College Republicans at UC Irvine (CRUCI) hung a series of controversial posters on campus last Thursday announcing the upcoming return appearance of conservative pundit Milo Yiannopoulos at UCI on Oct. 30.
The provocative posters advertising Yiannopoulos’s “Rally for America” at UCI featured references to Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, including allusions to a recently-leaked tape of Trump making lewd comments about groping women. One such CRUCI poster read, “Grab America by the…” printed next to a drawing of a cat waving an American flag. Another read “Make America Gay Again,” in reference to Trump’s campaign slogan and Yiannopoulos’s own sexuality, a common point of discussion in his talks.
Yiannopoulos, a technology editor for conservative news outlet Breitbart News, has garnered attention in the past for his disparaging comments about feminism, the Black Lives Matter movement, and other social justice issues, in addition to his vocal support for Trump. Yiannopoulos first visited UCI’s campus in June 2016 as part of his “Dangerous Faggot Tour,” a nationwide series of talks at college campuses meant to provoke debate about political and social justice issues.
His last appearance stirred dissent among students, many of whom felt that the posters advertising the event as the “Dangerous Faggot Tour” were insensitive and homophobic. Douglas Haynes, UCI’s Vice Provost for Academic Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, sent a schoolwide email prior to the June event condemning CRUCI’s language and encouraging concerned students to attend the LGBT Resource Center’s “safe zone training” to “strengthen bonds of community” before Yiannopoulos came to campus.
The June appearance itself drew a crowd of hundreds, including several dozen police officers and security guards. During his talk, Yiannopoulos spoke largely about his disregard for the Black Lives Matter movement, white privilege and feminism. He also emphasized his support for Trump.
Yiannopoulos is expected to speak on similar topics during his Oct. 30 appearance at UCI, with an emphasis on his support for Trump in the presidential election, which will take place on Nov. 8, the week followingYiannopoulos’s UCI appearance.
As the rally will take place the day before Halloween, attendees are encouraged to “wear [their] most culturally appropriating, offensive, triggering Halloween costume to the event for a fabulous costume contest,” according to CRUCI President Ariana Rowlands.
“This event will be like no other; not only is it right before Halloween, it is right before the November Election Day,” said Rowlands of the rally. “This will be a rally for Donald Trump, a Rally for America.”
The ticketed event will take place at UCI’s Crystal Cove Auditorium on Sunday, Oct. 30 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.