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Turning Point USA's 'Campus Clash' at MSU sparks conversation, criticism

April 17, 2019
<p>Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk is joined by commentators Brandon Tatum and Anna Paulina. Turning Point USA hosted the Michigan State stop of its Campus Clash tour at the Natural Science Building on April 16, 2019.</p>

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk is joined by commentators Brandon Tatum and Anna Paulina. Turning Point USA hosted the Michigan State stop of its Campus Clash tour at the Natural Science Building on April 16, 2019.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

Michigan State University police officers escorted two individuals out of Turning Point USA’s (TPUSA) "Campus Clash" event at MSU a mere three minutes after TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk came out to speak. The event took place at the Natural Science Building Tuesday evening.

"You sucked a ... billionaire's d--- to get this,” an audience member said as Kirk narrated his story of founding TPUSA, an organization that’s mission is to “identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets and limited government,” according to their website.

Kirk responded by saying, “I’ll pretend you didn’t use a homophobic slur because the left doesn’t do stuff like that,” which sparked cheers and laughter from the crowd.

Following this, another member of the crowd shouted, “Shut the f--- up,” which prompted police — five of which stood in the room throughout the entire presentation — to escort the two individuals out. As they left, the individuals gave the middle finger to Kirk as the crowd chanted “USA, USA.” These two were the only individuals who were removed from the event.

TPUSA hosted their "Campus Clash Tour," at 10 schools, one of which was MSU. Kirk attended with commentators Brandon Tatum — a former police officer — and Air Force veteran Anna Paulina. TPUSA's Director of Communications Candace Owens was scheduled to attend as well, but could not attend.

The three spoke on TPUSA’s motives and beliefs. At one point Paulina spoke on her own behalf, saying, “I am a Latina, I am a Hispanic and I am a conservative and you can be damn sure that I support this president, I support national security and I support building the wall."

Tatum, who identifies as a former leftist, spoke on his experiences promoting conservative views with the black community and what he said were racist reactions from individuals who witnessed this.

Following their introductions and a brief speech on TPUSA’s motives and beliefs; Kirk, Tatum and Paulina allotted time for audience members to share their thoughts and ask questions. Those wishing to participate were asked to organize themselves based on whether they wished to present an agreement or disagreement, with those with disagreements in the front of the line.

To begin, a line of over 20 individuals with agreements formed, while none had disagreements.

As conversations moved along, several began to present disagreements, including one individual who criticized the rhetoric of “illegal immigrants" when referring to immigrants without documentation.

“I’m an immigrant, not an illegal and I do not agree that anybody should be called an illegal,” a woman on a student visa from Cameroon said. “The process itself could be illegal, but I disagree that the human themselves are illegal.”

This disagreement promoted laughter from the crowd, which Kirk sternly shut down before re-stating his argument saying, “I don’t think it’s fair that someone from Mexico is able to hop across the border when you had to wait in line in Cameroon.”

Kirk went on to say, “The conservative movement wants millions of more people like you in this country,” and told the woman, “You are what’s best about this country.”

Other conversations included debates on environmentalism and global warming and calling the Robert Mueller investigation a “waste of time,” both of which were discussed among the commentators and the individuals who questioned them.

The line of questions was cut short to end the event in just over two hours. TPUSA will attend Montana State University next on their Campus Clash Tour.

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