Campus Free Speech

Young America's Foundation Excommunicates Michelle Malkin for Defending Nick Fuentes

"There is no room in mainstream conservatism or at YAF for holocaust deniers, white nationalists, street brawlers, or racists."


Young America's Foundation (YAF) has removed Michelle Malkin, a right-wing writer and pundit, from its roster of featured speakers. Malkin, the author of a number of books—including, most recently, Open Borders Inc: Who's Funding America's Destruction?—has toured campuses as part of YAF's speakers bureau for 17 years.

The firing comes as a result of Malkin's vocal support for 22-year-old far-right provocateur Nick Fuentes and his allies, the groypers (yes, that's what they call themselves).

"YAF gives a platform to a broad range of speakers with a range of views within the mainstream of conservative thought," wrote YAF. "Immigration is a vital issue that deserves robust debate. But there is no room in mainstream conservatism or at YAF for holocaust deniers, white nationalists, street brawlers, or racists."

Fuentes, a former fellow traveler of alt-right leader Richard Spencer, has a long history of racist and anti-Semitic comments. While he has attempted to distance himself from the alt-right—he characterizes his views as nationalist rather than racialist—it's clear that what he means by "America First" is white nationalism. Indeed, he called conservative writer Matt Walsh a race traitor for inveighing against the El Paso shooter, and he has opined that Jim Crow was no big deal.

Needless to say, the intellectual leaders of the campus conservative movement should be working to expel the groypers. But Malkin has come to their defense, recently describing Fuentes favorably as "one of the New Right leaders" and deriding his critics as "cringe." After YAF tweeted the above statement condemning racists and Holocaust deniers, Malkin fired back that the "keepers of the gate" were trying to silence her for defending "unjustly prosecuted Proud Boys, patriotic young nationalists/groypers & demographic truth-tellers."

YAF then fired Malkin. (She did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

This was clearly a necessary move, though it is likely to further inflame the groypers, who have recently turned several events featuring more mainstream conservatives into embarrassing spectacles for the right. The groypers have been targeting Ben Shapiro, Turning Point USA, and even Donald Trump Jr.

Malkin's supporters are likely to argue that mainstream conservatism—what she calls Conservatism Inc., as there is always some shadowy corporate agenda at work in the minds of the immigration restrictionists—is attempting to silence or cancel her, and that this is hypocritical given the conservative outrage whenever the left does this. But no one is obligated to extend a speaking platform, especially when that platform is supposed to represent a particular point of view. It's not censorship for YAF to declare that it would rather feature a less xenophobic author.

If someone does invite Malkin to speak on a campus, the anti-censorship coalition is obliged to object if a public university tries to cancel the talk or if student-activists try to shut it down. But no one needs to defend Malkin's actual ideas. On the contrary, conservatives who care about individual liberty and racial equality should denounce and disassociate from them as swiftly as possible.