ASU Administrators Must Stop 'Protests' Demanding Kyle Rittenhouse's Expulsion

Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP, File

(The opinions expressed in guest op-eds are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.)

Two “student” groups permitted to organize on the campus of Arizona State University, Students for Socialism ASU and Young Democrat Socialists for America ASU, are protesting the attendance of a student, Kyle Rittenhouse, at the University. The groups premise their protest on the grounds that Rittenhouse is a “murderer” and a “white supremacist”  and are posting and retweeting these false allegations as part of their notices to organize a protest Monday morning on Twitter.

It is disturbing that the allegations premised for this protest are false, but more concerning is that these two misguided organizations on a college campus missed a real opportunity for legitimate civil discourse over poor sentencing guidelines for recidivist violent predators. All of those involved in the August 2020 incident — except Rittenhouse — had criminal records that included charges like child rape, molestation, domestic abuse, and deadly assault on others prior to the August 2020 incident, including charges of strangulation and suffocation.

If Arizona State University allows these groups to move forward with their intimidation plans couched as a protest, what does this say to parents of students and students at ASU or any University?  Arizona State University does have an anti-intimidation, anti-harassment policy, which reads:

We provide a safe environment for those who work, learn, and visit with us.  We do not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or behavior that intimidates, threatens, demeans, or harms another person. We work to resolve differences constructively, look out for each other and promptly address or report issues of concern. We recognize our individual obligations to make the University a safe and inclusive environment by abiding by the University’s Workplace Violence policy and Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy.”

Does the Administration at Arizona State University share the view that self-defense makes one guilty of murder regardless of jury decisions or that self-defense is a white supremacist act?  Does the Administration, too, agree that violent recidivate predators are victims of white supremacy if stopped with deadly force while in the act of committing further violent assault? Does the Administration share the view that one or two organized political groups should determine who can and cannot attend the University and who should be harassed and intimidated?

All students have a right to a safe environment, a right to be protected against harassment, intimidation, and bullying. No group has the right to slander, malign, libel, or endanger any student.  The members of these organizations are inciting violence against a student with the same pack mentality Rittenhouse just recently faced. The Administration should act upon its zero-tolerance policy.

Annie Perry, a resident of Phoenix, Arizona, is a retired forensic auditor, contractor to NRC, and corporate controller.