Retired Lt. Col. Allen West reflected on needing a police escort to exit a speaking event at the University of Buffalo after Black Lives Matter activists shut it down, noting that he remembers an earlier time when he would have needed an escort on a college campus.
West was speaking at an event sponsored by the University of Buffalo’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter Thursday in New York when a black female student scolded him for “ignoring the struggle of your own people” and validating conservative views of people she referred to as “oppressors.”
The former Republican Florida congressman’s speech was titled “America is Not Racist.” West, who is black, was most recently the chairman of the Texas Republican Party and lost in the Republican primary in this year’s election to be Texas governor.
Students shouted popular BLM slogans, including “No Justice, No Peace” and “Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud” as West was flanked by police officers while exiting the building.
“They are radical,” West told Fox News. “I remember the days when black students had to be escorted on to college campuses, but now, because of radical militant black students, I have to be escorted out. There’s something that has to change.”
“A college and university environment is supposed to be free and open sharing of thoughts, perspectives, and ideas, but the progressive socialist Left, by way of fear, intimidation, coercion, and ultimately violence — this is how they suppress any other thoughts, free speech,” West continued. “We cannot have that happen here in the United States of America.”
Following the event, the University of Buffalo issued a statement disapproving of the way West’s speech was shut down.
“All members of the campus community and invited guests have a right to peacefully express their views and opinions, regardless of whether others may disagree,” the University of Buffalo said. “This includes the right of individuals to oppose the views or opinions of others but not in such a way as to limit or prevent the speaker’s freedom of expression or interfere with university operations.”