Coming soon to a college near you?

Ben Shapiro wants to destroy you. He gets paid tens of thousands of dollars to make cognitive dissonance and intolerance seem “cool” and “provocative” at universities. He’ll spin his own nonsensical retorts into takedown videos which become red meat for his millions of followers who believe deeply that he’s an unstoppable force.  

Seriously, ever since I made my first video about him, his troll-ass fans won’t stop @-ing me, saying I’m a moron, that I should debate him, that I’d lose to him in a debate, that I’m gay... *just a bit*.

Ben’s livelihood is built on convincing people his overpriced political performances are anything more than just that -- so he can raise his own speaking fees as he continues his touring circus of caucasity on college campuses across the country.

But when he invites college students to challenge him on stage, hoping for his next viral moment, wouldn’t it be really fun if we turned the tables? So, no, trolls, I’m not debating him. But...finish watching this video and you — yes you — can learn How To Debate Ben Shapiro. We’ll talk gender, we’ll talk inequality, and we’ll talk about how Ben Shapiro is a racist.


Let’s start with gender. In one of his most viral videos, Ben Shapiro asserts that, “the idea that sex and gender are malleable is not true” and, “for all of human history, boy meant boy and girl meant girl.” 8 and a half seconds of Googling later you’ll find examples on every continent of societies throughout history that had non-binary views of gender. Gender is something societies can define for themselves —  a social construct if you will.

Transgender rights don’t change cisgender lives. But that doesn’t matter to Shapiro, who’s playing an old and familiar game. Homosexuality used to be classified as a mental illness in the DSM until 1973. Even after that, opponents of gay rights used “mental illness,” “pedophilia,” “perversion,” and any scare tactic they could find to demonize queer folks for decades.

Including last decade! In 2007, when Ben was actually my age, he was one of many on the right-wing blogosphere writing about how same sex marriage was — in his words — an “assault” and a “knowing attempt to undermine” the institution of marriage, and that queer folks “bear animus for heterosexual marriage and have designs beyond mere tolerance.” As recently as 2015 he compared the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of gay marriage...to tyranny.

So he carries on this hateful legacy by saying that conversations surrounding transgender rights are, “mainstreaming delusion.” And he spreads misinformation, saying that, “...as far as the psychological issues at play it used to be called ... gender identity disorder when it’s now called gender dysphoria”. The American Psychiatric Association, which publishes the DSM, specifically notes that being transgender, “is not in itself a mental disorder.” Gender identity disorder is the outdated and retrospectively problematic classification that previously stated otherwise, but remember, details like this don’t stop people like Ben.

In debates, Shapiro likes to make shockingly bad analogies to trip his opponents up; so if he tries to compare gender to age or something else stupid, call out the bad analogy and the tactic. He’s spreading misinformation to demonize a minority group, just as he did with gay marriage just a decade ago. His tactic is to try to take the moral high ground from people in debates...so keep it because A) you clearly have it, and B) the facts don’t care about his prejudice.


Next: inequality. I’ve been a little obsessed lately with the World Inequality Report. A team of economists looked at worldwide trends in income, growth, and capital to parse out the winners and losers of the modern global economy.

This is relevant because Shapiro will argue that the economic hardships being experienced by the poor and working class today aren’t because rich people and corporations are getting even richer. He’ll say that corporate tax rates in the US were too high compared to the rest of the world (by the way, loopholes make it so that they effectively weren’t, and many of those loopholes are still in place after the 2017 tax bill) and that the economy will be better once we pretend that giving billionaires even more money will help people who work 40+ hours a week but still live in near-poverty.

the chart.png

This single chart disproves that argument. These are overall trends in the share of government resources (publicly owned capital) with corporate and private capital. Since the 1970s, governments have had less of a share of money, while private corporations and wealthy citizens have gotten more. And since the 1970s, many of these countries have seen more deregulation, austerity measures, corruption, extraction of resources both from and within developing countries, and decreasing access to education and housing — the all you can eat buffet of neoliberalism, if you will.

