In yet another attack on the 1st Amendment, Daily Wire host and writer Michael Knowles was banned from speaking at the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities when the school deemed some of Knowles’ past comments derogatory to the transgender and autistic community.
Knowles had been invited by the university’s chapter of the College Republicans to participate in a speaking event that was eventually denied approval due to his views.
In an email to the College Republicans, a university administrator informed the group that after reviewing the online content available for Mr. Knowles, I concluded that the event does not meet the criteria for an approved club event. Statements he has made do not align with our St. Thomas Conviction Statements on dignity and diversity.
NEW: A Catholic university in Minnesota banned @michaeljknowles from speaking at a YAF event on campus, absurdly claiming he has made “statements that are derogatory to the transgender and autistic community.”
— YAF (@yaf) May 4, 2022
St. Thomas’ College Republicans responded with an appeal to supporters of free speech, calling on students, faculty, staff, and alumni to sign a petition requesting the school repeal the decision. The group also issued a statement expressing concern over the university’s repression not only of speech but of thought:
In the University’s view, it is not simply a concern about what Mr. Knowles would say, rather, it is a concern that he holds Conservative-Catholic views in the first place. These restrictions on what speakers we can bring to campus represent not just a threat to free speech but freedom of thought.
Knowles, a speaker with Young America’s Foundation (YAF) and practicing Catholic, also issued a response, pointing out that if his views on transgenderism are Catholic but don’t align with the university’s core convictions, then the Catholic university needs to explain what its core convictions are. He added that despite the university’s review of Knowles’ online content it did not produce an example of his past comments that wrangled its administrators and prompted them to deny approval of the event.
If my views on transgenderism are Catholic, and those views "violate the University's Core Convictions," then what does that say about the core convictions of the allegedly Catholic @UofStThomasMN?
— Michael Knowles 🏻 (@michaeljknowles) May 4, 2022
Knowles’ cancellation is just one among several recent bannings of conservative speakers from college campuses. Another YAF speaker was escorted from Catholic Saint Louis University by police after she was attacked by leftist protestors at an outdoor free speech rally on campus earlier this week. Elisha Krauss was moved from campus grounds by the school’s police but remained outside the university on a public sidewalk where she continued her speaking event with fellow free speech activists.
Proud to take a stand against the intolerant left who for two hours called me an old a**, a b****, and a fascist,” Krauss told The Daily Wire’s Ian Haworth. “I defend their rights to free speech the same as anyone else,” Krauss added. “Too bad they wouldn’t engage in a discussion or debate about political beliefs.”
The school’s double-standard was on full display when the counter-protestors were allowed to remain on the outdoor campus speaking spot. This spot on campus grounds is used by various groups, most recently by BLM protestors who have hosted many events at that location.
In December demonstrators converged on Saint Louis University to protest author and Daily Wire host Matt Walsh’s speaking event on the campus who then blocked a street outside the event venue and chanted anti-Walsh slogans. Walsh responded by walking out of the venue flanked by law enforcement and attempted to speak with the protestors.
I went out to say hi to my protesters and give them a chance to answer my ‘what is a woman’ question. They declined, it seems, Walsh posted on Twitter with a video of the confrontation.