Conservative student group sees funding revoked 'indefinitely' after hosting James Lindsay at Northwestern University

"We focused on the part we could control."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY

The student group that brought Dr. James Lindsay to speak on Northwestern's Evanston, Ill. campus has been condemned and defunded indefinitely by the student government via an emergency legislation. 

"We can’t prevent a speaker from coming to campus as student government. That’s done by administration," co-president of the ASG, junior Molly Whalen, said. "We focused on the part that we could control, which is student group conduct and student group finances."

The Associated Student Government (ASG) of Northwestern, which controls funding for student groups, voted to freeze funding for the Northwestern University College Republicans (NUCR) after Lindsay's talk, The Daily Northwestern reported.

The reason given was not due to the talk, per se, but as a result of the flyers used by NUCR in association with student group YAF. Whalen claimed that funding was frozen over the fliers, which "featured sunglasses with a queer pride flag and a skull and crossbones superimposed over the lenses."

"The woke took it as a death threat," Lindsay told The Post Millennial. He said a student showed him the flyer, complaining about it. 

"A kid showed it to me," Linsday said, "and the first thing I said was 'oh, that's the poison symbol, not a threat. If you were educated here you'd know that.'"

But the university doesn't appear to be particularly interested in education anymore, Lindsay told The Post Millennial, "only activism."

Lindsay blasted these reasons, saying "The Leftist agitators on the rather embarrassing campus convinced the Leftist student government to freeze their funding based on the use of the internationally recognized poison icon on the flyer, claiming it represents death threats against 'LGBTQ.' Designer is gay himself."

He also revealed that "On the same day as the event, the same student government offered and published a resource guide for protesters (of the event) including approving funding for their disruptive agitation. Those demonstrators showed up, protested, and hackled through my remarks."

The glasses are the same ones shown on the cover of Lindsay's 2020 book Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity―and Why This Harms Everybody, co-written with Helen Pluckrose. The skull and crossbones, the universal symbol of poison, indicate that the ideology of gender identity and identity politics is dangerous and poisonous. 

For the ASG, equating their pet ideology with poison was along the lines of hate speech. They claim that "the flyers advertising Lindsay’s lecture violate NU’s Policy on Discrimination & Harassment. The policy states examples of harassment can include displaying and circulating 'offensive objects and pictures that are based on a protected class.'"

While the ASG claimed that Lindsay's talk was not the issue, but that the "pretty explicit violation" of school policy was to blame, Whalen also spoke out against the talk.

Flyer for Dr. James Lindsay's talk at Northwestern University

The ASG's co-executive officer of justice and inclusion was also on board with yanking the funds, saying "There is a side of injustice and (one of justice). ASG does not want to be on the side of injustice."

The students who saw their funding withdrawn were confused, and apparently expect the decision to be overturned, with a forthcoming apology. "We consider this an attempt to kill our freedom of expression and speech at Northwestern," UCR acting President and Weinberg junior Agustin Bayer said.

Because the funding freeze was immediate, NUCR expects they will have trouble paying for the security that was necessary to ensure Lindsay's safety during his talk.

The Daily Northwestern referred to the cultural commentator, author and mathemetician as a "conspiracy theorist and anti-LGBTQ+ activist." During his talk, Lindsay spoke about the dangers of Marxism, noting that the very people who believe they would be in the Marxist inner circle of society would likely find themselves in the gulags, not driving policy.

Lindsay spoke out against what he terms American Maoism, and the idea that biological sex is mutable and can be fundamentally altered using medical technology.

"Students who protested stated they intended to come look me in the eye so I can see that queer people exist," he told The Post Millennial. "That's honestly hilarious. Everyone knows they exist, we're just not that interested in their antics."

In response to Lindsay's talk, the university president's office got involved, sending out an email referencing "URGENT: HATE SPEECH."

"Thank you again for your email and for sharing your concerns," the missive read. "We appreciate you reaching out. We understand that many members of our community oppose the ideals put forth by James A. Lindsay, whose campus visit is organized by registered student groups. Many of his views are antithetical to Northwestern's values."

"This email from the office of the president of Northwestern about me is a disgrace," Lindsay said on Twitter. "These effete administrators are ripping off the students paying crazy money to be there by hollowing out the value of their degrees and cheating them out of a real education."

"As an institute of higher education that upholds the principles of academic freedom and open discouse, we believe that universities serve a vital role as venues for rigorous debate and discourse. We provide many resources to support the academic and personal well-being of our students and encourage them to engage difficult topics in productive ways," the message from the president's office continued.


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