The facts really aren’t on Ben’s side here. Again. So ask him how an acceleration of the same economic policies that widened the income and wealth gaps in the US will actually make life better for the bottom 90% of America this time. His response might be something like, “are you proposing that we actually just kill the rich people and redistribute their money? … why are you talking about the rich people, what did they do?”

The trick here is to not allow him to characterize you into defending any political party, organization, or politician. He’ll just use that association, or some crazy extreme like this, to deflect attention away from the argument he’s about to lose. The report shows that the share of income that the top 1% has compared to the bottom 50% has been relatively level over time in Western Europe, and their governments are still able provide better healthcare and public education than in the US. America’s government can’t do that because we keep giving rich people more money as though it’ll actually benefit the poor. So again, force him to defend these stupid policies. And please please get it on camera. I’ll love you forever.


He is a racist. I’m not saying that 30 seconds before going live every day, Ben Shapiro shouts the n-word 50 times fast just to get it out of his system. No, he’s the kind of racist who is supposedly uncomfortable with racist sentiments and actions, but stands up for people who make them. He’ll spend, as he did on the January 15 episode of his show, nearly 20 minutes explaining how Trump’s comment calling African countries “shitholes” could have been made without racial animosity. Shapiro responded to an opinion piece in the Times that highlighted Trump’s many other instances of racism, focusing on parts he said had, “no evidence at all that racism is the motivating factor” If you believe Trump isn’t racist because Shapiro, Tucker Carlson, and others in right-wing media say so, then you’ll also believe this:

“They say Trump’s support for Roy Moore is obviously racist, are you kidding?” No, we’re not kidding. In 2004 former judge and unpunished child molester for Senate Roy Moore tried to block a symbolic move that would have removed language mandating school segregation from the Alabama state constitution. Way to leave that out, among other racist examples from Roy Moore. “Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio — not because Trump’s a racist — but because he is hardcore on immigration” So to be “hard on immigration,” you have to pardon the cop who was found in contempt of court for failing to stop racially profiling suspects? I could go on, I don’t have time. It’s 3AM and this video is already long enough.

In February 2016, one writer warned that, “if [conservatives] don’t say “no” to Donald Trump now ... conservatism [will be diluted] into the vacillating, demagogic absurdity of Trumpism. Conservatism will become the crypto-racist, pseudo-strong, quasi-tyrannical, toxic brew leftists have always accused it of being.” That writer is Ben Shapiro and 2 years later he is defending the demagogic, crypto-racist, pseudo-strong, quasi-tyrannical absurdity of Trump because his rich friends got their tax cuts.

Routinely and knowingly downplaying racism makes him a racist. His own past statements, like when he tweeted that “Arabs like to bomb crap and live in sewage,” makes him a racist. When he referred to Barack Obama as the first welfare queen president, or repeatedly called him a Chicago thug, that makes him a racist. A special kind of racist who, after all of this, will dig his heels in and say, smugly, “I’m obviously not a racist, anyone who calls me a so is a jackass.” (Being taken down by a Berkeley stoner with writer's block at 3am makes you the jackass. Along with apologizing for racists.)

If Shapiro is able to convince you that Trump isn’t a racist, he’ll also be able to convince you of the disproven notion that giving rich people more money eventually makes poor people less poor. He’ll cater to ugly prejudices ingrained in society and use baseless accusations to ostracize people who are just fighting for better social treatment. People see him as an authority and he’s giving people bad information.

So we have to call him out. Don’t let him intimidate you. Put him on the defense. Be polite, but be passionate. But most importantly, don’t stop with this video. Continue doing your own research, because when you challenge your own views, you either make stronger arguments or get better views. Now go destroy Ben Shapiro at his own game. Have fun humans.


[Originally published
29 January 2018 by:
Dan From The Internet]

Credits for video:

Produced by:
Dan From The Internet

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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