James Madison Debate Team Comes Out Against Debate

Emma Camp:

This week, the James Madison University debate team made a surprising announcement for, well, a debate team.

The group condemned an upcoming speech on “transgenderism” by conservative commentator Liz Wheeler, arguing that she is “attempting to antagonize and harass highly at-risk groups like transgender students” and calling on the student group sponsoring the event to revoke their support. While there is a lot to criticize about Wheeler’s position on transgender people, it’s nonetheless troubling that a student group devoted to debate and “free speech” would so fiercely call for the cancellation of an event based purely on a speaker’s political beliefs.

Wheeler’s event, hosted by JMU’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), is set to take place on April 26. The lecture, which has already had to move location due to security concerns, will focus on “the ideology of transgenderism,” according to the chapter’s social media posts. Soon after the event was announced, many took to social media to express their disapproval and get the university administration to cancel the event.