Amid the allegations made by the Northern California Anti Racist Action (NoCARA) that Christopher Thompson, a candidate in Stan State's ASI election, is involved in a white supremacist group from an anonymous blog post, Thompson has released a statement.
“I have never had, nor will I ever have, any ties to white supremacist groups, as I am unwaveringly against all forms of white supremacy, racism, and bigotry,” said Thompson.
These allegations come on the eve of an Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) election. Thompson was running for the Director of the College of Business.
The evidence provided in NoCARA's blog post included pieces of a Discord conversation where Chris N makes claims of running for student government while being a member of a white supremacist organization. In order to get into this specific Discord chat, one has to be interviewed face to face. Unicorn Riot is responsible for the original Discord leaks.
Christopher Thompson said, "I have never even had a discord account."
Once this blog post was released, it spread across the campus community like wildfire. Many groups on campus have expressed their concerns for these allegations. The concerns reached the Signal as students wanted the campus news source to cover them.
Some students even accused the Signal of “gaslighting” based on our commitment to real and accurate journalism.
“Based on this response, you are not an unbiased, comprehensive, or critical source of news, period,” said Aleta Mascorro (senior, Theater/ Ethnic Studies).
The Signal has tried to track down the author of this anonymous blog post. We searched their website for contact information. We found their email adress. We emailed them and have yet to receive a response. Their website has no phone information listed.
Prior to the blog post, we received anonymous phone calls regarding these allegations. The caller failed to reveal their identity or share their sources of information. Given this information, the Signal was not able to move forward; we continue to investigate the claims made by NoCARA in an attempt to verify or disprove them.
ASI could not comment on the allegations and will not interfere with the outcome of the election. USU Executive Director Cesar Rumayor, when asked to give a comment about the ASI candidate, declined to give a statement at this time. He said that ASI would be releasing an official statement tomorrow.
Dr. Keith Nainby, Department Chair of Communication Studies said, "I wanted to understand what ASI's position was, and I'm actually very happy with ASI's position, which is that, as I understand it, no one in administration from the President on down has the right to interfere in a student election."
In regards to someone being removed from the ballot, "the last thing you want is someone telling you which candidates they want on the ASI ballot or anyone who works for that president," Nainby said.
He sees that ASI is mirroring those judgment calls now.
"I think it would be the gravest disservice possible to students to call on anyone who is an administrator to make judgments about candidates appropriateness based on anything other than a student actually being found guilty of a conduct violation,” said Nainby.
Regardless of how the court of public opinion feels, Thompson has stressed that he is not involved in any white supremacist group. It has also been confirmed by four separate sources from the Josh Harder campaign that Thompson was an active volunteer for democratic representative's campaign. Additionally, Stan State's Love Evolution club has confirmed that Thompson attended club meetings and was supportive of LGBTQIA+ rights.
“...There is not only no evidence linking me to any white supremacist groups, but there is ample evidence of a history of activism and current behavior that actively opposes white supremacy, racism, and bigotry,” said Thompson in his statement.
The Signal reached out to NoCARA in an attempt to obtain more information about their claims and has received no response. There are students on campus who know the authors of this blog post, but are not willing to reveal the author's information.
Since 2016, the outrage culture "that quickly builds because we're in a mediated context where information can get quickly reshared, especially by people who are excited to believe something already and have their beliefs confirmed," can build "hysteria" quickly, according to Nainby.
He said right wing tactics of creating public hysteria should not be used to promote a progressive agenda.
"We can't use those tactics because they ensure that we know less than we know more about any given situation, and they encourage us to affirm our beliefs rather than carefully and rigorously check our beliefs through facts and rigorous analysis," Nainby said. "The fact that our campus has gotten really unwelcome attention with respect to the presence of avowedly white nationalist students on campus, that doesn't lower our burden to rigorously investigate what we think we know about a given student, it raises our burden."
Thompson claims that he sincerely is against white supremacy and the allegations are false.
Christina Acosta, a Part-Time Faculty member in the Ethnic Studies Department, said, in regards to the overall emotion that has been felt after the Identity Evropa posters that have resurfaced on campus and the NoCARA post was sent to the public eye, that "students are feeling angry and upset, and they're feeling like they're not being protected by the university, just by conversations that I've heard. I'm not feeling safe myself,"Acosta said. "I'm feeling concerned for the students, and I'm just trying to hear the students out and see what they want." She encourages students to make their own decisions based on what information comes out.
Speaking personally, Acosta believes that "students have a right to know who is running for student government, whatever method is used to get that information."
"I don't have an issue with it. Even if it is anonymous, do I think it's [the post] is violent against the candidate, no. I think the candidate has violent views, and that students have a right to know that that person can enact symbolic or institutional violence against them... Institutionally, white supremacy exists. It's dangerous to have someone like that in power. We already have someone like that in power in the presidency, so it's scary. I think students have the power to raise their voice and organize and put a stop to it, I'm definitely in solidarity with students on that," Acosta said.
Christopher Thompson has stressed that this Chris N from the Discord chat is not him. He said he has canvassed for the ACLU, worked on the Josh Harder Campaign. "I want to fight for marginalized people because I know what it feels like to be marginalized," he said.
Christopher Thompson does in fact know how it feels to be marginalized. "Actually I'm gay. I remember the first time I realized I was gay was in Catholic school," said Chris who has faced bullying and discrimination for his sexuality.
Chris has outright denied the allegations of being involved in any form of white supremacist organization. He also said that he wants the campus community to know that "He loves this school and its diversity."
The Signal is continuing to investigate this matter in our commitment to accurate and ethical journalism. We are dedicated to uncovering the truth of this matter and will continue to update our readers as new information develops. If you have any information regarding this matter, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.