BU student vilified, threatened for supporting Trump
A Boston University student was subjected to harassment and threats from classmates for saying he would vote for Donald Trump in a video produced by the university.
Nicholas Fuentes, sporting a “Make America Great Again” hat, was featured in a short video explaining that he is voting for Trump because “political correctness and the multicultural movement in America are subverting any effort that a conservative could ever make to change the country,” adding that he finds “something romantic and inspiring” about “the cultural transformation that Trump is talking about.”
Soon after the video was posted, a Facebook user named Ian Fitzgerald shared the video with the headline, “them: how white and privileged can you get? Me: [link to Fuentes video].”
Reactions to the post show that Fuentes’ opinions struck a nerve with students and non-students alike, resulting in a deluge of abuse in the comments section, some of which even border on physical threats.
One student, for instance, pledged that “I will personally fight this piece of shit,” while another commenter predicted that “this kid is gonna have to transfer schools lmao.”
Replying to the latter comment, Fitzgerald referenced Fuentes’ “Make America Great Again” hat, saying, “I hope he wears it today...that’ll be a good idea...nothing will go wrong.”
Along with the veiled threats, other comments made jokes about Fuentes’ skin color, with one speculating that he probably “lives in a J Crew” while another student discussed scouring the campus for “every 5’6 - 6’ white male” wearing a red hat.
“Anyone else down to report him on Twitter as ‘harmful or offensive?’” another commenter asked, apparently feeling out the level of support for seeking to have Fuentes’ Twitter account shut down.
“Ultimately I was unsurprised but disappointed that expressing a different (ie: conservative) opinion on a liberal campus would create controversy,” Fuentes told Campus Reform. “I have discovered first hand that liberals and university students pretend to be tolerant of diversity and open minded until they are confronted with views that they don't agree with.”
“It is a shame that we can't have a dialogue anymore without a mob of people descending on an unpopular opinion with accusations of bigotry,” he added, saying, “it does us a disservice as a nation.”
A few students apparently had similar reactions to the criticism directed at Fuentes, coming to his defense in Facebook comments.
“It’s ironic that the people who claim to be on the ‘right side of history’ are the ones witch hunting and mobbing individuals for their political beliefs,” one student observed. “I’ve never been more ashamed to be a student of Boston University.”
Alec Dakin, president of BU’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter, concurred with that sentiment “100%,” calling out those who chose to denigrate Fuentes simply for expressing his opinions.
“The same people saying ‘go vote!’ turn around and shame a kid for actively voicing his political beliefs,” Dakin asserted. “Everyone talking shit on here should be ashamed of themselves.”
In an effort to achieve a civil resolution to the matter, the YAL chapter, which advocates for free speech, has organized a debate between Fuentes and Jake Brewer, a BU student who supports Hillary Clinton for president, on Sunday at 8:00 p.m. on BU’s campus.
Campus Reform reached out to the university for comment about the controversy sparked by its video, but had not received a response by press time.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Cam_Westbrook