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The University of New Mexico reignites campus speech debate

The University of New Mexico reignites campus speech debate after controversial commentator Tomi Lahren's speech drew massive negative response from students

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On Thursday, September 15, multiple students of color were denied entry at Turning Point event at the University of New Mexico sparking outrage. Tyler Jacobs, a student at University of New Mexico stated “Pretty much I was the first person of color to try to get in and then immediately after two white people came in and (the event organizers) said, ‘They look normal, they can go in’,” as reported by Daily Lobo News.

“I find it incredibly ironic that Fox News is saying they should have just gone in there and talked to Tomi, when that’s exactly what my intentions were,” Jacobs said. “They shut down my free speech by not allowing me to go into the event and have a conversation. Everything that happened, they did to themselves,” as reported by Inside Higher Ed

The outrage prompted hundreds of students and community members to protest the University’s treatment of students of color, especially being a predominantly  Hispanic-serving institution. 

However, the speech by controversial conservative commentator Tomi Lahren at the University drew a massive negative response. 

In a statement issued Friday, the University of New Mexico said  “we are deeply disappointed in the actions of those individuals who intentionally chose to disrupt a scheduled speaker and infringed upon the rights of the speaker and those who attended the event to listen and engage, vandalized University property and unlawfully pulled a fire alarm.” The protestors were accused of hampering free expression but many students of color reported that despite having tickets they were denied entry. 

Lahren was able to finish her speech but called protesters “campus terrorists" and “rabid banshee animals,” claiming her safety was disrupted, as reported by Inside Higher ED


 

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