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UNC student protestors walk out of Tancredo speech

Posted April 26, 2010
Updated April 27, 2010

— Student groups on Monday protested a second speech by former Congressman Tom Tancredo,  an outspoken critic of current immigration policies, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Tancredo speech draws walk out protest Tancredo speech draws walk out protest

Students for a Democratic Society and Feminist Students United protested Tancredo's speech, entitled "Why Western Civilization is Worth Saving."

Almost nine minutes into Tancredo's speech for the student group Youth for Western Civilization, a majority of the audience walked out of the Student Union auditorium.

Youth for Western Civilization opposes what it calls mass immigration and radical multiculturalism. The student protesters say the group promotes hate speech that should not be tolerated.

“I don't think Tom Tancredo has a right to speak on a campus. He doesn't have a right to speak anywhere,” student protester Ben Carroll said.

After the walk out, more than 100 students took the protest outside to The Pit.

“I know the gist of it (his speech). The theme is the same every time,” student protestor Ellen Louis said of why she didn't listen to all of Tancredo's speech.

"I think what we're saying is his actions have consequences and the consequence is racism,” Carroll said.

As the silent protesters were leaving the auditorium, Tancredo veered from his planned remarks to address the move.

“It is a great example of what I’m talking about here really. The fear of ideas. The fear of hearing somebody you disagree with,” Tancredo said. “I’m glad they show what they really do believe in, and that is censorship, and that is a rejection of the ability for anybody else to give their point of view."

Tancredo's appearance lasted about an hour and a half. Afterwards, Chancellor Holden Thorp released a statement.

“I am glad that Tom Tancredo made his presentation and could take questions from the audience. I also applaud the protesters, including students and members of the campus community, who expressed themselves peacefully, in keeping with the university’s traditions," Thorp stated.

A UNC student was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon in the lobby outside the auditorium where Tancredo was speaking. The student's name was not released.

Last April, Students for a Democratic Society organized protests during speeches by Tancredo and Virgil Goode, a former independent Virginia state representative, at Youth for Western Civilization events.

Protesters disrupted Tancredo's speech by shouting profanities and unfurling banners, and police had to use pepper spray after demonstrators broke a window. A UNC student was also arrested at that protest, but charges of disorderly conduct against her were dropped.


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  • dougalu Apr 28, 2010

    Obama's masses shouting profanities

  • Smokin Apr 28, 2010

    Perhaps the summer reading program this year should be that very controversial document "The Constitution of the United States of America" including the first 10 amendments thereof.

    And, yes, I attended the University of North Carolina, but did so when it was acceptable to have a different point of view and actually discuss pros and cons. Yes, there are still conservatives on campus, but they tend to understand that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from being offended.

  • Joe Messenger Apr 27, 2010

    I love Tom Tancredo, We need more leaders like him.

    Tom Tancredo is a true American hero, Only I wish he was a War hero but unfortunately, Tancredo has said, "He went for his physical, telling doctors he had been treated for depression, and eventually got a "1-Y" deferment from serving in Vietnam War".

    I hope Tom will help us pass Arizona like law to ban illegal immigration and bring our beloved state to great glory.

  • 5Rs Apr 27, 2010

    "Why do so many posters here stereotype ALL UNCCH students as liberal whiners; basing their opinion on what less than 1% of the student population did?" - Carolinianbychoice

    Because that is about all you hear from the UNC-CH Professors, and we assume that, unfortunately, it rubs off on the students.

  • atozca Apr 27, 2010

    About 30 minutes into former congressman Tom Tancredo's speech Monday night at UNC, about 100 protesters unanimously yelled "no human is illegal" from the crowd, and walked out.

    Tancredo was able to complete is nearly two hour speech and question and answer session with no problems. After it was over, he said he was glad to speak at UNC again. He said although the protesters were more reserved this time around, "it showed people what these kids have been taught and how they've been taught to fear another point of view so they will scream and yell and run away."


    LOL, yell and run away!

  • PanthersFan45 Apr 27, 2010

    If I were there I would have cheered Tancredo to the max. He sees these leeches for what they are.

  • Eduardo1 Apr 27, 2010

    When the illegals take mommy & daddies job, and you can not attend school, have a car, forced out of you home, etc, see if you protest

  • Eduardo1 Apr 27, 2010

    Did the protesters have ID to prove that they were even enrolled in UNC. Is this what mommy & daddy work so had to send there babies to school to learn. Well, if you are not going to listen to speakers that are approved by the School, how are you going to learn. If the heard what the speaker had to say, you might have agreed with all or part of what he spoke about.
    Just think that these protesters will some day vote, without listening to speakers on both sides of the issues

  • froggytroat Apr 27, 2010

    >>Why do so many posters here stereotype ALL UNCCH students as liberal whiners; basing their opinion on what less than 1% of the student population did?

    They do that because it makes things such that they don't have to think, they can just regurgitate talking points. It's easier that way.

  • Axtel Apr 27, 2010

    They attended just so they could walk out. Good Job!