Reported white supremacist, Jared Taylor’s speech at ASU draws large student body protests Friday night

Journalists, along with ASU students that registered for the event, were denied access even though it was reportedly an event of “free speech” from ASU—protestors called out ASU as well as president Michael Crow for their “most diverse campus ever” hypocrisy


Kye Graves

Protestors gathering before the Jared Taylor, “white advocate” speech later in the evening—more protestors gathered outside Neeb Hall at Arizona State University

Kye Graves, Reporter

Protestors came out in full force before the Jared Taylor speech and arrived throughout the evening on Friday at Arizona State University in Tempe, to express disapproval toward “ASU and president Michael Crow” for allowing “white advocate” Taylor to speak on campus.

The protestors outnumbered those who were allowed inside, and in some reported cases, ASU students were being denied access because of the way they looked or dressed.

The invitation to address ASU students from self-described “race realist” Taylor who espouses racist views and reportedly promotes white nationalism—was declared as a free speech event by ASU, and yet many students and journalists were denied access— with no explanation.

Three students, Veida Van Wyk, Kailash Garcia-Delaney and Lillie Boudreaux were all told they could not enter the venue.

“We registered with the event previously because we were interested in hearing about these ideologies that he has presented,” Van Wyk said. “We walked up, and he gave us a very dirty look and said, ‘I don’t think so, you’re not welcome here.”

“The security guard said, ‘I’m sorry they’re in charge of all this’.” Delaney said. “The whole point is that we’re supposed to be able to hear opposing perspectives and views that are different from our own but in this moment, we’re not allowed to go hear someone that has a different perspective.”

The event, which was hosted by the ASU student group College Republicans United (CRU) had faced a significant amount of backlash in the days since its announcement.

That was clear on Friday night.

“It’s unfortunate,” said ASU student Chayce Bland. “This is a college that claims to be the most innovative and most diverse. They took an accolade for that; this isn’t how you celebrate that.”

A common theme shared among students that spoke with Northeast Valley News was the feeling of frustration.

“I feel disrespected because we’re constantly pushing this whole agenda of— ‘Oh racism is a thing of the past’, and now we’re here,” said one student who declined to be identified.

“You’re telling me to my face, ‘I don’t care about you.”

Once it was confirmed that widely reported, white supremacist, Taylor, was coming to campus, university spokesperson Jay Thorne said in a statement that his appearance did not require a university endorsement.

Students we spoke with outside of the event however, felt as though the Thorne explanation wasn’t enough.

“Not only is it not okay, but what does it say about the university that’s unwilling to block something like this?” Bland said. “50% of ASU’s population is made up of minorities. So, what does this say to them?”

In 2021 ASU claimed to have their “most diverse class ever” with over 46% of their incoming first-year students from minority backgrounds.

Dr. Lee Bebout, a professor at ASU who teaches a course on the everyday manifestations of white supremacy was among the student body outside the event.

“I think it’s shameful that its being held on campus,” Bebout said.

“This has been building and building the last few years. Five years ago, people in the administration would say that this was always from people off of campus, that the racists are outside or from elsewhere in the area – but this was actually invited, by ASU students. I think that that suggests we need to do something differently.”

Taylor’s event was slated to begin around 7:00 p.m., and as a small crowd trickled in to Neeb Hall, a minor disturbance began to erupt.

The event organizers had reportedly started to deny—even some registered participants— access to the event early on, but offered no explanation for the denials.

Interestingly, the ASU-CRU website claims they “do not discriminate nor push our own views onto members”. The group even says they participate in “collaborative journalism” and even encourage public discourse but several journalists at the event beg to differ.

“They said ‘no journalists,” Boudreaux said. “Plenty of people have been allowed to get in here. They’ve been allowing certain people in—at their own discretion but not us, and they’re not giving a good reason why.”

Northeast Valley News was also denied access to the event.

The only explanation for the denials…”it was solely up to the event organizers on who got in…registered or not” according to an ASU representative.

Northeast Valley News reached out to the organizers of the event, the College Republicans United (CRU) for comment but had not yet receive a response at the time of publication.