling, but rather homing in on a target and goading other Twitter followers to go on the attack. Hopefully, the move will also put some much-needed distance between two sides of an ongoing and escalating culture war and might even make it harder for these battles to be waged through harassment. Vox reporter Zack Beauchamp contributed to this report.

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July 20, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed

Breitbarts Milo Yiannopoulos resigns following outrage over …

Milo Yiannopoulos, the incendiary writer who helped make Breitbart News a leading organ of the alt-right, resigned from the news organization Tuesday after a video of him endorsing pedophilia resurfaced online over the weekend. Yiannopoulos has been a flame-throwing provocateur whose writing has offended women, Muslims, blacks and gay people ever since former Breitbart executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon hired him as a senior editor in 2014. Bannon, now President Trumps senior adviser, championed the British-born Yiannopouloss inflammatory commentary and promoted him as a conservative truth-teller and champion of free speech. In turn, his popularity helped raise Breitbarts profile among Trumps supporters and the alt-right, a vaguely defined collection of nationalists, anti-immigration proponents and anti-establishment conservatives. Adherents of the alt-right are known for espousing racist, anti-Semitic and sexist points of view. Breitbart News has stood by me when others caved, Yiannopoulos said in a statement announcing his resignation. They have been a significant factor in my success. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post) As recently as last week, Breitbart editor Alexander Marlow in an interview called Yiannopoulos the No.1 free speech warrior of his generation in America at the moment. But Yiannopouloss views on pedophilia apparently went too far even for Breitbart. The site was under pressure to take action against Yiannopoulos, 32, from its own staff, which had threatened to revolt if he wasnt fired or disciplined, according to people familiar with the discussions. In a video interview early last year, Yiannopoulos condoned sexual relations with boys as young as 13 and joked about a sexual encounter he said he had with a Catholic priest as a teenager. Youre misunderstanding what pedophilia means, he told the hosts of a podcast. Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13 years old who is sexually mature. Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty. A group called the Reagan Battalion was among those calling attention to the interview to highlight its opposition to Yiannopouloss speaking role at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in the Washington area. The reemergence of the video triggered a cascade of adverse consequences for Yiannopoulos. First, CPACs organizer, the American Conservative Union, rescinded its invitation to him as a conference speaker. The groups chairman said in a statement that the organization found his comments disturbing and the video offensive. Then Simon & Schuster canceled an agreement to publish Yiannopouloss forthcoming memoir, Dangerous, for which it paid him a $250,000 advance. The publisher said it decided to cancel the book which had drawn protests before the pedophilia flap arose after careful consideration. Yiannopoulos, meanwhile, defended himself on Facebook on Sunday and Monday as the tide of controversy rose. I do not support pedophilia. Period, he wrote. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst. There are selectively edited videos doing the rounds, as part of a coordinated effort to discredit me from establishment Republicans, that suggest I am soft on the subject. The openly gay writer made his name with a knack for taunting various groups and manipulating the outrage that followed. He led a Twitter campaign last year against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones that was so vitriolic that Twitter banned him. He has called feminism cancer in his campus appearances, and he once wrote a Breitbart story headlined, Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy. The departure of Yiannopoulos was met with a mixed reaction by Breitbarts staff, which learned of his resignation via Twitter. There was no internal announcement, said one staff member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. He was on an island off to himself, the journalist said. Milo has virtually nothing to do with the news operation. But Yiannopouloss outrageous commentary did reflect poorly on the organization, said Lee Stranahan, a Breitbart reporter who streamed remarks on Periscope in the moments before the star columnist staged a news conference in New York. I dont wish anybody badly, but do I kind of hope Milo goes away? Stranahan said. I think I do. I think that would be best for everybody. … Because hes not adding to the brand. He was also critical of the sites heavy promotion of Yiannopoulos, noting that the writers face was often featured prominently on the website. Stranahan asserted that Yiannopouloss resignation might allow the site to focus on the left and Islamists, which he described as the biggest threat to America. Addressing the media in New York on Tuesday, Yiannopoulos was alternately defiant, apologetic and self-pitying. He repeated his denunciation of child sexual abuse and said he would donate 10 percent of the royalties from his book, if it eventually gets published, to organizations that advocate on behalf of abuse victims. But he added, This is a cynical media witch hunt by people who do not care about children. They care about destroying me. He also said he will continue to speak and write in the same fashion. I dont think that anything that has happened to me in the past 24 hours will stop me from being as offensive, provocative and outrageously funny on any subject I please. Manuel Roig-Franzia contributed to this report.

