By Corinne Murdock |
Arizona State University (ASU) student organizations advocating for issues like socialism, antiracism, and social justice are demanding the expulsion of Kyle Rittenhouse, effectively a campaign to cancel him. Rittenhouse had enrolled in an online ASU course in October; following his acquittal of all charges earlier this month, Rittenhouse announced that he hoped to enroll fully at ASU. Arizona Daily Independent listed all the groups involved in the campaign against Rittenhouse: Students for Socialism, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán (MEChA), Students for Justice in Palestine, and the Multicultural Solidarity Coalition (MSC).
The student organizations accused Rittenhouse of “white supremacy” and being a “racist murderer.” A jury determined otherwise. Several weeks ago, Rittenhouse was acquitted of multiple charges of homicide and reckless endangerment. Rittenhouse killed two of his assailants – Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber – and wounded a third, Gaige Grosskreutz. The trial revealed that the three men pursued and attacked Rittenhouse, who was in Kenosha to administer first aid and protect local businesses.
The student activist group petition to expel Rittenhouse also demanded that ASU reaffirm their support for the controversial multicultural center on campus by divesting funds from the ASU Police Department to fund the center and establishing an on-campus rape crisis hub called the Campus Assault Advocacy, Resources & Education (CAARE) Center.
Rosenbaum was a violent, convicted sex offender who served 10 years for multiple counts of child molestation. Huber was a convicted domestic abuser.
As AZ Free News reported, MSC leaders were behind the incident in September in which they demanded two of their peers leave a room on campus for being white males who were displaying “racist” messaging, such as a “Police Lives Matter” sticker. The room wasn’t designated officially as a multicultural room at the time of the incident.
Earlier this month, ASU determined that the three women involved – Sarra Tekola, Miriam “Mimi” Arraya, and Mastaani Qureshi – violated the university’s Code of Conduct.
Tekola and Arraya are prominent leaders within the Phoenix Metro chapter of Black Lives Matter (BLM). Tekola co-founded the chapter, and Arraya served as a policy minister. The pair’s BLM chapter has come to the defense of the three women for harassing and discriminating against their peers. They hosted a press conference earlier this month, and called for the public to contact ASU officials to drop the Code of Conduct charges against the three women.
BLM Phoenix Metro has also supported a Change.org petition to expel Rittenhouse, similar but separate to the student organizations’ efforts.
The ASU student behind the petition is Taskina Bhuiyan, a sophomore studying microbiology. Bhuiyan’s petition characterized Rosenbaum, Huber, and Grosskreutz as “victims.” As of press time, the petition has over 1,200 signatures.
According to Bhuiyan’s LinkedIn, she worked for Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) from 2018 to 2020 – the controversial activist organization that followed Senator Kyrsten Sinema into the bathroom over her hesitation to support the infrastructure bill. ASU Police recommended misdemeanor charges be filed against the activists. Bhuiyan’s name also appears on the staff page for the Islamic Community Center of Tempe, a mosque.
Demands for Rittenhouse’s expulsion came after ASU College Republicans United (CRU) announced that they were fundraising for lawsuits Rittenhouse may file against the media, if any. Previously, ASU CRU raised $14,000 for Rittenhouse’s legal defense for his trial.
CRU denounced efforts to cancel Rittenhouse, insisting that ASU should suspend the organizations and individuals involved for engaging in a “harassment campaign.”