Wheaton Student Leaders Say Pro-Life African American Speaker Made Them Feel 'Unsafe'
- Students at Wheaton College
say an African-American pro-life activist
made them feel "unsafe" and "unheard"
as he addressed racialjustice and abortion
during a campus forum.
It's a story our Mark Martin
is following for us at this hour.
He joins us now in the CBN Newsroom
with more on what he's found.
- Efrem, Ryan Bomberger was invited
by the student groupWheaton College Republicans
to speak at a campus eventcalled Black Lives Matter
In and Out of the Womb.
During the 15 minute presentation,
Bomberger spoke about the impact
that abortions are having
on the black community.
- Planned Parenthood was birthed
in eugenic racism.
But they never severed that timeline.
They never severed that connection.
How do you sever from your past
if every year you give outthe Margaret Sanger award?
You don't give out awards for people
you don't hold in high regard.
- Afterwards there was
a 30 minute question and answer session
where students had the opportunity
to ask questions.
Bomberger also stayed late
to answer additional questions.
Six days after the forum
Bomberger was criticized in an open letter
by Student Body President Lauren Rowley,
Vice President Tyler Waaler
and Executive Vice Presidentof Community Diversity
The letter was sent out to the university
denouncing Bomberger's visit
"The speaker made several commments
at the event that deeply troubled members
of our community."
"His comments surroundingthe topic of race
made many students, staffand faculty of color
feel unheard, underrepresented, and unsafe
on our campus."
The students said they wrote the letter
to respond to the "offensive rhetoric".
Bomberger responded tothe students writing
that they failed to mentionthe special interest group
that invited him andhis racial background.
He wrote, "I am a person of color,
a clarifying fact whichyou conveniently left
out of your letter of denouncement.
I was primarily presenting a perspective
of those who are never heard,
and are actually unsafe - the unborn"
CBN News has reachedout to Wheaton College.
According to their mediarelations department
the three students are choosing
not to comment at this time.
Efrem, back to you.
- Mark, thank you.
Ryan Bomberger joins us now.
So Ryan, what comments doyou think these students
may have take issue with?
- I think the main issue was
they didn't like that I was criticizing
the Black Lives Matter movement.
So how dare I, as someone with brown skin,
if you noticed at all.
How dare I actually takea different position
with that social movement.
And I pointed out very specifically
what I had issues with.
One, that they announce solidarity
with the abortion industry.
That their policy platform
is based on the negation of fathers.
That they promote aradical LGBTQ ideology.
So there are a number of things
that I pointed out.
But that really was the issue, I believe,
that they think was offensive.
- Now have you seen this open letter
to the university by student leaders?
And if so, how do you respond?
- Oh, I did.
Yes, I received it.
And it was actually really disheartening.
Because the wholepresentation was fact-based,
it was grace-based, itwas biblically sound.
And to read an attack like that,
to say that what I saidwas offensive rhetoric.
I mean, to say that we're one human race,
is that offensive rhetoric?
To say that we shouldactually get to know people
beyond the pigmentation,
know who they are, talk tothem, form relationships
with people who look different than you?
I don't know exactlywhat they were suggesting
was offensive rhetoric.
But to then say that students felt,
not just students,
students, staff and faculty felt unsafe?
I mean, come on.
This is the culture in which we are,
we're creating individuals
who just don't want to be offended
or don't want theiropinion to be challenged.
And that's really tragic.
Especially on a Christian college campus.
- Now school leaders saythey've reached out to you
to have a meeting with you?
Has this taken place?
- Let's correct that.
We reached out to them, several times.
There was 15 days that went by
and they didn't respondto any of our emails.
We reached out to them becauseas we put in our emails,
we wanted to reach a godly solution
to this issue.
No, they did not reach out to us.
Then we had a phone callscheduled for Monday night,
and asked that one ofour board members join
in on the call.
And they resisted that.
There were several emails back and forth
and they kept questioningwhy this unexpected change?
And then we asked, "Whatwas your reservation
in having one of our board members join
this off the record, private call?"
And their next email was,
"We decline this unexpected change."
And they never called in.
So we have made attempt after attempt
to speak to them,
to bring about a godly resolution,
to allow truth to prevail,
and unfortunately they are the ones
who have refused the communication,
who have refused a Matthew 18 model
of conflict resolution.
- At this point,
what are you hoping will come out of this?
I also hope that students realize
that they can be courageous
right there on campus.
Even if it seems like theculture is against you.
Love is illuminating the truth.
It's always illuminating the truth.
And so our prayer as an organization,
the Radiance Foundation,
is that students feelequipped and empowered
to engage in these really tough,
culture shifting issues,
and they are not willing to back down
because of a culture ofpolitical correctness
or even a worship, whatI think, is this worship
of the deity of diversity.
If truth has to be sacrificed
for you to spread this false diversity,
then it's false diversity
and it's false unity.
There are a lot of things we want
out of it.
But we want truth to prevail over all.
- Alright, Ryan Bomberger,
thank you so much for your time.