New York Activists Issue Statement on Planned White Nationalist Events at Columbia University

by Love and Rage Team – NY

NEW YORK – At Columbia University, the campus chapter of College Republicans has invited far-right ideologues Tommy Robinson and Mike Cernovich to speak during the fall semester. Citing a desire to “bring speakers that challenge this community and really give us a sense of what those ideologies actually [are]”, Columbia University College Republicans President Ari Boosalis wants to represent all facets of the Republican Party.

Both Robinson, who is British, and Cernovich are known for promoting talking points hostile to Muslims, with the latter also known for peddling support for conspiracies like “white genocide” and Pizzagate. In April, Cernovich condemned a Columbia University decision to reserve spaces for LGBTQ students and students of color as “immoral” and akin to “racial segregation”. He is scheduled to speak at the university in October.

Given the campus’s proximity to the neighborhood of Harlem, the Anarchist Black, Brown, Indigenous Assembly (ABBIA) issued the statement via Facebook in response to the planned events hosting Robinson and Cernovich:

WE DO NOT CONSENT

We do not tolerate fascist platforms in our communities. The Columbia University College Republicans’ decision to host a white supremacist panel this coming fall semester will not be tolerated. The alleged intent is to shed light on diversity within Republican/conservative values, showing that Republicans do share a common cause and vision: A fiscal conservatism enforced at the expense of marginalized communities based on a premise of white supremacy.

The Columbia University College Democrats fail to recognize the inherent white supremacist nature of this panel, which does not deserve a “productive conversation.” They utilize first amendment right to justify CUCR’s right to host this panel, neglecting the fact that the people who are most impacted are rarely given an opportunity to utilize these same “inalienable” rights in life. The Democratic Party also actively tokenizes Black, brown, and indigenous bodies in their platform ventures. This makes it sensible that they would accommodate the fascist and pseudo-fascist aspirations of those such as Cernovich and Robinson. Together Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin. Both statetist and colonial capitalists. While the idea protecting someone free speech is a constitutional right, innately perpetuate bigotry is contradictory to what Columbia University platform is allegedly built on — equality in diversity. The decision made Columbia entangling in conversation, at the expense of Black, brown, and indigenous safety and humanity just to preserves the legacy of white supremacy cultural divisive and ruthless. We will not allow this kind of toxic fragmentation to take place, and place the burden on us to pick up the pieces due to your disloyalty with the community of Harlem. We directly encourage everyone to mobilize with ALL community groups in Harlem while centering BBI of queer, trans, student, muslim, jewish, and undocumented to create a tangible safe space and front line resistance within the reality of the spirit of the community that lives here and also the legacy it holds.

Harlem is built in brown and black excellence rooted on resisting against fascism, and if provoked we have no option but to kick these fascists out of our community. To bring bigoted rhetoric that undermines the safety of a predominantly BBI community and also the safety of students who may happen to be either BBI queer, trans, muslim, jewish, disabled and/or undocumented is unacceptable. We demand Columbia University to cancel the Nazi discussion, and regain their dignity by not utilizing free speech rhetoric as an excuse for the promotion of hate, bigotry, and violence. Having people like Mike Cernovich or Tommy Robinson not only undermines the security of the student body of Columbia, but also re-creates a social trauma for the community of Harlem. Columbia University in the City of New York and its administration need to cease all operations leading up to this event and hold yourself accountable to your own collective principle of values you propagates as a “progressive” operating university.

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