Campus Free Speech

Speaker Disinvited from College Event after 'Disrespecting' Obama

Boris Johnson no-platformed over Kenya comments.

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Boris Johnson
Screenshot via Youtube

It is no longer okay for politicians to be disrespectful toward President Obama—if they wish to speak on campuses, that is. 

Students at King's College in London no-platformed Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, after he criticized Obama's decision to remove a bust of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill from the White House. Johnson had been scheduled to participate in a debate on the merits of the European Union, according to The Telegraph. 

Johnson accused Obama of having an "ancestral dislike of the British Empire" because of his Kenyan heritage. The event's organizers deemed Johnson's remarks unacceptable. 

"Given your inappropriate comments and inferences towards President Obama's Kenyan heritage, of which he is rightly proud, and your general tone of disrespect over the past few days in relation to the President of the United States of America, we are now formally withdrawing your invitation at Kings College London," wrote the students. 

Students are under no obligation to give a platform to Johnson, of course. But it seems absurd to punish one politician for harshly criticizing another. If Johnson is wrong, why not bring him to campus so that people can argue against him? 

If British students seem themselves as protectors of President Obama's feelings, campus radicalism may have entered its most bizarrely reactionary phase yet. 

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  1. Good thing this idiotic shit isn’t confined to Anerican campuses.

    Fucking fascist scumbags.

    1. The British do tend to be well ahead of us on that sort of stuff.

    2. Fucking fascist scumbags.

      You cast unfair aspersions upon fascists when you compare them to these fucking nihilist scumbags.

      Say what you will about fascism, but it was at least an ethos.

      1. Nihilists? Why would a nihilist give a shit what he says?

        1. Vee are all nihilists, Jeb, vee belief in notzing!

  2. I heard Obama was inconsolable for days after Boris spoke those wounding words.

    1. Fuck the British Empire. Shouldn’t all Americans have an ancestral dislike of the British Empire?

      1. My ancestry causes me to hate the Austro-Hungarian empire. Waltzes and goulash are the devil.

      2. Things have been pretty good between us for, you know, the last century and a half or so…

  3. Johnson accused Obama of having an “ancestral dislike of the British Empire” because of his Kenyan heritage.

    Maybe it’s my cis-hetero white male shitlord privilege showing, but I really don’t see what’s so disrespectful about that. Obama has Kenyan heritage. A lot of people with Kenyan heritage don’t like the Brits. Therefore, it’s at least a possibility that Obama doesn’t like the Brits. WTF is wrong with pointing that out?

    1. You dumb bastard. You can’t point out the African ancestry and heritage of a black person. It’s racist to do so.

      1. And it’s also racist not to acknowledge and celebrate how awesome it is to have a president of African heritage.

        1. Awesome? You use that word, but I don’t think it means what you think it means…

          1. It’s called sarcasm.

            1. Wooooosh

    2. Should we be surprised that they’re inferring these alleged inferences of disrespect from a statement that has no inherent subjective value? Projection and half-baked outrage is how these people operate.

  4. Boris looks like a young Bernie Sanders.

    1. Mother of God, he looks like Trump and Saunders had a baby-thing.

      What would such a beast be called?

      1. What would such a beast be called?

        Assuming Adolf Hitler is out, Boris Johnson sounds about right. Joseph Bauer maybe?

  5. Wow they totally don’t remember how shitty they treated Bush for his whole 8 years. It’s like history started with Obama

    1. Oh they remember. And they’re ashamed they didn’t treat him worse.

    2. It’s like history started with Obama

      Year zero man!

      1. Hmm…I recall reading something about the 3rd (or is it 4th) coming of Christ and how it might not be a super good thing…

    3. Being at university now, they would have been pre-teens for much of the bush presidency.

      1. But, just like their pathetic baby boomer profs and the 60’s they spend their whole lives trying to make up for not helping to fight the Man, man.

  6. Don’t get too worked up over this, Rico. Insulting the president will once again become “patriotic” for Americans and “courageous” for Brits after Trump is elected.

