A liberal college, once again, canceled a conservative activist’s speaking engagement on Wednesday night. Instead of addressing the importance of free speech, the night was set to focus on women empowerment and the second amendment.
Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, canceled the speaking engagement of conservative, gun rights activist Antonia Okafor two hours before she was set to speak. The student organizing the event had received the school’s approval days before.
The College Fix reported:
Antonia Okafor, a Second Amendment activist who recently founded a women’s campus carry advocacy group, was slated to speak on Hampshire’s campus last night, with the college having approved of the event earlier this month. Okafor had been invited to the campus by Hampshire student Rahim Hirani.
“They approved my event on Monday and canceled it two hours before the event,” Hirani toldvia email.
In a livestream broadcast from Okafor’s Twitter feed, Hirani said he approached “campus leadership” about allowing Okafor to come speak on campus, for which he received permission. “I filled out the form,” Hirani said, “I completed all the requirements, I filled out a contract.”
Hirani said he titled the event “Women Empowerment and Second Amendment” and provided a photograph with the application materials featuring Okafor holding two handguns. A Facebook listing of the event features the same photograph. “You can assume,” Hirani said, given the title and the photograph, “that it’s going to be a politically controversial event.”Hirani said the university approved the speaking engagement. An email obtained by shows that the event was approved three days ago, on December 4.
The Fix was also able to obtain an email sent to Hirani from the school’s Campus Leadership and Activities director, which stated that the event had to be canceled as what was going to be discussed was “a very controversial subject.”
Supporters of Okafor rushed to her defense and did not hold back in criticizing the college.
Shame on @hampshirecolg for cancelling @antonia_okafor’s speech TWO HOURS before it was set to take place. Her message wasn’t “controversial.” It was about how the 2A empowers women. But I guess it’s okay since she’s a conservative. pic.twitter.com/Nf2JXqATmk
— Autumn Price (@AutumnDawnPrice) December 6, 2017
Apparently @antonia_okafor didn't get the message that @hampshirecolg chooses it's speakers by picking out color, gender, and OH SHE'S A CONSERVATIVE CANCEL HER TALK ON FEMALE EMPOWERMENT NOW #HampshireHatesFreedom
— Zach Federici (@Galli116) December 7, 2017
After the cancellation of the event, Hampshire College blamed the cancellation on Hirani improperly filing the necessary paperwork. However, the student was not to blame in the slightest. Sticking to her guns, Okafor demanded a real apology from the college administration, not an apology that passed the buck. On Thursday morning, Okafor received the real apology she deserved.
Here is the revised apology from Hampshire College:
The College did not follow its own procedures in sufficiently reviewing the application before we approved it. We take responsibility for that mistake.
We canceled the event when we realized that the student application was not sufficiently complete. It lacked the necessary details we require in advance of any event, particularly one that might draw large audiences and intense debate, so we can allot the appropriate resources to staff and support the event. We will reach out to Antonia Okafor and to the student organizers with an offer to discuss this process and consider options for rescheduling her visit to campus.
CORRECTION: The President of Hampshire College just called me directly and told me that they take "full responsibility" for the mistake and should NOT have canceled. I told them they must send out another apology where they rescind their blame of the student involved. They have.
— Antonia Okafor (@antonia_okafor) December 7, 2017