Milo Yiannopoulos, the controversial political commentator whose appearances at universities across the country have led to violent protests, is preparing for his second appearance at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.
The Cal Poly College Republicans invited Yiannopoulos to take part in a "Fake News" panel discussion at the university Thursday evening.
Yiannopoulos’ first visit to Cal Poly took place in January 2017. His speech sold out and prompted protests outside the event. Those protests were peaceful and no arrests were made.
Still, the university is spending around $55,000 for security for Thursday evening’s event.
"I love it here," Yiannopoulos told KSBY in an exclusive interview Thursday afternoon. "The people are nice, the weather is nice and there’s always lefty crazies. I don’t know what it’s about with this sleepy little town which is like this. It looks like a little town from the movies. It’s a very sensible college with a lot of sensible majors, you know, which seems to attract the left wing crazies. Every time I speak here, there seems to be this unnecessary gigantic police presence on the threat of the crazies."
Tensions are already high on campus following several protests in the past few weeks prompted by a photo of a fraternity member in blackface that turned up online. Many protesters have criticized university administrators for not doing enough to promote diversity and making minority students feel safe on campus.
On Wednesday, Yiannopoulos posted a photo of himself on Instagram with the caption, "In honor of @cal_poly’s HORRIFIC recent blackface incident I am getting the darkest spray tan possible before my talk tomorrow — it will make my new white linen suit really POP!"
"What I was trying to do is just make light of a situation that everybody seems to be in hysterics over which really doesn’t matter that much," Yiannopoulos said. "You ask the kid in question whether he really thinks that black people shouldn’t be allowed in places of employment, shouldn’t be allowed in university, are less than because the color of their skin, what do you think he’s going to say? No. And he’s going to mean it."
The Fake News panel starts at 7 p.m. in the Mott Athletic Center.
"I think a lot of people in the audience are going to want to know, in an era where the media on one side and the media on the other side seem to have completely different sets of facts, let alone opinions, how do you work out what’s true? How does a regular person turn on a TV or pick up a newspaper and work out what actually happened? So I’ll be talking a little bit about that," Yiannopoulos said.
Tickets for the event are sold out.