After months of threats and harassment over his conservative views, a Boston University student has quit the school, fearing for his safety.
Nicholas Fuentes, 18, said that he is abandoning his Political Science degree because he longer feels safe on campus due to death threats, Fox News reported.
Fuentes, who is of Mexican descent, attended the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. He said that he, like many others, did not go to the rally to support racist views. Fuentes instead considers himself a “preservationist”—a conservative opposed to immigration.
“I went to represent this new strain of conservatives, of people in the right wing who are opposed to mass immigration and multiculturalism,” Fuentes said on Thursday.
“For a long time, this existed on the fringes. I thought it was a political victory—we exposed the removal of Confederate statues, and this disenfranchised group of white males,” he added.
Fuentes believes that most people at the rally did not come to support racism or white supremacy. He doesn’t regret attending.
“The picture the media keeps using is of one person with a Nazi flag, there were more one thousand there who didn’t have Nazi flags. The vast majority of people there were regular, decent people. I didn’t meet a single violent person. Our side is just preservationist,” Fuentes said.
But after Fuentes made a post about going to the rally on Facebook, his inbox was flooded with death threats.
The Charlottesville rally turned deadly when a man with alleged Neo-Nazi views drove into a crowd of counter protesters, killing one, and injuring 19 others.
The Charlottesville clashes started on Friday last week and lasted through the day on Saturday. Various groups, including white supremacists, came to protest the removal of a Confederate statue there. They were met with counter protesters, including members of the armed and violent Antifa extremist group.
“I suddenly got dozens of messages on Twitter and Facebook telling me to go and kill myself and that if they see me they will beat the [expletive] out of me. Stuff of that nature. At least 10 to 20 of them were death threats,” Fuentes said.
Despite the violent rhetoric from fellow students, Fuentes said that Boston University had provided him with an opportunity to express his views.
“I made a short video presentation about my support for Trump before the election and that caused a major uproar. People wanted to organize a debate between myself and a big Hillary supporter,” Fuentes said.
“We went to the Dean and they gave us an auditorium, a police officer for security detail, they really made it happen,” he added.
Fuentes is taking a semester off and will then head to Auburn University in Alabama in the spring. Auburn was his first pick coming out of high school and he believe the students at the southern school will be more tolerant.
While most of his friends are liberal, Fuentes said that his few conservative friends across the country have all been subject to harassment.
He said he won’t be attending any rallies in the near future, citing the state of the political climate.
“Everyone is a little shaken up,” Fuentes added. “The political climate has become so intense and so violent and toxic.”