Is Milo Yiannopoulos Coming to Stanford?

by Elliot Kaufman

The face of the alt-right is scheduled to give a “women-in-tech talk” at Stanford.

Milo Yiannopoulos, the provocateur and champion of the alt-right movement, is planning to speak at Stanford on January 10, 2017. Joel Stein of Bloomberg reports that Yiannopoulos will hold a “women-in-tech talk” about “female biological inferiority in science.” Reliable sources tell the Review that the talk will be based on a controversial Breitbart article Yiannopoulos published last year.

No registered student group has yet agreed to host Milo, as Yiannopoulos is commonly known. The Review’s sources reveal that both Stanford College Republicans and Stanford Conservatives Society were contacted but declined to host the event. The Review also declined to sponsor Milo’s talk. Unless there is a Voluntary Student Organization (VSO) willing to sponsor Milo’s appearance, the event’s organizers will not be able to reserve a room at Stanford or host an official event.

Milo, the technology editor at Breitbart News, gained prominence for his early support of the “Gamergate” movement, in which feminist video game programmers, campaigners, and tech bloggers were harassed online. Since then, he has strongly supported Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations, often referring to Trump as “Daddy,” and has been permanently banned from Twitter for instigating the online harassment of African American actress Leslie Jones. Milo’s response: “I will continue to be as offensive as possible.”

He’s not kidding, either. During a recent speech at LSU, he declared “100% of fat people are f***ing disgusting” and the crowd heckled images of obese people that Milo showed on a projector screen. News networks now regularly turn to Milo as the unofficial spokesperson of the alt-right movement, which he has “propelled…into the mainstream” as Heidi Belrich from the Southern Poverty and Law Center told Bloomberg. She describes the movement as a “conscious rebranding by white nationalists.”

Comments like “the Jews run everything,” and “I don’t generally employ gays. I don’t trust them. They don’t show up on time. They don’t do the work. They get all queeny with drama,” and calling the leading thinkers of the alt-right movement — men who mostly write for openly racist publications — “dangerously bright” has led many critics to call Milo hateful. During his last tour, more than half of his events at American colleges were cancelled for his perceived racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia. Even when events are not directly cancelled, student protesters are often so disruptive that Milo is unable to speak. Milo revels in these moments, laughing into microphones as he labels the student protesters either anti-speech fascists or overly-sensitive, politically correct ‘snowflakes.’ Indeed, defenders of Milo often cast him as a provocateur who draws out and exposes the totalitarian tendencies of political correctness.

Other defenders laud Milo as innovative for using the using identity politics against the Left. Milo responds to charges of anti-Semitism by invoking his Jewish maternal grandmother, despite identifying as Catholic, and previously posting photos of himself wearing the Iron Cross medallion popular with neo-nazis. Charges of racism? Milo countered by informing the New York Times that he practices a “very anti-white bedroom policy.” Homophobia? He himself is gay.

Perhaps the most important reason for Milo’s rise has been his unique flair. His British accent, flamboyant homosexuality (i.e. his “Dangerous Faggot Tour,” love for “black dick,” self-proclaimed “fabulousness”), bleached-blond hair, sunglasses, and over-the-top denunciations (i.e. “Feminism is Cancer”) delight his audience. Indeed, conservative journalist Jamie Kirchick described Milo as a “caricature of what resentful, misanthropic, frat bros believe a gay man to be: morally depraved, sexually licentious, and utterly self-aggrandizing.”

Some critics see Milo as more opportunistic and vacuous than hateful. They contrast his support for the Gamergate movement with his previous mocking of video game players as “unemployed saddos living in their parents’ basements.” Milo has himself admitted that “I didn’t like me very much and so I created this comedy character.” More disturbingly, The Daily Beast recently reported that Milo has pocketed $100,000 raised for charitable “privilege grants” to poor white men. Buzzfeed called Milo a “group effort” after exposing that his carefully cultivated online presence, including his published articles, is actually the work of at least 44 interns from around the world.

So who is Milo Yiannopoulos? And is there a sympathetic Stanford student group willing to host him?
 On January 10, Stanford students might find out for themselves.