by Dion Pierre
Students at Clemson University in South Carolina are calling on the school to ban Fox News conservative personality Tomi Lahren from a Turning Point USA conference set to take place on the campus on April 8.
Students say that Lahren’s past criticism of the Black Lives Matter organization disqualifies her from speaking at the university.
“We are committed to creating a more equal, fair and inclusive environment on our campus,” said the Clemson University College Democrats on March 11, “Statements made by Ms. Lahren, especially those concerning the Black Lives Matter movement, are divisive and hateful.”
The university’s chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America is speaking out too, saying that it is “disgusted by Clemson University’s behavior on welcoming a homophobic, xenophobic, racist speaker such as Tomi Lahren from Clemson’s campus.”
And junior Summer Shaw started a petition demanding that “Clemson University bans her from our university.” It’s been signed by more than 3,900 people.
Megan Kinner, a Clemson student and sports editor of the campus newspaper The Tiger, responded to the protestors’ demand in an opinion-editorial, saying, “One of the most fundamental principles to our great nation and to democracy itself is freedom of speech.”
“Whether you like Tomi Lahren or not, she has a right to come speak at Clemson University for Turning Point USA’s ‘Back the Blue’ event,” Kinner added.
“College is a place where we are supposed to meet people from different walks of life and expose ourself to new ideas and beliefs. We should not be living in echo chambers. How can we make progress, unite the country and even grow as individuals if we only listen to those we already agree with?”
Campus Reform reached out to Clemson University and Turning Point USA for comment on this story. It will be updated accordingly.
Covering the disinvitation and cancellation of conservative speakers and groups on college campuses represents a key part of Campus Reform’s coverage of liberal bias in higher education.
On Wednesday, Campus Reform described how Bethany College in West Virginia stopped its students from founding a Turning Point USA chapter on campus, citing its affiliation with “hate speech groups.” School officials directed students “not to gather signatures in support of their petition because their application would not move forward.”
On March 18, Campus Reform told the story of Professor Scott Connelly’s email banning his students from citing conservative or right-leaning news outlets in an assignment on sustainability. He told his students that media sources like The New York Times, CNN, and the BBC offer better coverage of science news. The incident was spotlighted by the Young America’s Foundation, who said Connelly is an example of professors “across the nation who let their own ideological biases take precedence in the classroom.”
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Dion J. Pierre is a reporter for Campus Reform. After graduating from Hofstra University in 2016 (B.A. Political Science), Dion worked as a research assistant for Wall Street Journal Columnist and former editor-at-large of The American Interest, Walter Russell Mead, through the Public Interest Fellowship in Washington, D.C.
Photo “Tomi Lahren” by Gage Skidmore CC 3.0 and “Clemson University” is by Tillman Hall CC 2.0.