WASHINGTON – What are the chances?
A former carpenter and son of a welfare mom turns boxer, meets Jimmy Kimmel, teaches him how to fight, goes on TV to launch a comedy career and winds up testifying before Congress Wednesday on freedom of speech on college campuses.
America – you gotta love it.
Adam Carolla fulfilled that unique destiny by preaching against so-called “safe spaces” to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits and Administrative Rules and the Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Affairs, chaired by Jim Jordan.
He launched by asking members if he could keep the neat little legal pad he was provided, asking, “What do you reckon they’ll get on eBay?”
The comedian was invited to speak because he is making a documentary movie with talk-show host Dennis Prager called “No Safe Spaces.”
No doubt clips of the testimony will show up in the movie.
“These are 18- and 19-year-old kids who are at these college campuses,” Carolla said. “They grew up dipped in Purell, playing soccer games where they never kept score and watching ‘Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!’ And we’re asking them to be mature. We need the adults to start being the adults.”
Carolla suggested the adults on campus are professors and administrators. He added that law and order is nice, but if you just have order, you can often do without the laws.
Author-writer Ben Shapiro, one of those who has faced the firestorms of disruption and protest while speaking on America’s college campuses also testified.
Here “white privilege”:
“I speak on dozens of college campuses every year, so I have some first-hand experience with the anti-First Amendment activities,” Shapiro said at the hearing. “I’ve encountered anti-free speech measures, administrative cowardice, even physical violence.”
Shapiro made the point that protesters are “humored” by professors who think the validity of an argument should be judged by the “ethnic, sexual, racial or cultural identity of the person making the argument” and that those who say otherwise are engaging in “verbal violence,” so the protesters feel justified to respond with actual violence.
When a Democratic congresswoman raised the subject of race and diversity on college campuses, Carolla chimed in.
“Geez,” he said. “I want to talk about my white privilege so badly. I graduated North Hollywood High with a 1.7 GPA and could not find a job. I walked to a fire station. I was 19 and living in the garage of my family home and my mom was on welfare and food stamps. I said, ‘Can I get a job as a fireman?’ and they said, ‘No, because you’re not black, Hispanic or a woman and we’ll see you in about seven years.'”
Carolla said he spent those years at a construction site picking up trash and learning how to build houses and, sure enough, seven years later he received a letter offering him a firefighter interview.
“I was standing in line and a young woman approached and I said, ‘Just out of curiosity, when did you sign up to become a fire person, because I signed up seven years ago.’ She said, ‘Wednesday.’ So that’s an example of my white privilege.”