Censorship and double standards courtesy of universities and media outlets is nothing new. This time, an America First activist finds himself at the center of a smear campaign. Jaden McNeil is a student at Kansas State University and the founder of the recently created ‘America First Students’ organization.
The club states that it is their goal to promote and advocate for “preserving American traditions and Christian values on college campuses across the country”. McNeil was formerly the president of Kansas State’s chapter of Turning Point USA but dissolved his TPUSA chapter last fall. The break-up stemmed from disagreements between McNeil and TPUSA’s national leadership.
Since forming the new organization, Jaden McNeil has been the target of character assassinations. He has most recently been accused of “promoting white nationalism” by one of Missouri’s most prominent publications. An article from the Kansas City Star immediately tries to connect McNeil and his organization to the events that took place in Charlottesville in August 2017. “The white nationalist movement, tarnished in the aftermath of Charlottesville, is repackaging its bigotry through a new mainstreaming strategy that focuses on college campuses and Trump supporters, according to a report released Tuesday by a national watchdog organization” the article opens.
Judy L. Thomas – the author of the hit piece – continues to put words in McNeil’s mouth and connect him to things he has never been a part of. Thomas asserts that McNeil’s organization is a “trial run” of the infiltration of white nationalism on mainstream college campuses. No direct quotes or actions from McNeil support any of these smears, but Thomas presses ahead.
McNeil has since released a statement on the hit piece.
McNeil released this statement saying that the Kansas City Star notified him for comment only an hour before the article was to be published. The Star also claimed that the organization was formed at a “Groyper Leadership Summit”, which is factually inaccurate. The pinned tweet of the organization announcing its beginning is dated January 21, 2020.
The main points of the article quote a report from the ‘Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights’. Devin Burghart is the co-author of the report and says “This is an attempt to replace the old label of alt-right, which got pretty toxic after Charlottesville, and try to create new coalitions on university campuses and in and around the Trump orbit.” This is the first of several smears quoted by Judy Thomas of the Kansas City Star.
The quote lacks any factual backing and is merely an accusation. This is another example of the tried and true tactic of hurling organizations while censoring those being targeted so that there can be no debate. These baseless accusations purport some myth that all who believe in America First policy and Christian values are radicals who all communicate and plot together. Thomas is simply spinning a conspiracy theory based on nothing but conjecture and ad-hominem.
The article goes on to say McNeil has “joined forces” with dissident right figures Patrick Casey and Nick Fuentes. This is false and another incorrect, made up statement. While Fuentes and Casey have both stated their support for the organization, they are in no way working with McNeil. The organization was formed by McNeil and only himself.
It appears that the publisher of the Kansas City Star, as well as the Miami Herald, are preparing for a potential lawsuit. The AP reported last Thursday just two days after this article was posted, the Kansas City Star announced that they are filing for bankruptcy protection. This Jaden McNeil situation comes just after CNN and Nick Sandmann reached a multi-million dollar settlement after the news organization was accused of defaming him.