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July 19, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed

Milo Yiannopoulos Banned From Venmo and PayPal

MiloYiannopoulos has been banned from both Venmo and its parent company PayPal after the former Breitbart tech editor used the platforms to send anti-Semitic content to a Jewish journalist. When an individual violates PayPals longstanding Acceptable Use Policy, the company will take action as deemed appropriate, the company said in a statement. We ensure that people do not use our platform and services to promote hate, violence or discriminatory intolerance. News of the ban was first reported byYiannopoulos on Instagram, who posted screengrabs of messages he received from both companies. Also Read: Milo Yiannopoulos Defends ‘Gunning Journalists Down’ Comment After Annapolis Shooting: It Was a ‘Private Joke’ A person familiar with the matter said the decision to oust Yiannopoulos from the platforms came after he sent a Jewish journalist $14.88. The figure is a highly charged white supremacist dog whistle. The 14 is a reference to domestic terrorists David Lanes 14-word credo: We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children. The 88 is often used in Neo-Nazi circles as a veiled referenced to Heil Hitler (H is the eight letter of the alphabet), according to the Anti-Defamation League. The ban from Venmo and PayPal is not related toYiannopoulos comments earlier this week when he told theNew York Observerthat he looked forward to the day when vigilante squads start gunning journalists down on sight. Many criticizedYiannopoulos following the attack at a Maryland newspaper on Thursday that left five dead. When reached by TheWrap, Yiannopoulos declined to comment for this story and insisted that the media should apologize to him for insinuating that he was responsible for the deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette.He has also vowed to sue the New York Observerand reporter Davis Richardson for its story on him. Check out Yiannopoulos Instagram posts below: hmm! A post shared by MILO (@milo.yiannopoulos) on Jun 28, 2018 at 3:09pm PDT Megyn Kelly calls Trump out on womenTrump famously feuded former anchor Kelly after she asked him a tough question at a Republican primary debate about derogatory statements he’s made about women. Trump took it personally, judging by his response on Twitter and in interviews. He later famously said Kelly must have had “blood coming out of her wherever” regarding the question. Watch the debate question here. Kelly to Trump: “Facts matter”Trump kept hammering at Kelly on Twitter and elsewhere. When he called her out for not using the IBT poll when he was leading the Republican primary field, Kelly rebuked him with a tweet showing she did use the poll. “Facts matter,” she wrote. Fox mocksTrumpwith statement on debate skippingpollAfter polled his Twitter followers to see ifhe should drop out of a Fox-hosted Republican primary debate,Fox responded artfully with a sarcastic statement that it had learnedfrom “secret” sources Trump might be treated unfairly as president by foreign leaders. Bill O’Reilly calls out Trump’s tweet with totally wrong stats”The O’Reilly Factor” grilled Trump in a Nov. 2015 interview about his tweet that erroneously said black people killed whites at a rate of 81 percent, while whites kill blacks at a rate of 15 percent.O’Reilly told Trump, “You shouldn’t tweet.” Trump did not take that advice. Chris Wallace bucks Trump calling media “enemy of the public”After his press conference in January 2017, Trump continued his attack on media he doesn’t like on Twitter. Anchor ChrisWallace wasn’t having it on “Fox & Friends.” Wallace said Trump’s comments “crossed an important line” and said they were dangerous. Wallace says the media is too easy on TrumpIn an interview with TheWrap, Wallace said he thinks Sunday political shows in particular should be tougher on Trump.”I think if anything, the media has treated him too well.By that I mean theyve allowed him to play by different rules.” Read the full interview. O’Reilly tells Trump Putin is “a killer”In a February interview, O’Reilly brought up Trump’s apparent refusal to criticize Vladimir Putin, calling the Russian president “a killer.” Trump famously responded by saying, “What, you think our country is so innocent?” Watch it here. Smith wails on Trump’s refusal to talk about Russia hacksNobody on Fox hits Trump harder than Shep Smith. “We have a right to know You call us fake news and put us down like children for asking questions on behalf of the American people.” Watch it here. Neil Cavuto tells Trump he’s problem, not mainstream mediaResponding to Trump’s tweet claiming the mainstream media wants him off social media, Cavuto called out Trump for losing track of his own agenda. “Mr. President, it is not the fake news media that’s your problem, it’s you,” Cavuto said. Watch it here. Smith blasts Trump administration on Russia: “Lie after lie after lie”Shep Smith was at it again following the news breaking about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer. He took the Trump administration to task for its many lies about meetings with Russia, including Jared Kushner failing to report the meeting on his security clearance forms. “My grandmother used to say, ‘What a tangled web we weave when first we try to deceive,'” Smith declared on air, leaving fellow anchor Chris Wallace speechless. Watch it here. Trumps favorite network has pushed back a few times

