UPDATE: This piece has been updated to include a response from High Point University.
Conservative students at High Point University (HPU) faced an onslaught of threats after attempting to host a documentary about the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement on Monday, emails and screenshots obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation show.
The HPU College Republicans (CR) planned to show the Daily Wire documentary “The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd and the Rise of BLM” on Monday, however the event was canceled after an administrator said that the group did not obtain the rights to the film, according to emails obtained by the DCNF. Group members began to receive hateful comments from online users after promoting the event on social media which ranged from remarks about member’s appearances to reported death threats.
“It’s hurtful,” Caroline Peacock, a member of the group, told the DCNF. “All of us are just trying to speak our own views and to hear people say [things] about us is horrible. But I think what drew the line is when we started to get the death threats.”
The DCNF obtained screenshots of comments left on a now-deleted Instagram post which advertised the event. One user wrote “you all will PAY IN BLOOD,” while another commented members “need to get laid,” according to the screenshots.
“Following the post on Instagram advertising the movie, we immediately got hit with a bunch of comments from people at the university,” Hayley Hill, chapter president, told the DCNF. Hill’s boyfriend allegedly received messages about her appearance as well as a message reading “hope u get gutted bitch.”
“I’m very disappointed in the university. The university advertised itself as a God, family and country school,” Hill said.
One user reportedly wrote on the deleted Instagram post that “BLM is a domestic terrorist group,” to which users responded “you will pay in blood” and “let’s let [people of color] speak now.” Other comments on the anonymous social media platform YikYak read “Republicans watch yo back” and referred to the group as “racists.”
“The Greatest Lie Ever Sold” features conservative commentator Candace Owens and breaks down the rise of BLM after the death of Floyd in 2020, according to its description. The HPU CR’s held a screening of another Daily Wire documentary, “What is a Woman?” during the fall semester with reportedly minimal issues.
“We wanted to learn more,” Peacock told the DCNF. “We didn’t think this was going to blow up in this kind of way.”
Despite being “scared” by the comments, Peacock said that the group needed to be vocal. In response, Peacock penned an op-ed and reportedly will do interviews on the conflict.
“I think they’re now afraid of us. I think they see that we do have a voice and we aren’t afraid to speak up, we aren’t afraid,” Peacock said.
Hill submitted reports to the university police about the comments, she told the DCNF, however was told “they can’t really do much because they are being said anonymously, for some part” and since some comments are not “directed at anyone in particular.”
Allison Leasure, HPU media relations manager, told the DCNF that the campus police reported the threats to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and that the university is currently awaiting a response.
“HPU respects and honors the principles on which this nation was founded – patriotism, personal initiative, freedom of speech and more, and will continue to work with authorities and students on any safety concerns,” Leasure said.
The university police department did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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