UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May called Turning Point USA (TPUSA) founder Charlie Kirk a “proponent of hate” on Tuesday, ahead of Kirk’s speaking event at the school, and encouraged students to “neutralize and negate” TPUSA’s influence on campus.
In a video message responding to students who are allegedly in “distress” over the upcoming event on campus, May bizarrely referred to Kirk as “a well-documented proponent of misinformation and hate,” and claimed he has “advocated for violence against transgender individuals.”
May went on to explain that “UC Davis did not invite this individual,” and that there is nothing the university can do about the TPUSA event, because the school is “required” to uphold the First Amendment.
“Under UC policy, campuses may not prohibit student organizations, such as TPUSA, from inviting these speakers, even if the speaker’s intended speech is as loathsome and hurtful to me and to others in our campus community,” May said.
The chancellor also addressed alleged concerns related to “violence,” adding that while US Davis is allowed to deny a speaker if they “present a clear and present danger to the campus,” the school “carries a heavy burden in justifying such a denial under these circumstances.”
“While I abhor the inflammatory speech of this speaker, UC policy permits the student organization to invite the speaker,” May said, adding that university officials are “monitoring the event closely to determine if a threat or incitement develops that meets that threshold or violates other campus policies.”
“We can’t control how these groups operate, but we can work together to neutralize and negate their influence,” the chancellor added.
May also suggested that students refrain from attending the Turning Point USA event, stating, “having to speak to an empty room would make a powerful statement.”
Kirk posted a video to social media reacting to May’s comments.
In response to the chancellor’s claim that the TPUSA founder “advocated for violence against transgender individuals,” Kirk said, “I’ve never done that. That is a lie. We might sue you for that.”
“They’re going to try to arrest me if I say something wrong. That’s what he’s saying,” Kirk added in response to May mentioning the possibility of a “criminal prosecution for incitement of violence” relating to the TPUSA’s founder’s visit to campus.
UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May took the time to record a bizarre video and slander me and our amazing students at TPUSA ahead of our event tonight, so I took the time to respond.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) March 14, 2023
“He’s got to be really careful,” Kirk said in response to May’s remarks. “As a president or chancellor of a university, he’s supposed to remain neutral. This doesn’t sound neutral.”
The Turning Point USA founder went on to say that the chancellor’s remarks “could be interpreted in a courtroom as trying to use power; trying to use influence to restrict somebody’s First Amendment rights.”
“They’re the violent ones,” Kirk continued. “Over a hundred police officers are showing up. I wonder why. Because of me? No. Because Antifa said they’re going do everything they can to disrupt the event.”
“We’re going to be there. We’re going to be peaceful, like Turning Point USA always is,” Kirk affirmed.
Barricades for my speech tonight at UC Davis. pic.twitter.com/pWlpfNpsbX
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) March 14, 2023
“This man is paid $820,000 a year between his state paycheck and board seats to spew his lies and slander about TPUSA and its student members,” Kirk told Breitbart News of the UC Davis chancellor.
“There is a reason we need 100+ police officers at our event tonight and it’s not because of TPUSA or me, it’s because there is an army of ANTIFA domestic terrorists in his community that threaten, bully and assault conservatives,” he added. “We will be peaceful like we always are and we remain grateful to local law enforcement for helping keep everyone safe.”
Kirk also took to Twitter to call out UC Davis professor Joshua Clover, who he said is calling for the Turning Point USA event to be canceled.
“He is welcome to come to my event and challenge me to my face, but I bet he is too much of a coward, so instead he slanders me and our students online,” Kirk said of professor Clover.
This UC Davis professor, Joshua Clover, is calling for our TPUSA event to be cancelled. He is welcome to come to my event and challenge me to my face, but I bet he is too much of a coward, so instead he slanders me and our students online. pic.twitter.com/uznMkQ84qu
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) March 10, 2023
Ironically, while May talks about school officials “monitoring” for potential “violence” derived from TPUSA, the university’s own professor has previously called for violence against police officers.
In 2015, professor Clover said police “need to be killed.”
“People think that cops need to be reformed. They need to be killed,” Clover reportedly said in an interview with SF Weekly, after being asked, “What’s wrong with society today?”
And in 2014, the professor tweeted, “I am thankful that every living cop will one day be dead, some by their own hand, some by others, too many of old age.”
You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.
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