    1. Comedy writers everywhere are aligning with the Republican party while licking their proverbial chops. They haven’t been allowed to make fun of the President for almost 8 years man, have some heart! Vote Trump! Think of the comedy, not the loss of human life and liberty!

  7. Shorter Boris: Obama is near!

    1. What’d he say??

      1. He said, “Obama is a “

        1. +1 authentic frontier gibberish

  8. Geezus Kryste Robby. How can you omit the alt-text off THAT?

  9. “Disrespected” that lying piece of shit, did he?

  10. If Johnson is wrong, why not bring him to campus so that people can argue against him?

    I think we all know why not.

  11. How did it come that a fucking President get to be so revered and have respect bestowed upon him? All of a sudden you can’t criticize him? Talk about creating a nation of sheep. The people who are ‘protecting’ this guy are the same dipshits who shat over Bush for eight bloody years. The same morons who always say ‘question authority’ seem to stop at Obama.

    Fuck every single one of those dishonest and disingenuous assholes.

    1. Yeah, but BOOOOSH had the wrong letter after his name. That makes it, like, totes diff.

      1. Race must have a lot to do with it. People didn’t have much trouble with disrespecting Clinton. Though I suppose that might as well be 1000 years ago now.

        1. This. Clinton was ‘disrespected’ pretty harshly when he was actually impeached.

          Frankly, if Obama was white he might very well have been removed from office by now.

          1. For what?

            1. For intervening in Libya without Congressional approval for starters.

              Used to be usurping a co-equal branch of government’s authority was frowned upon. Key words: “used to.”

              1. Frowned upon, sure. Also, Presidents have been shitting on Congress forever regarding military matters. I just don’t see any real argument that Obama would have been impeached if he were white.

            2. The extrajudicial assassination of an American citizen (and his minor son) that hadn’t even been charged with a crime, perhaps?

              Or the glee he exhibited when he said he sat down regularly and went over which other Americans he believes he could kill without charge, trial or conviction?

              1. I don’t know what you’re talking about in your second sentence. Regarding the first, I don’t like the decision, but I don’t think any President would have been impeached over it, white or Black.

              2. You guys are confusing “stuff Obama could be impeached over” with “stuff Obama would be impeached over”.

                Look across American history. Virtually every President broke the law. At least a dozen broke the law in ways far exceeding what Obama’s done. Exactly zero have been removed from office.

                Here is what it takes to remove a President: both major parties have to want him gone. End of story. “Doing something illegal” means exactly jack shit. Most Americans celebrate when one of THEIR team does something illegal in pursuit of a goal they agree with. They only get angry when the OTHER team breaks the law.

            3. Signing into law ObamaCare which is clearly unconstitutional no matter what the crooks in Congress and the SCOTUS say to the contrary.

              High crimes and misdemeanors is a good start for beginning the impeachment proceedings.

              1. That’s going to be a tough sell to the people who passed the law.

          2. if Obama was white he might very well have been removed from office by now.

            His entire political career was predicated on being black. White, he’d still be in Chicago on the City Council.

          3. Frankly, if Obama was white he might very well have been removed from office by now.

            If Obama were white, he wouldn’t have been elected president in the first place.

    2. Who says you can’t criticize him? Johnson can say whatever he wants, but the King’s College students aren’t obligated to provide him a forum for his thoughts.

      1. Shorthand pendant, eh? Commentators are allowed to say kings college students are fucking totalitarian pansies for no platforming him.

        1. Sure. I wouldn’t have made their decision, but no one should pretend that being disinvited from participating in a debate because of something you said means that a you “can’t” say something.

          1. No, the only things that means you can’t say something is having your tongue cut out, or losing consciousness or dying.

      2. Well, obviously one can, because Boris did.

      3. King’s College students aren’t obligated to provide him a forum for his thoughts.

        But *some* students shouldn’t be able to control who *all* students see at the U.

