Students at Dartmouth College protested and harassed conservative speaker Dinesh D’Souza, who spoke at his alma mater on Monday about American exceptionalism, and the difference between legal and illegal immigration. Protestors harassed D’Souza with a chant of “go home racist.”
More than 200 people attended the event on Monday evening to hear D’Souza speak, while dozens of sign-carrying students and members of the community protested by chanting and singing, according to the school’s student newspaper, The Dartmouth.
D’Souza, who is Dartmouth alumn, was also an editor of The Dartmouth Review — the school’s independent conservative student newspaper — while he attended the college. The newspaper, which was founded in 1980, aimed to “question stale academic orthodoxy and to preserve Dartmouth College’s unique liberal arts character,” which the newspaper says had “stirred controversy, but always with a purpose.”
Now, nearly forty years since the newspaper’s founding, the presence of one of its former editors on campus is enough to cause controversy among students yet again.
D’Souza’s daughter, Danielle D’Souza Gill, posted a video on Twitter that captured a moment from Monday’s protest.
— Danielle D'Souza Gill (@danielledsouzag) February 12, 2019
In the video, students and activists can be heard repeatedly shouting “Go home, racist” while D’Souza and his daughter were likely attempting to walk through the building.
According to The Dartmouth, D’Souza spoke about the broken immigration system in the United States and explained that President Donald Trump is against illegal immigration, not legal immigration.
The conservative speaker also talked about American exceptionalism — the belief that the United States is uniquely exceptional in comparison to countries in the rest of the world — and about how his immigration to the United States gave him “a chance to escape his destiny.”
“What he’s saying is absolutely ridiculous,” said student Catherine Rocchi of D’Souza’s speech. Rocchi had attended the event as a silent protester.
Students also reportedly protested the event by intentionally making noises to interrupt and distract from D’Souza’s speech. Two students dressed in “gay pride” clothing chose to protest D’Souza by walking to the front of the room to passionately kiss each other while he spoke.
“Our [the LGBTQ community’s] right to exist is not up for debate,” said student protester Ellie Gonzalez to The Dartmouth, “and until they [conservatives] get on board with that, I’m going to show up to every event in my gayest outfit and protest any way I damn well please.”
“I guess this is what they call hate speech,” joked D’Souza during another event interruption, “I’ve got to be more careful. You’d think I’d have been slinging insults since I came in here.”