Conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos is no longer officially speaking at the University of Miami.
Yiannopoulos was invited to speak Oct 3 by the UM College Republicans, according to a piece on Breitbart, an alt-right site he edits and writes for. The event (or its cancellation) is mentioned nowhere in recent social media posts by the group, which did not respond to multiple requests for comments. It was canceled, he said, due to unspecified “security concerns.”
Peter Howard, a UM spokesman, said Yiannopoulos approached the club first. “The College Republicans met with University of Miami staff to review operations and logistics needed to host the speaker. The College Republicans decided not to pursue the event,” he wrote in a statement.
Yiannopoulos, a self-proclaimed troll, is beloved by the alt-right, anti-feminists and Donald Trump supporters. He frequently talks about the importance of free speech and exposing college students to differing ideas.
Yiannopoulos is gay, and in a nod to his habit of not being ‘politically correct’ he named his tour after a gay slur. The “Dangerous F----t” tour includes stops at Florida State University, the University of South Florida, the University of Central Florida and Florida Atlantic University. A University of Florida conservative club invited him to speak at the school as well, but it’s not on his official calendar.
UM revoked Yiannopoulos’ speaking invitation over concerns the school couldn’t provide adequate security, he said. His events are commonly met with protests and, at times, violence. Yiannopoulos is not allowed to return to DePaul University in Chicago after his May visit ended with protesters storming the stage and allegedly assaulting him. The school said it could not provide proper security for future visits.
“Mr. Yiannopoulos’ words and behavior contained inflammatory-speech, contributed to a hostile environment and incited similar behavior from the crowd in attendance. In addition, he led an unapproved march through campus that created a potentially dangerous situation,” the university wrote in a statement.
Yiannopoulos, formerly known on Twitter as @Nero, was recently banned from the platform for abusive behavior, notably leading the harassment campaign against SNL and Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones.
Yiannopoulos said he sees the revocation of his invitation to speak at a private university a way to “censor without censoring.”
“It’s a new strategy some colleges are using to get out of hosting unpopular speakers,” he said. “It’s a way to avoid allegations that they’re violating students’ first amendment rights.”
He plans to take a camera and confront UM’s president at his office on Oct 3, then continue his talk outside.