On Wednesday, July 6th, Purdue University summoned Joshua Nash to meet with the Director of Student Assistance in regards to a “comment on Facebook.” Nash believes this meeting is due to a post where he said that “Black Lives Matter is trash because they do not really care about black lives. They simply care about making money and disrupting events for dead people.”
Nash is a biology major — who is gay and refers to himself as a “dangerous faggot” in his Twitter bio, a reference to conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos — and claims he has never faced disciplinary action with his school before.
“Attempting to silence students with subjective controversial opinions is completely and utterly absurd, and a direct attack on free speech,” Nash told me in an interview. He also says he found the disruption of a gay pride event in Toronto disrespectful to those who lost their lives in Orlando.
In addition to the reaction from Purdue, Nash found himself the target of multiple online threats from fellow students, some of whom he says called him a “dirt racist conservative scumbbag [sic],” and promised “if i ever see u on campus i am going to cut u till i see blood.” Nash reported these comments to Facebook, the university administration, and filed a police report.
“I think the government and public universities are indirectly responsible for the death threats I’ve been receiving,” Nash says. “People, especially students, have been led to believe it is illegal for someone to speak out against them with words that can be seen as ‘harmful.’ … These students are so adamant about protecting their rights, protecting their feelings, that they don’t realize what they’re doing… threatening to literally kill someone.”
Shortly after Nash received the letter from his university, he posted it to social media where it went viral, gaining thousands of shares and likes. He received an outpouring of support from conservatives figures such as Milo Yiannopoulos, Mike Cernovich, and others, who have all railed against online censorship or been the target of it.
“I believe students are mad about me being a gay conservative because it’s so foreign and unheard of,” Nash says. “Most students on my campus are extremely liberal and have a hard time understanding how a gay man could be conservative. These students hold the false belief that gay people are being oppressed by conservative groups. They think of me as a traitor of sorts, I appear to be siding with the enemy.”
Nash’s meeting with Purdue’s Director of Student Assistance, Leadership, and Conduct was initially scheduled for July 19, but has reportedly been moved to August.