The State Hornet

Crowd gathers around Sac State Trump supporters protesting Stephon Clark coverage

Students wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ hats called The State Hornet ‘fascist’

Taryn+Patton+points+at+a+copy+of+the+State+Hornet+in+a+crowd+of+people+in+the+Library+Quad+Thursday.+A+fight+broke+out+at+Sac+State+after+a+group+of+men+wearing+Make+America+Great+Again+hats+with+a+Blue+Lives+Matter+flag+accused+The+State+Hornet+of+inciting+violence+in+its+latest+print+issue.
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Crowd gathers around Sac State Trump supporters protesting Stephon Clark coverage

Taryn Patton points at a copy of the State Hornet in a crowd of people in the Library Quad Thursday. A fight broke out at Sac State after a group of men wearing Make America Great Again hats with a Blue Lives Matter flag accused The State Hornet of inciting violence in its latest print issue.

Taryn Patton points at a copy of the State Hornet in a crowd of people in the Library Quad Thursday. A fight broke out at Sac State after a group of men wearing Make America Great Again hats with a Blue Lives Matter flag accused The State Hornet of inciting violence in its latest print issue.

Eucario Calderon - The State Hornet

Taryn Patton points at a copy of the State Hornet in a crowd of people in the Library Quad Thursday. A fight broke out at Sac State after a group of men wearing Make America Great Again hats with a Blue Lives Matter flag accused The State Hornet of inciting violence in its latest print issue.

Eucario Calderon - The State Hornet

Eucario Calderon - The State Hornet

Taryn Patton points at a copy of the State Hornet in a crowd of people in the Library Quad Thursday. A fight broke out at Sac State after a group of men wearing Make America Great Again hats with a Blue Lives Matter flag accused The State Hornet of inciting violence in its latest print issue.

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A fight among students at Sacramento State occurred Thursday as a group of men wearing red Make America Great Again hats with a Blue Lives Matter flag accused The State Hornet of inciting violence in its latest print issue.

The group, including Sac State mechanical engineering student and College Republicans member Philip Olding, set up a table next to several State Hornet staff members who were distributing the Wednesday’s print edition in the Library Quad.

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Olding said he opposed the “fascist claims” made by The State Hornet in its latest issue, which featured coverage of the protests surrounding the Sacramento district attorney’s decision not to charge the officers who shot Stephon Clark.

The cover’s text quoted the popular protest chant “Stand up, fight back,” which Olding said encouraged violence against law enforcement. Olding also referenced that the design of the cover utilized the colors of Antifa, red and black.

The issue’s cover also reads, “Since Saturday’s announcement that the two officers responsible for fatally shooting unarmed 22-year-old Stephon Clark would not be charged, activists have occupied Sacramento, chanting: ‘Stand up, fight back.’”

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The State Hornet’s cover of the March 6 issue.

When The State Hornet’s editor-in-chief, Claire Morgan, introduced herself to Olding, his response was, “Fuck you.”

“It’s your First Amendment right, but you’re calling for violence,” Olding later said to Morgan. “I’m not telling you men with machine guns should stop you from pushing your fascism, I’m telling you, you should stop pushing fascism. It’s that simple.”

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At one point, a man in the crowd who had been arguing with Olding grabbed a rock and ran toward him before he was held back. The man then got into a separate fight with another man and left after Sac State College Republicans president Floyd Johnson helped break up the altercation.

Sac State Police Department officers and community service officers, who were in attendance, did not step in.

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Student Organizations & Leadership assistant director Josh Mandel-Sonner made the group of men move farther away from The State Hornet’s table while still remaining in the Library Quad.

At its peak size, a crowd of around 200 students surrounded Olding and another student who only identified himself as Stephen, both of whom were wearing red MAGA hats.

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“We have to fight with our voices instead of anything else. Freedom of speech, which is what you are promoting, is what this paper is promoting,” Sac State student Laura Pulido said to Olding.

Though Olding is a member of the Sac State College Republicans, Johnson said the event was not sanctioned by his group.

“It is not in the opinion of the College Republicans at Sacramento State that the issue of calling the school newspaper a fascist organization is true,” Johnson said in a text message. “We also believe that the use of profanity is not conducive to a fruitful discussion of current issues in the public sphere or any sphere for that matter.”

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Multiple university officials tried to maintain control of the crowd, including SO&L’s Associate Vice President for Students Affairs, Dean of Students Beth Lesen, SO&L’s Interim Director Nicki Croly and Director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion John Johnson.

According to Lesen, it’s still unclear if the group reserved space next to The State Hornet’s tabling area.

“They’re not free to drop a table, but they’re free, within reason, to do what they want,” Lesen said.

While groups are asked to make reservations for tabling, the university allows any individual to come onto campus to exercise their free speech without permit or form requirement, provided disruptions to the student body’s education do not occur.

Ashton Byers, Jordyn Dollarhide, Claire Morgan and Cory Jaynes contributed to this report.

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6 Comments

6 Responses to “Crowd gathers around Sac State Trump supporters protesting Stephon Clark coverage”

  1. Brandon Toney-James on March 7th, 2019 7:31 pm

    A fight never broke out. I was the black guy who was arguing with thr white liberal student. No fight happened. This is why the State Hornet is fake news.

  2. Anonymous on March 7th, 2019 10:33 pm

    The commenter above speaks the truth. I am the white liberal guy that you claimed “charged at the man with a rock.” That is entirely false, and you can see that it’s false in the very sequence of videos you have in this “article.” This is tantamount to character assassination, and I have already spoken to my lawyer about it. If you do not retract this statement about me (that you have ZERO proof for) immediately I will be taking legal action.

  3. Lily on March 8th, 2019 9:37 am

    I was there the moment the one gentleman attempted to throw a rock at Brandon. The guy called Brandon, a Black member of the crowd at this protest, an uncle tom. This insighted an argument between the two of them as well as the crowd all before the guy attempted to pick up a rock to throw at the men running the table. As another fellow member of the Republican’s club, I agree with my president in saying the conducting of this protest was not right; however, I personally feel if this campus truly wants to protect this campus from racism instances such as this one should be addressed just as much as any others. We had a black man and a mexican man both get attacked for what they believe in on this day, where is there respect? I was called a derogatory name by the man in the crowd who attempted to throw the rock for stepping up to stand up for my fellow club member, so much for respecting women. Standing up for your rights should be encouraged on our campus, but not at the expense of others who do not completely agree with your opinion.

  4. BC on March 9th, 2019 12:02 am

    Asking for respect when the goal of the protest is to push far-right propaganda and intimidate people? Spare us the crocodile tears. When people go looking for a fight, they should not be surprised to find one, nor should they proceed to whine about their lack of “freedom” from the consequences of picking a fight.

  5. Anonymous on March 9th, 2019 5:44 am

    I was also there. It was very fun. I liked the MAGA hat wearing guys bellies. It’s what really reeled me into their discussion, next thing you know there’s a crowd of 200 or so students and I’m thinking oh man these guys’ bellies re really powerful then a student starts screaming out fascist and grabbing rocks. I got scared and left. The event has really shaken me to my core.

  6. Jordy on March 10th, 2019 4:02 am

    No problem naming the Trump hat people. But what about the soyboi charging in with the deadly 10ft open hand slap? What’s his name?

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