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Wichita native Schlapp in middle of Yiannopoulos furor

Schlapp By Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

Wichita native Matt Schlapp took heat over the Conservative Political Action Conference inviting far-right provocateur and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at its annual conference this week. In addition to Yiannopoulos’ many past offensive comments (which got him banned from Twitter), he recently seemed to defend pedophilia, saying that relationships with older men can be beneficial for young homosexuals. Schlapp, who is president of the American Conservative Union, the sponsor of CPAC, initially defended the invitation by contrasting it with the suppression of free speech on some college campuses. But after a social media furor, Schlapp announced Monday that CPAC withdrew the invitation. Among conservatives criticizing the invitation was Ned Ryun, an ACU board member and the son of former Kansas congressman and Wichita native Jim Ryun. “This isn’t about free speech,” Ryun tweeted. “This is about basic decency.” – Phillip Brownlee