Christian University Stops Survivor From Maoist China From Speaking Over Her Anti-Woke Views, “What Are They Afraid Of?”

Credit: Independent Women’s Forum

The street government at Whitworth University denied a Republican group’s request to have Xi Van Fleet, a survivor of Maoist China, speak at their university. They cited her criticism of “woke culture” and her comparisons of Wokeness to her experience under communist rule.

The student government at Whitworth, a private Christian university in Spokane, Washington, voted 9-4 to reject the Turning Point USA chapter’s request to host Van Fleet. They argued that her positions could be deemed “hurtful of offensive”.

Van Fleet, a mother who lives in Virginia, endured Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution before immigrating to the United States. She has become an outspoken opponent of critical race theory and she warns about the similarities she sees between the “woke revolution” and her experience living under Mao Zedong’s Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Fox News reported:

Grace Stiger, president of the Turning Point USA chapter at Whitworth University said she wanted Van Fleet to “tell her story,” and provide students with a unique perspective as a survivor under Zedong’s rule. But the student government objected to Stiger’s request, citing Van Fleet’s anti-woke tweets, which they said targets diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ community, and “environmental justice” among other social justice initiatives, Campus Reform reported. 

Van Fleet denounced the student government’s decision to block her from speaking in an interview with the website, calling it “extra concerning that this happened [at] a Christian college, which is supposedly more conservative.” 

“What are they afraid of?” she asked. “Those people who believe in lived experience, then they are going to get the lived experience from me because I’m not talking about an idea that I read or researched or studied.”

Van Fleet said that while she is “not surprised at all” and is “very familiar with what’s happening on American campuses,” she hopes students will learn from the history of China’s Cultural Revolution.

“When you cancel people now,” she said, “you have to be prepared to be canceled later.”

Stinger told Campus Reform that speakers are regularly requested on campus, but her TPUSA group is subject to more pushback and opposing votes “than any other club.”

The student government has voted down previous proposals from other conservative groups, including a 2019 request from Young America’s Foundation (YAF) to host Ben Shapiro.

On its website, Whitworth writes that it seeks to affirm “freedom of expression for its students, staff and faculty” through faith.

“Our commitment to free expression is grounded in our faith in the triune God who creates and redeems a good world for flourishing through his life-giving Word, Jesus Christ.[1] We take Jesus Christ as the model for engagement in public discourse and for exploration and expression of ideas,” the website reads.

“We affirm free expression because it is essential to exploration,” the statement continues. “We believe every aspect of God’s creation is worthy of study because God’s creation reflects God’s glory and is bound together by the life-giving Word, Jesus Christ.”

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