There’s a witch hunt underway for conservatives at the University of Southern California – and Jacob Ellenhorn appears to be Public Enemy No. 1.
Ellenhorn is a student senator at USC and president of the College Republicans. He is also an outspoken conservative.
And that’s a big problem among his fellow student lawmakers at USC.
Ellenhorn is facing possible impeachment – accused of all sorts of tawdry behavior – like publicly expressing his conservative opinions and (brace yourself) inviting high-profile conservative speakers to campus.
“It seems like freedom of speech and freedom to express your views is not allowed by the University of Southern California student government right now,” he told me.
Ellenhorn accused liberal students of engaging in a “witch hunt” and committing “institutionalized discrimination against me and my views.”
“If you voice a difference of opinion on any small issue – they lash out at you,” he told me. “You’re a racist, you’re a homophobe, you’re anti-woman, you’re sexist. This is ridiculous.”
The official complaint, first reported by Campus Reform, alleges that Ellenhorn “created a hostile environments (sic) for our USC study body, and has also violated our USC Principles of Community by bringing a speaker and moderating an event that blatantly perpetuates sexism.”
The Lefties were especially troubled when Ellenhorn invited Milo Yiannopoulos to speak last year.
Stephen Smith, an adjunct professor and executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation, accused Yiannopoulos of being known for his “anti-feminist and more broadly misogynist commentary.”
“Harmful speech has no place in the Trojan community,” Smith wrote in a letter calling for Yiannopoulos to be disinvited.
“Whatever Yiannopoulos has to say on campus, his invitation here calls into question the human values as well as the academic standards of the USC College republicans,” he wrote. “Controversial celebrity presenters may draw an audience, but the integrity of the USC College Republicans is rubbished by such content, the high standards of excellence we all try to uphold at USC are undermined, and the USC community as a whole is deeply offended on behalf of its women students, staff and faculty.”
Ellenhorn admits that he’s invited firebrand speakers like Yiannopoulos and Ben Shapiro.
“They are claiming that because I invited them – I made students on campus feel unsafe,” he said. “No one has to listen to them. No one was forced to attend. For goodness’ sake – we’re adults. We should be able to handle other people’s opinions.”
Senators are expected to hold hearings later this month to determine the young conservative’s fate. But Ellenhorn doesn’t seem to be all that intimidated.
He penned a fiery response to the complaint – accusing University Student Government of “trying to castrate strong male voices into submission.”
Now, you might be wondering why I’m dedicating this column to covering what some might consider a silly campus skirmish. But this is no silly skirmish.
Pew Research did a study a few months ago – revealing that 40 percent of millennials believe there should be limitations on free speech. That’s a disturbing number.
I suspect that our public universities are being used to foster such anti-American thinking. The Left isn’t just opposing dissenting viewpoints. They are trying to silence opposing viewpoints.
Ellenhorn told me he’s seen his fellow senators rant about all sorts of outrageous issues – but he’s never tried to silence anyone. He’s never tried to have his opposition impeached.
“Difference of opinion should be triumphed,” he said. “But what they are trying to do is shut difference of opinion down.”
And they are in for a mighty big fight.
“I’m not going to stand down,” he said. “I’m going to stand up. I’m not going to be quiet.”
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USC student Senator Jacob Ellenhorn
(Courtesy of Jacob Ellenhorn)
Well said, Jacob! That’s exactly what you should do when faced with a leftwing bully. Stand your ground.
“They are trying to silence me – and I’m just going to get louder.”
The USC senators might want to invest in some ear plugs – because it’s about to get rowdy.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.