Elizabethtown College cancels TP USA speaker for causing a ‘disruption’

Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania cancelled Joe Basrawi’s speech on critical race theory because it was allegedly causing a “disruption.” Basrawi is a Turning Point USA ambassador, who had planned to speak to the college’s chapter on campus.

At first, Basrawi named the event: “critical hate theory.” TP USA Chapter President Alexander Russo ordered posters from the organization with this title. However, the college asked that the name be changed, so the posters were short-lived. Yet they continued to advertise the event on social media. The chapter has about 40 active members. Last semester, there were roughly twenty.

Then, Thursday, college administrators requested a meeting with Russo. Dean of Students & Executive Director for College Diversity, Equity and Belonging Nichole Gonzalez was among the administrators. There they told him the event would have to be cancelled and relocate off campus. Even then, the college requested that they make no mention of the school in anticipation of the event. Russo claims they cancelled the even because it caused a “disruption” and Basrawi was not qualified to speak about CRT.

“It was nice to be able to actually discuss with my admin why they are not letting us do this,” Russo said. “They did listen, but their minds were made up before I walked in.” He said overall, the exchange was civil.

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“We’re going to do the event no matter what,” Basrawi said. “I’m doing it for the students. So they can learn something on campus.”

Meanwhile, the college will be hosting its own forum on critical race theory, entitled “Forum on White Supremacy and Global Colonization.” Among the panels, workshops and film screenings, one recurring event even claims to be “a space for individuals who identify as people of color.” Many are interpreting that to mean that people who identify otherwise are not welcome.

No representatives at Elizabethtown College, including Dean Gonzalez, responded to requests for comment.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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