Leftist students at Eastern Carolina University are flipping out over a scheduled event hosted by ECU Turning Point USA on April 17 with conservative firebrand Tomi Lahren.

It all started when the Twitter account for the ECU chapter posted an announcement on Tuesday, March 21.

 

For the most part the responses were either supportive or GIFS directed at the account expressing dissaproval. However, some accounts tried to label Lahren as a racist or offensive. Those accounts targeted chapter president Gio Triana for bringing Tomi as well as the ECU account.

Some ‘enlightened’ tweets include: “Tomato white ass speaking at white ass ECU and youre white ass here tryna talk bout some “diversity” LoL” and “Still not feeling her, Can we get a conservative that doesn’t spew hate and actually has accolades worthy of speaking at a college?”

In a statement, Gio Triana described the Twitter melee:

“Six hours after announcing Tomi Lahren as our guest speaker, I had 20,000 impressions on my personal Twitter account and 250,000 impressions on the official @TPUSA_ECU Twitter page with people threatening to get the event canceled. (I had to change my handle because of all the hate and vitriol I received from the left.) Historically and nationwide, guest speakers on college campuses have been reserved for liberal speakers. This censorship of speech poses a problem to intellectual growth. After all, the point of college is to challenge you to critically think. Theories are like viruses, they build off one another. Tomi represents a viewpoint that is a minority on campus and in academia and I believe this event will serve to magnify ECU’s creed and to encourage students to respect and tolerate the views of others. I want to emphasize that Turning Point USA, Student Government Association and East Carolina University do not support any particular political views; we are bringing her to show the importance of diversity of thought, inclusivity, and toleration. If we censor speech because it’s deemed offensive, sooner or later, we will all be left in silence.”

In response to the criticism, the executive board of the group released a statement reaffirming their intention to bring Tomi:

“We appreciate each comment and concern voiced about our upcoming event hosted along with ECU’s Student Involvement and Leadership and Student Government Association. We understand that many community members disagree with the views of our speaker, Tomi Lahren, and are taking into consideration each dissenting opinion. Our chapter of Turning Point USA has a variety of personalities, backgrounds, and opinions. For this reason, we have chosen to invite her to our campus, as we believe in the concepts of free speech, tolerance and diversity of thought….We understand your right to oppose her views and hope that you will understand the importance of allowing her to speak to ECU’s diverse mindset.”

The full statement can be read here.

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