Conservative students welcome right-wing activist Charlie Kirk to Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Turning Point USA chapter hosted right-wing political activist Charlie Kirk’s second stop of his “Exposing Critical Racism Tour” on Tuesday at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center.

Turning Point USA is a non-profit organization aimed at spreading conservative ideals to young people across the country. 

Charlie Kirk, founder of the student organization, kickstarted his speaking tour in Michigan on Monday, hoping to spread the word against “critical race theory” a controversial left-wing theory.

Critical race theory, or CRT, is a growing movement that started in the late 1980s, claiming that racism is inherent and engrained in the laws of the United States.

“It’s this idea that somehow the systems we have in front of us in our country are systemically unjust, they are actually racist, that if you are a white person, whether you realize it or not, you are participating in this racist experiment.” said Kirk, stating his belief that the  “That you must endlessly apologize for things you didn’t do, but instead what you look like.”

The event was hosted and facilitated by MNSU’s chapter of Turning Point USA, which has seen a steep increase in membership in recent years. 

Addison Rodel, the current president of the chapter joined the organization as a means to voice her opinions.

“I was a closeted conservative for a really long time,” said Rodel, noting her inexperience in the political world at the time, “I didn’t really know how to express my viewpoints and get my voice out there.”

After going to Florida for the “Student Action Summit”, an event held once a year that brings conservative young people together for various speakers and right-wing activists, Rodel was hooked. 

“I fell in love with politics,” said Rodel, “and the movement that Turning Point USA was starting and creating within the younger conservatives.”

Riley Carlson, the campus coordinator of Turning Point USA at MNSU is proud to be a part of the organization.

“It is pretty awesome actually,” said Carlson,  “the conservative movement is being very looked down upon right now, but Turning Point is kind of that new movement that is more open than the dinos in Congress.”

Trevor Marquardt, a football player at MNSU as well as secretary for Turning Point USA, also attended the event and was critical of CRT.

“Here, we aren’t really about taking down the true meaning of critical race theory,” said Marquardt, “so many people put so many things in critical race theory. We are hoping to take those things out so we can focus on getting the racism out of critical race theory.”

The treasurer of the organization, David Wing, also disagrees with the usage of CRT. 

“In my opinion, all it does is bring race more into politics,” said Wing, “in a time when we didn’t really have many racial issues.”

After an extensive question and answer segment, Kirk spurred up the crowd with an emotional sentiment. 

“If we want this American civilization to continue, which is a gift from God, it is a gift from God that we get to live in this country,” said Kirk, “then we have to reject and repudiate this insidious ideology.”

Right-wing activist Charlie Kirk talks to supporting students about Critical Race Theory. His tour will continue to stop at various colleges across the country until the beginning of November.

2 thoughts on “Conservative students welcome right-wing activist Charlie Kirk to Mankato

  • Wesley

    The USA was founded by slave owners, which were all wealthy white men. Racism is an inherent part of the United States. Especially the displacement of Native American people from their homes, and the subsequent mistreatment which was a considerable goal of the United States government. The only thing Turning Point attempts to do with this is cover up and pretend that the long reaching consequences of racism have given them (and by extension, me, a white man) a large societal and economic advantage due to the color of my skin.

  • Wesley

    Also, to the person complaining that they had to be a “closet conservative”, I am glad you were made uncomfortable because of your viewpoints. Because I used to be a conservative, bible thumping bigot, disregarding the lived experiences of people different from me in the name of remaining comfortable with my unchallenged ideas. If I didn’t have friends and family that shared their stories, I never would have realized how awful and exclusionary my political alignment was.


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