Student Government Vice President-Elect Colton Duncan published a post on Facebook calling guest speaker Angela Davis an “American terrorist.” The post was removed from his page by Facebook for not following “the Facebook Community Standards.”
Duncan’s post was a response to an email sent to students, faculty and staff at Texas State announcing an event March 31 in which Davis is set to speak. The email detailed Davis’ work as an activist and referred to her as “a living witness to the historical struggles of the contemporary era.”
“For anyone that is interested, Texas State University (with our tuition dollars) is sponsoring communist Angela Davis, 1970s American terrorist and the third woman to be placed on the FBI’s ten most wanted list,” Duncan stated on Facebook.
The post claimed Davis’ visit was funded by students “tuition dollars.” The Dean of Student’s twitter page tweeted that her visit is being paid by privately donated funds, and “no tuition is being used.” This fact was confirmed by members of the Texas State faculty senate during their meeting March 29.
Due to the amount of attention Duncan’s post received, he was approached by members of the press within the San Marcos and Texas State community via email and phone. In response, Duncan decided to hold what he called an “Un-Official Press Conference” on the patio of Bobcat Nation Bar and Grill on the evening of March 30.
The meeting between the press and Duncan was planned without the knowledge of president-elect, and administration partner Connor Clegg.
“Recently something’s come up with Dr. Angela Davis coming to our campus, and my vice president has said something,” Clegg said. “Now, he doesn’t speak for me, and at this point, doesn’t speak for our administration.”
Clegg, who was not in attendance at the unofficial press conference, said although he disagrees with Davis politically, he will be in attendance at the event to hear her perspective on political issues.
“I’m not speaking in my capacity as student vice president,” Duncan said. “(Clegg and I) are not at ends on this, and it’s not even something we’ve discussed too terribly much, and this is my own personal view. It is something that I posted personally on my own personal Facebook, and it gained traction.”
During the meeting, Duncan repeatedly said his problem is not with Davis speaking on campus. He said his issue is with the university supporting it and “putting their name on it.” Duncan claims there are other activists who promote similar values as Davis but are not as controversial nor as radically left.
In response to the fallacies in his post, Duncan said he posted a correction in the comments of the deleted post before its removal but does not plan to post anything clarifying on the issue again.