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College president appears to liken event featuring conservative speaker Charlie Kirk to racist, anti-Semitic incidents on campus

And Kirk hits back

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The president of Colorado State University sent a message to the campus community Friday in which she appeared to liken an upcoming event featuring conservative speaker Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA to racist, anti-Semitic incidents on campus.

Joyce McConnell's message blasted a pair of incidents, one involving a photo of students in blackface and a swastika found drawn on the wall of a university apartment building.

"Blackface is racist and dehumanizing," she wrote, adding that the "swastika is an abhorrent and abiding symbol of anti-Semitism."

More from McConnell's letter:

Acts of bias and racism are widespread across the country and the globe, but they should not be happening on the CSU campus. We stand firmly behind our principles of community and these acts and others violate our principles. We must come together, unanimously reject acts like these, and work on accountability.

Oh, and that Charlie Kirk guy

In her very next paragraph, the school president brought up Charlie Kirk's upcoming appearance on campus:

"We also learned Wednesday night that a student group exercising its First Amendment right to invite speakers to campus invited Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk to speak on campus on October 22 at the University Center for the Arts," McConnell wrote. "I assure you all that we are aware of this upcoming invited speaker, whose visits to campuses across the country have sparked protests, including on our campus in February 2018. We will share more information with all of you early next week about this upcoming event and our university plans for security and programming."

No explanation

McConnell offered no explanation in the letter regarding why news of Kirk's upcoming appearance was mentioned alongside denunciations of racism and anti-Semitism. But the very next sentence begins, "We know that we must denounce hateful acts swiftly and powerfully" and later she adds, "We know you are angry, frustrated, tired, and sad about these events on campus. We are taking swift action. We ask you to join with us, not to do all this work yourselves but to help us do the work that will make this a university where hate has no place."

The school president also offered a list of campus organizations students can contact for support, including those offering assistance with "safety or mental health."

Colorado State University on Tuesday didn't immediately reply to TheBlaze's request for comment on the president's letter.

But Kirk commented

Kirk caught wind of McConnell's message to the CSU community and ripped it for being "shockingly ignorant as it is shamelessly irresponsible." He added that the president "conflating me and TPUSA with abhorrent racial acts that stand in direct opposition to our organization's mission ... placed hundreds of TPUSA chapter members directly in harm's way" and asked for an apology.

Kirk also noted in his response to McConnell a pair of recent speeches he gave — one at CSU and the other at UC Boulder — in which he condemned "white ethno-nationalism as hateful, vile, and un-American."

This story has been updated.

One last thing…
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