The president of the WSU College Republicans, James Allsup of Bothell, Washington, said Monday he would resign after attending the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The rally erupted into riots and was condemned across the political spectrum, including by the national College Republicans. The College Republican National Committee called on its chapter presidents to step down if they attended.
Public radio was unable to get comment from Allsup. Washington State University President Kirk Schulz also declined to speak to us for this story.
Allsup told KREM-TV in Spokane he was at the Charlottesville rally to record it and share it online, and that he had been invited to speak there. He denied holding racist views.
Last October Allsup promoted the building of a “Trump wall” on the WSU campus. Video clips from that event that mock students of color prompted Schulz to investigate.
That same month, Allsup was photographed on campus with Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers during her campus visit for her re-election debate.
“[McMorris Rodgers] does not know the WSU College Republican President and does not support anyone who took part in the hateful events in Virginia,” said Jared Powell, the congresswoman’s spokesman in a statement.
WSU president Schulz also declined to name Allsup but tweeted, “We strongly denounce racism & Nazism of any kind & condemn the violence which occurred in Charlottesville. Hate has no place at WSU.”
Allsup tweeted that he agreed with that statement and added, “There are morons...thinking they'll get me expelled from a public school for this. Funny!”
He also tweeted that his College Republicans chapter vice president has “effectively assumed the presidency,” and that he would expedite a transition already in the works.
Washington State University is welcoming students back to Pullman and starting classes next week. The WSU student newspaper, The Daily Evergreen, was pressed back into early service by campus reaction to Allsup’s attendance in Charlottesville.
“On social media people are pretty mad and are freaking out,” said Rebecca White, the paper’s news editor. “As editors we couldn’t really ignore this. It was getting to the boiling over point.”
“They [WSU College Republicans] are very active and very active on social media,” said White. “They are in our [Daily Evergreen] comments a lot.”
Allsup wasn’t the only Northwesterner to travel to Charlottesville for the Unite the Right rally this past weekend. The white-supremacist group True Cascadia posed a video online of their torchlight parade.
Students and people in Pullman are organizing their own march against white supremacy on Saturday August 19.
The group’s event page says, “We do not want statements from [WSU] President Kirk Schulz that are passive. We want actual change!”