On October 25th, Young Americans for Freedom at the University of Michigan hosted YouTube political comedian Steven Crowder at the Power Center for the Performing Arts. Crowder is best known for his “Louder with Crowder” weekly podcast and his unapologetic mockery of left-wing politics and personalities.
Before Crowder arrived on U-M’s campus, posters advertising his event were torn down and anonymous sources tweeted threats about throwing bags of urine at him on stage. Crowder commented: “I literally was reading about baggies of piss being thrown at me before coming on stage.”
The event, titled “Halloween Spooktacular”, was planned to start at 7:00 pm but an unexplained delay kept the crowd waiting until 8:05 pm. While waiting, fans dressed in costumes and MAGA hats were entertained with Halloween music and “We want Crowder” chants. Finally, Crowder arrived onstage and began his discussion on current events while dressed as a Supreme Court Justice. Topics ranged from the legalization of marijuana in Canada to the recent pipebombs targeted toward certain Democrats. There are also acrylic bongs available these days. He quickly voiced his opinion: “Obviously a lot of talk about bombs lately, no one here supports that.”
Later in the show, Crowder was joined by Owen Benjamin who was disinvited from the University of Connecticut last year because of his controversial views on transgenderism. The pair performed a skit called “A Tranny Named Sue,” addressing gender identity. Crowder acted as a transgender student going to college and suing the college because no one wanted to sleep with him.
Crowder then jumped into the “othering” of conservatives on college campuses.
“Statistically… no one has been othered on college campuses more than conservatives,” adding that “The ratio of leftist to conservative professors across this country… 12:1” and “39% of colleges across the country have zero, no conservative professors at all.”
These statistics were Crowder’s segue into his main point that conservative college students should not be afraid to speak their views: “A majority of college students … feel there’s a climate on campus that’s completely hostile towards them.”
Crowder finished his act and turned it over to the crowd for a Q&A. For one question, Crowder talked about Generation Z and asserted that they “are the most conservative generation ever.” He points to gun culture specifically, stating that because they grew up playing video games with ultra-realistic guns they’re more interested in shooting them in real life which leads to support for the Second Amendment.
Another question led to a tangent on how Democrats view wealth. “It’s just so funny the left tries to act like they are so open-minded [about gender identity]” but when it comes to questioning the idea that ‘wealthy people have to be bad and poor people are altruistic’ they refuse to see it any other way.”
A final question came from a college student who Crowder thought had dressed up like a “terrorist.” The student, who identified himself as Muhammad Ali, is, in fact, Muslim and questioned Crowder’s characterization. “Why did you call this a terrorist costume?” he asked. Crowder replied: “Because it’s funny.”
The student challenged Crowder on his generalization of Dearborn, Michigan, and Islam and asked: “Can you appreciate that people have different ways of living?” The crowd began to boo but Crowder cut them off and praised Ali for coming forward and told the crowd not to shout him down. In response, Crowder said “Sure I can… I appreciate different worldviews, I explore different worldviews. And that’s why I’m free to say I don’t like the crappy ones.”
Crowder’s erratic style of presenting material is unconventional. However, the thesis of his talk was not. He stresses that conservatives on college campuses shouldn’t be silenced or shamed for their views. “You don’t have to be afraid. Its okay to be who you are.”