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July 4, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed

Maryland shooting: Milo Yiannopoulos slammed after …

CONTROVERSIAL commentator Milo Yiannopoulos has come under criticism in the wake of the Maryland newsroom shooting. It emerged that the former senior editor for Breitbart News, who has made a living out of making deliberately provocative remarks about women, people of colour and transgender people, had recently told two reporters that he cant wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists. READ MORE: Five dead as gunman attacks newsroom He told The Observers David Richardson that this is now his standard response to a request for comment. He sent a similar message to Will Sommer, a reporter for the Daily Beast. In the wake of the tragic shooting, people on social media have criticised the 33-year-old for his earlier remarks: Yiannopoulos has addressed the connection to his remarks on Facebook, saying: Youre about to see a raft of news stories claiming that I am responsible for inspiring the deaths of journalists. The truth, as always, is the opposite of what the media tells you. He continued: I sent a troll about vigilante death squads as a *private* response to a few hostile journalists who were asking me for comment, basically as a way of saying, F**k off. They then published it. Amazed they were pretending to take my joke as a threat, I reposted these stories on Instagram to mock them and to make it clear that I wasnt being serious. He went on to say: I made a private, offhand troll to two hostile reporters, who breathlessly publicised it and like vermin their fellow journalists swarmed to remind the world how much they hate Milo. If the Left was truly horrified by violence against journalists, they would have shown it in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo. As you all know, they didnt. Yiannopoulos is known to have ties with US President Donald Trump, billionaire Robert Mercer and white supremacist Richard Spencer. Police were called to the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, 50km east of Washington DC, on Thursday afternoon local time, after several people were shot dead. The suspect in the shooting was reported as a white male in his 20s who was armed with a shotgun. His name or a motive is not yet known. US President Donald Trump, who was in Wisconsin for the groundbreaking of a new electronics plant, tweeted that his thoughts and prayers are with the victims. The motive for the shooting is not yet known.

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July 4, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed

Milo Yiannopoulos on gunning journalists down remark: I …

Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos said he was being sarcastic when he told a reporter that he fantasized about the gunning down of journalists, after a massive social media backlash blamed him for inciting violence ahead of theCapital Gazette newspaper shooting on Thursday. I cant wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight, Mr. Yiannopoulosreportedly told the Observer over text message, in response to a question about a story on a New York City restaurant he is said to frequent. When asked by Observer reporter Davis Richardson to elaborate on the statement, Mr. Yiannopoulos said it was his standard response to a request for comment. He also reportedly sent the same message to The Daily Beasts Will Sommer. Social media users immediately blamed Mr. Yiannopoulos for inciting violence against journalists after a gunman shot and killed five people and wounded several others Thursday afternoon at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. In a Facebook post, Mr. Yiannopoulos said his comment was meant as a troll of inquiring journalists and that reports he was inciting violence were wholly false. I regret nothing I said, though of course like any normal person I am saddened to hear of needless death, he wrote. Amazed they were pretending to take my joke as a threat, I reposted these stories on Instagram to mock them and to make it clear that I wasnt being serious. If there turns out to be any dimension to this crime related to my private, misreported remarks, the responsibility for that lies squarely and wholly with the Beast and the Observer for drumming up fake hysteria about a private joke, and with the verified liberals who pretended they thought I was serious, he continued. I made a private, offhand troll to two hostile reporters, who breathlessly publicized it and like vermin their fellow journalists swarmed to remind the world how much they hate Milo. If the Left was truly horrified by violence against journalists, they would have shown it in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo. As you all know, they didnt.

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July 4, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Milo Yiannopoulos  Comments Closed


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"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Under the 'fair use' rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author's work without asking permission. Fair use is based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. The fair use privilege is perhaps the most significant limitation on a copyright owner's exclusive rights.

Fair use as described at 17 U.S.C. Section 107:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phono-records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  • (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for or nonprofit educational purposes,
  • (2) the nature of the copyrighted work,
  • (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
  • (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."