An Arizona State University student Republican group is hosting known white supremacist Jared Taylor on the school’s campus Friday, Sept. 2.
The visit has sparked community outcry and a planned protest.
Taylor, despite being known for saying and publishing white supremacist and racist ideas, considers himself a “white advocate” rather than a “white nationalist.” At ASU this Friday, he is scheduled to give a lecture defending white identity politics for the school’s College Republicans United club at 7 p.m.
While initially set up in ASU’s Memorial Union building, the event has since been moved to Neeb Hall, one of the largest lecture halls on the school’s Tempe campus at 920 S. Forest Mall.
After the club posted fliers about the event last week, a social media post immediately began circulating calling on ASU to cancel it. The post encouraged people to flood the phone and email of the ASU president’s office.
ASU spokesperson Jay Thorne said the school is not stopping the event because there are no laws against it.
“Campuses are open to any speaker whom a student group has invited,” Thorne said.
In response to the event’s backlash, ASU also released an official statement emphasizing the school’s policy on free speech.
“ASU is a public educational institution that is committed to free, robust and uninhibited sharing of ideas among all members of the University’s community,” the statement said.
The protest, organized by local activist group Phoenix Anarchist Federation, is scheduled to take place right outside of the event starting at 6:30 p.m. The group is calling it a “rally against fascism.”
Other student Republicans at ASU have also called out the College Republicans United club for associating with and promoting white nationalist ideals.
ASU’s College Republicans club, a completely separate organization, posted a statement on Twitter to “strongly condemn” the other group for hosting Taylor.
“Ideas like the superiority of one race over another are perverse and evil, and need to be condemned in the strongest terms possible,” said College Republicans at ASU President Isaac Humrich.
While initially available through popular ticketing website Eventbrite, the $20 tickets needed to attend Taylor’s lecture have since been removed from the website entirely.
“We determined that Jared Taylor engages in or promotes conduct that violates our Community Guidelines and therefore is not permitted on the Eventbrite platform as an organizer or a featured speaker,” an official Eventbrite statement said.
Tickets can now be purchased on an Arizona ticketing website called Bamm Tickets.
The Phoenix Anarchist Federation’s protest flier calls on the ASU community to “keep white supremacy off our campus” and asks that people who plan to attend “wear all black, bring water, masks, [and] banners.”
The Daily Wildcat reached out to ASU's College Republicans United club for comment, but received no response.
*El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.
Follow JT Thorpe on Twitter