Students at Clemson University protest conservative speaker at ‘Back the Blue’ rally

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CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) – A ‘Back the Blue’ rally sparked some controversy on Clemson University’s campus, Thursday.

The Clemson chapter of โ€œTurning Point USAโ€ hosted the rally at the university’s Littlejohn Coliseum. The ‘Back the Blue’ event featured conservative speaker and Foxnation Host Tomi Lahren, Brandon Tatum, and Graham Allen.

Lahren has been accused of racism, homophobia, sexism, and more. Dozens of students protested ahead of Thursday’s rally, saying they wanted the university to know they’re not happy with the decision to let Lahren speak.

“Clemson came to fame advocating for Black lives, and I feel like just letting her speak on campus with all of the racist stuff she’s said like comparing Black Lives Matter to the KKK is very contradictory,” said protester, Deasia Rush.

She said the University’s Democratic Party wasn’t given the same opportunity.

“We tried to get one of our speakers to come to campus and Clemson said no because she was too radical, yet they let Tomi Lahren come to speak,” said Rush.

Topics discussed at Thursday’s rally included policing, Black Lives Matter, and politics.

Supporters say they were there for the cause.

“Honestly, I have a lot of friends and family back home, people close in my life that are involved in law enforcement,” said supporter RJ Corra. “I thought I owed them the respect to come out and listen to what the people had to say, show support for them.”

“It’s very important nowadays we support our police more than ever,” said supporter Jonathan Evans. “They don’t get the respect that they deserve.”

For Daniel Ramos, he said it’s the cause and who’s behind it.

“Especially with the climate in the last year, I think police officers these days don’t get enough respect,” Ramos said. “They just put their life on the line for little to no benefit. And also it really was like a lot for the speakers as well.”

Clemson police said the protesters left shortly after the rally began.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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