No stranger to controversy, Clemson’s chapter of Turning Point USA will be welcoming conservative commentator and TPUSA founder, Charlie Kirk, to speak at Clemson. Part of Kirk’s “Expose Critical Racism” tour is being held in the auditorium at Old Main at 7 p.m. on November 1.
Turning Point USA (TPUSA) is a conservative non-profit organization founded by Charlie Kirk. According to their website, their “mission is to identify, educate, train and organize students to promote the principles of freedom, free markets and limited government.”
This is not Turning Point’s first controversial speaker as the Clemson chapter of TPUSA hosted conservative commentator, Tomi Lahren, last spring causing much controversy on campus. While many wrote petitions, Lahren and others were allowed to speak at the event while a crowd of mostly students protested outside.
Clemson’s chapter of TPUSA was founded in 2020 by Lauren Spottz, and is now headed by President Taylor Rogers. Rogers is also the president of the CUSG Senate.
When asked about the theme, Rogers said that “critical racism” is “just the theme - not specifically related to Clemson. So, this tour theme will be the same at every university he speaks at for his tour.”
Kirk is famously outspoken about Critical Race Theory (CRT), and many of his most controversial statements are available on the tour’s webpage. “If America doesn’t kill Critical Race Theory,” said Kirk in a May tweet, “Critical Race Theory will kill America.”
He also called CRT “the most racist thing that is being spread in popular life in America — it is no different than the teaching of the KKK,” calling back to when his predecessor Tomi Lahren compared Black Lives Matter to the KKK.
Kirk, like Lahren did last spring, may have company with him. “There’s a high possibility that an additional speaker will be coming to speak with Charlie Kirk on the same day,” said Rogers, though that is not yet set in stone.
Clemson is, as of now, one of eight stops on Kirk’s tour. Other schools on the schedule include: University of Alabama, University of Michigan, and Boise State, among others.