NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Columbia University — considered one of the most diverse colleges in the country will soon be the stage for controversial speaker Michael Cernovich.
Cernovich has been quoted as saying ‘diversity is a code word for white genocide.’
“If Columbia University is a diverse university, they should welcome people who might not agree with them,” he said.
The Columbia University College Republicans invited Cernovich and the far-right founder of the English Defense League, Tommy Robinson to speak on campus, but many students say it’s a bad idea.
“I think it’s incredibly insensitive to minority students and anyone who could potentially be victimized by the speaker that they invited because he is a white supremacist,” Jennifer Kaplan said.
“I think they should do away with giving people with hate speech a platform,” Treyaun Fulton added.
Columbia University has given the speeches a green light.
“We welcome all speakers invited by our student groups as long as we can ensure that the event will be orderly and safe,” the school said.
CBS2 reached out to the College Republicans to ask them how and why they chose these speakers, but they declined our request for an on camera interview and a written statement.
The College Democrats believe it’s a stunt.
“There are important and valuable, intellectual conservative leaders that they could have brought to campus, but instead they’ve chosen to bring provocateurs. The whole point of this charade is to have attention,” they said.
Still, many say the speakers should be allowed on campus.
“Freedom of speech cannot be curtailed,” Ashna Schroff said.
“They do have a right to speak and be heard, but we also have a right to protest,” Lindsey Rubin added.
People on both sides hope it doesn’t go that far.