CU Denver prof demands TPUSA chapter publicly separate itself from ‘white supremacist ideologies’
A University of Colorado-Denver instructor told the school’s Turning Point USA chapter adviser that the group is shifting “toward promoting white supremacist ideologies.”
The instructor is insisting that the students distance themselves from the national organization.
Upon the approval of a Turning Point USA chapter, a University of Colorado-Denver academic sent an email warning that the national group is experiencing a “shift toward promoting white supremacist ideologies,” and demanding that the campus chapter take certain actions to ease his concerns.
School of Education & Human Development senior instructor Christopher Carson sent an email “spontaneously and immediately” to the CU Denver TPUSA chapter’s faculty advisor after the group was recognized as a registered student organization by the university, as chapter president Daniel Miles explained to Campus Reform.
Carson — who forwarded Campus Reform a copy of his email — began by asserting that TPUSA has repeatedly “stray[ed] away” from its stated mission to “educate students about the importance of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.”
Citing examples from the Anti-Defamation League’s page for TPUSA, Carson claimed that TPUSA leaders tout “white supremacist speech” and that there are “ties between the organization and overtly white supremacist organizations.”
“Turning Point USA’s spokespeople appearing alongside extremists at events, or on their online programs, such as podcasts or livestream talk shows hosted by avowed white supremacists,” Carson wrote.
Carson also raised concern over TPUSA’s “Professor Watchlist” project, which has a stated purpose of “expos[ing] and document[ing] college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.”
Carson acknowledged that students have the right to “speak out about perceived bias.” However, he then claimed that the watchlist is racially motivated and has spurred a “hostile work environment” for targeted professors.
“To my knowledge, the CU Denver faculty targeted by these efforts have all been faculty of color, and the reporting has led to an onslaught of hate speech and threats of violence against CU Denver faculty members by Turning Point and various other right-wing outlets,” Carson wrote.
“I’m calling on this student group to take proactive steps to clearly separate themselves from racist and white supremacist ideologies and activities that do not align with the stated mission of Turning Point or the University,” Carson added. I’m asking you, as a nationally renowned scholar and as Turning Point’s faculty advisor, to help me toward this end.”
Carson then asked for a meeting with the chapter to discuss his “concerns” and receive answers to his questions:
Given the documented history of white supremacist speech from leaders and members of other chapters, is the CU Denver Turning Point USA chapter willing to make a public commitment to denouncing white supremacy?
Given the history of white supremacist groups showing up at Turning Point USA events, is this chapter willing to craft a proactive plan to deal with such issues?
Given the history of “Professor Watch List” activities leading to an onslaught of hate speech and threats of violence, directed particularly at faculty of color, what steps will the group take or what plans will the group put in place to prevent the deep harm caused (directly or indirectly) by these activities?
What steps will this group take to avoid becoming a voice for white supremacy?
In a comment to Campus Reform, Carson said that he “expressed concern and a need for the group to proactively separate themselves from ‘white supremacist ideologies and activities that do not align with the stated mission of Turning Point or the University.’”
Carson also told Campus Reform that he wishes to speak to chapter leaders or attend a TPUSA meeting on campus to address his questions, but has not received a response from the group.
When asked if CU Denver shares Carson’s concerns, university spokesperson Sarah Erickson told Campus Reform, “Based on laws and court rulings around free speech, CU Denver does not decide whether to approve student organizations based on their viewpoints. All organizations agree to abide by CU Denver’s discrimination and harassment policies and concerns/allegations will be investigated.”
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