letters to the editor

Response to “I Watched Ben Shapiro Debates For A Week”

Mark Simonson

Graduate Student

Agribusiness & Applied Economics

(701) 367-3574

This article is in response to Erik Jonasson II’s article, “I Watched Ben Shapiro Debates For A Week.” In his article, Erik obviously claims to have been watching Shapiro videos for a week. I’ve been watching his videos for months. With this in mind, I know a fair amount of what Erik has been referring to.

In Erik’s article, he writes, “By no means, though, is Shapiro a white supremacist, nor is he an idiot, but he suffers from an inability to question whether he may be wrong”. I don’t know where he is getting this from. Shapiro has expressed interest in being on the side of the student asking questions about racism, abortion, etc.

He also writes, “Ben Shapiro will never change my mind on any topic because he refuses to accept that he doesn’t hold all of the answers”. Again, I do not see where Erik is drawing his conclusions. Shapiro is obviously very knowledgeable, but I certainly do not recall an instance where he has claimed to hold all the answers to all of life’s questions. Why he insists on jumping to rather false conclusions is beyond me.

There is a video of Ben Shapiro that I watched recently where Ben Shapiro is talking to a student about rape culture. In the video, Ben Shapiro says,

“I think there’s an irresponsibility culture—I’m not sure that there’s a rape culture…The reason I don’t like the term ‘rape culture’ is not because I’m pro-rape, it’s because I’m anti-rape. I think that we need to be clear that rape needs to be stopped but the idea that everybody out there is on the verge of raping women—which is sort of what rape culture suggests—is just not true and it’s a slander against men.”

Ben Shapiro acknowledges that it is intimidating for men and women who are victims of rape to come forward. He has also acknowledged the importance of making things easier for them to report rape. Shapiro has stressed having evidentiary support to make sure rapists are indeed guilty before prison sentences or capital punishment.

On a side note, look at Emily Bazelon’s book review of Jon Krakauer’s book “Missoula”. She’s a research fellow at Yale. Bazelon notes that the book is not clear about if Krakauer had spoken to any prosecutors, police officers, or university officials about incidences of rape in Missoula. She writes, “Krakauer doesn’t take us inside the student culture at the university or the community of Missoula. He lets his contempt for certain city officials show, but they’re neither memorable villains nor three-dimensional characters afforded the opportunity to explain themselves.” Also, I think one could find a better picture of the rape issue than just one book. The Bureau of Justice Statistics seems like a decent source in regards to rape and sexual assault.

I would dig deeper into what’s wrong with this article, but the 500-word limit stands in my way.

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