        1. And that’s not what happened.

          The students who were organizing a specific event decided they didn’t want a specific speaker anymore. If another student group *does* want that speaker, they can run their own event.

    3. The people who are ‘protecting’ this guy are the same dipshits who shat over Bush for eight bloody years.

      Probably not. I mean, assuming we’re talking students of mostly normal undergrad age, they would have been in their early teens when Obama was elected, and were probably still wetting the bed for most of the Bush administration (assuming they’re not still wetting the bed today).

      1. assuming they’re not still wetting the bed today

        Probably not a valid assumption.

      2. Yeh I thought of that after I hit submit, but the mindset is the same I reckon.

    4. The same morons who always say ‘question authority’ seem to stop at Obama.

      From what I’ve seen, these are the least likely to question any real authority.

  12. If British students seem themselves as protectors of President Obama’s feelings…

    I don’t think it has anything to do w/ Obama, per se, I think the kids just think “Shitting on Churchill” is a cool thing to do and now they can be all bitchy towards BJ

    This whole, “inviting, then disinviting”-people thing has got to be the most particularly teenage-girlish behavior of the PC-Left.

    1. I don’t think it has anything to do w/ Obama, per se, I think the kids just think “Shitting on Churchill” is a cool thing to do and now they can be all bitchy towards BJ

      I think the ‘Brexit’ aspect of things has been really downplayed in the article (and from Reason as a whole).

      I also think, reading it as an American adds a RAYCISSS! tone that may not be there (or just nudge it towards the center).

      As an American, I heard Barrack was making a play to keep the UK in the EU and my first thought was ‘Fuck off!’. I think Boris displayed a proper amount of tact.

    2. But how can anyone hate Boris? He’s so adorable and dithering in that charming english way.

    3. I’m pretty sure most behaviors of the PC-Left could accurately be described as “teenage girlish”. Which, given the rather bloodier history of the less-PC Left, we should probably be thankful for.

      1. Yeah, I suppose whiny kids throwing tantrums is a lot better than Molotov cocktails.

  13. You cannot disrespect black Jesus. You just wait, ten years from now, they’ll be carving his face into a Kenyan mountain somewhere… And British students will visit it as a sign of cultural solidarity. Or something.

    1. Black Jesus. Good one.

    2. Idols of the Chylde Obama already exist for one to make obeisance at.

      1. +1 “Chia Pet Obama”.

  14. I think Boris would have been less troubled had he simply said, “You gave up you ability to recommend to us when you declared independence. We love you and all, but, Piss Off! You barely got two world wars right.” The Kenyan thing scared people. Thinking is hard.

  15. Also disrespecting and american president? Isn’t this a ting over there? I know it is here closer to the Potomac swamp.

    1. change and to an. And ting to thing. It makes sense then. Promise.

  16. So, limey poofters at King College need a safe space from someone rational? Apparently the Atlantic is no barrier to the transmission of stupidity.

  17. I just thought something. They’re boycotting some guy because he spoke ill of a politician *from another nation*. It’s not like its even the Queen or some cabinet minister… Obama isn’t even British!

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  19. Why the hell do students have the authority to deny someone a platform, anyway? If I’m not mistaken, they’re supposed to be there, at least ostensibly, to learn. That implies to me, at least, that they don’t know any better. If they did, they wouldn’t well have to be students, would they? Why do those who don’t know have a veto over others?

    1. Indeed, “heckler’s veto” is too good a name for this nonsense. It needs a new name. Maybe “moron’s veto” or “snowflake’s veto”.

    2. They ARE learning. Learning how to bully, to intimidate, to oppress. It’s the f’ing UK after all.

    3. Because the students that disinvited him were the same students that were organizing the event and invited him.

      This isn’t hard.

  20. Must not speak the truth about Kenyan Obama and his commie dad and his hatred of western civilization

  21. I love articles like this. It really highlights that Freedom of Association is not a two-way street.

    1. He should have opened and ended with this: “Students are under no obligation to give a platform to Johnson, of course.”

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