Right-wing celebrity Charlie Kirk appeared in Mankato on his national “Exposing Critical Racism Tour” on Oct. 5, 2021.
Right-wing celebrity Charlie Kirk opened his appearance in Mankato Tuesday night by giving the crowd some advice: “Just don’t totally mess up this state. It was built by wonderful Scandinavians, and it seems as if it’s being destroyed now, rather intentionally.”
In an 80-some-minute speech, Kirk called George Floyd a “scumbag,” railed against urban areas — especially Minneapolis, which is “not the town it used to be” — and seemingly referenced Jan. 6 while lamenting how “if you dare walk into the U.S. Capitol building and take a selfie, they’ll put you in solitary confinement.”
Attendees nearly filled the auditorium for the Minnesota leg of Kirk’s national “Exposing Critical Racism Tour,” with Republicans U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn and state Rep. Jeremy Munson among them. In a Facebook post Wednesday, Munson thanked Kirk for an “engaging discussion.” Hagedorn said he “enjoyed attending.”
Hagedorn’s office did not reply to a request for comment.
Kirk, the founder of right-wing youth organization Turning Point USA, has become well-known for his efforts to rally young conservative voters and for spreading false claims about the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and voter fraud.
In Mankato, Kirk told the audience his tour is named the “CRT tour” because of “George Floyd’s death, and the misinterpretation of that.” Kirk repeated debunked falsehoods that Floyd died because of a fentanyl overdose, that he was “illegally counterfeiting currency,” and that he once “put a gun to a pregnant woman’s stomach.”
On Monday, Texas Tribune reported, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended Floyd receive a posthumous full pardon for a 2004 drug charge he received in Houston. The officer who made the arrest has since been indicted for murder and other misconduct charges.
Kirk seemed to suggest that the racial reckoning following the murder of Floyd by former police officer Derek Chauvin was an overreaction by “the most corrupt and disengenuous voices that any human being could possibly find around anything.”
Kirk also invoked Garrison Keillor — who “got ‘MeToo-ed’ in 2017 or whatever,” he said. He seemed to reference Lake Wobegon, a fictional location in “Prairie Home Companion,” as a real place while describing the lessons of the show as “maybe we shouldn’t hyper-corporatize our entire lifestyle and all move to cities and become childless and godless.”
In closing, Kirk said he wanted to be clear his remarks were “framed around this idea that we’re no longer in, like, an economics debate — high taxes, no taxes, more regulation, less regulation.”
“No,” he continued, “This is civilization-defining stuff.”
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