'Turning Point' Student Group Promotes White Nationalist Speakers
The Turning Point USA chapter at the University of Alabama has enlisted two associates of notorious white nationalist Nick Fuentes as featured event speakers on campus next month.
Fuentes is a white nationalist, Holocaust denier, and anti-Semite who attended the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection also subpoenaed Fuentes this year for his role in organizing “Stop the Steal” rallies that led to the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol in 2021.
Turning Point USA is a right-wing student organization that was co-founded by far-right pundit Charlie Kirk. The group’s upcoming event at the University of Alabama, which is scheduled for October 26 and billed as a discussion with “selections from the rising young right,” will feature Kai Schwemmer, Tyler Russell, and Brandt Wiggins, all of whom are tied to Fuentes’ “groyper” movement of young white extremists.
Schwemmer is an alt-right influencer who has espoused white nationalist views; he previously spoke alongside alt-right troll and YouTuber John Doyle during a Turning Point event in April near the University of California, Santa Barbara campus. Russell, another speaker at the event, is a Canadian white supremacist who reportedly has “the aim of securing a white ethnostate in Canada.” Wiggins, another Fuentes associate poised to speak at the event, is the vice president of the University of Alabama Turning Point chapter. Wiggins is a white nationalist, anti-Semite, and anti-LGBTQ bigot.
On Telegram, Fuentes promoted the Turning Point event:
As Political Research Associates’ Ben Lorber explained in a recent Twitter thread, groyper leaders and influencers are increasingly positioning themselves to be leaders on college campuses with the assistance of Turning Point.
The new semester has just begun and at least 4 events with white nationalist speakers have been hosted or scheduled by conservative student groups at 3 campuses. @TPUSA at @UofAlabama, @ASU_CRU at @ASU and @TPUSAatTU at @TowsonU had or will have groyper leaders on their campuses— Ben Lorber (@BenLorber8) September 9, 2022
Although Turning Point has attempted to distance itself from white nationalists, the University of Alabama chapter’s decision to host these speakers continues a pattern of Turning Point closely aligning with white nationalists and other far-right extremists – including Fuentes himself:
- In 2019, a Las Vegas Turning Point leader was caught on camera uttering racial slurs and celebrating “white power!”
- Turning Point previously listed the alt-right social media platform Gab as a sponsor for its Student Action Summit. Gab is a haven for violent white nationalists and antisemites.
- Neo-Nazi aligned figures appeared at Turning Point’s 2021 “AmericaFest.”
- Turning Point defended a Florida professor and chapter faculty adviser for having ties to a white nationalist organization.
- An Iowa Turning Point chapter invited Fuentes to speak on campus in 2019, where he spoke on “preserving the ‘European texture’ of the United States.”
Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.