A Boston University Student Is Leaving School After Receiving Backlash for Attending the Charlottesville March

After participating in Charlottesville’s white supremacist march, a 18-year-old student has decided to leave Boston University because of threats he received for attending the deadly event. TIME reports that Nicholas Fuentes called both his campus and the city of Boston “very dangerous” for someone with his beliefs.

“I was supposed to be entering Boston University for my sophomore year,” Fuentes said in a video interview with TIME, “but in response to recent death threats and threats against my physical safety, I decided that might not be the best idea.”

Fuentes, who told The Boston Globe he attended the rally to protest immigration and multiculturalism, also spoke about how surprising he found the public’s reactions to his attendance. “It’s disturbing to me the level of hate that people have been able to express and been able to feel against someone they’ve never met,” he said. “They say that we’re the hateful ones, that we’re the bigots, and I get messages all day long from people I’ve never met telling me what a terrible person I am.”

 

Fuentes runs his own political YouTube channel and reportedly received 15 death threats through email and social media since the Charlottesville march. Telling The Globe that he wasn’t a white nationalist or racist, he claimed, “The rally was about not replacing white people.”

According to The Chicago Tribune, Fuentes was already considering leaving BU because of other issues he had with the school, including its urban environment. He plans to start attending Alabama’s Auburn University in the upcoming spring semester, but Auburn officials couldn’t reveal if his enrollment was actually official.

“I think I will be happy there and I will be safe,” Fuentes told The Tribune. “It’s solidly red territory.”

Despite Fuentes playing the role of a victim, there’s some speculation that he purposely tried to make controversial remarks in order to build up his social media brand. Bill Allan, who works as the television services supervisor at Fuentes’ high school, told The Tribune that Fuentes aired his own TV show several times at the school. His political beliefs also seemed less extreme back then.

“I think the biggest change was he went from conservative values to very deep to the right,” Allan said. “None of the stuff he produced [in high school] was even close to the level he’s at now...When you pour gas on the fire, you should know you could get burnt. It was the backlash at BU that propelled his social media presence.”

Boston University President Robert Brown wrote a letter opposing the Charlottesville events in anticipation of Boston’s “free speech” rally, but did not address Fuentes’ withdrawal from the school. “It is clear to me, and I believe it a view that is broadly shared in our community, that a claim of inherent racial or ethnic superiority is abhorrent,” he said. “We must, I believe, explicitly denounce white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups that make such claims.”

Fuentes addressed his decision on Twitter in a slightly bizarre way, posting screenshots of articles covering his news and saying he had been busy "stunting all over your life." Um, that doesn't sound like someone who supposedly just received more than a few death threats. 

Fuentes will reportedly take off from school for the fall semester before returning to college. 

About The Author

Kristen is a 2017 graduate of Siena College with a degree in English and minors in Writing & Communications and Journalism. Although she constantly pines for life in London after studying there for a semester, she calls New York home for now. In addition to working as a writer and Senior Editor for Her Campus Siena, she has worked for Her Campus as a News and Pop Culture blogger and a national editorial intern. Currently a Nights & Weekend Editor, Kristen has previously written for New York Minute, London's Health and Fitness, and Electronic Products. She makes far too many references to "Friends" and the British royal family. Her blog, where she talks about books, TV, and film, can be found at Bookworms and Fangirls.   

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