A Black podcaster was bombarded with numerous slurs on Sunday night while attending a high-profile conservative conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
Rob Smith, a gay conservative and podcast host, shared video to X on Monday showing a group of young men chanting a homophobic slur at him the evening prior outside the event.
“Last night in Phoenix, I was confronted and surrounded by some White Supremacists that don’t like gays or blacks in the Republican Party,” Smith said. “They shouted ‘n****r’ and ‘f****t’ at me to make their point. However, I served in Iraq. I never back down. Ever.”
In a statement to the Daily Dot, TPUSA spokesperson Andrew Kolvet pointed out that the incident had taken place outside of the Phoenix Convention Center.
“This did not occur at our event and if it had, these individuals would have been promptly removed,” he said.
The four-day event, known as AmericaFest 2023, was put on by the conservative students’ organization Turning Point USA (TPUSA). Founded by right-wing commentator Charlie Kirk, the organization’s conference attracted some of the biggest names in modern conservatism, including Donald Trump Jr., Roger Stone, Glenn Beck, Steve Bannon, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).
The conference also drew in supporters of white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes, who appear to have been primarily responsible for targeting Smith. In response to Smith’s video, Fuentes’ supporters, often referred to as Groypers, continued the harassment.
One user on X, who describes themselves as a “neo-incel” and “America First Christian Futurist,” denied that Smith was ever called the N-word given that the term was not heard in the clip.
“black guy lying about being called the n word as usual- even then, it’s just a word,” they wrote. “You’re not a conservative, we don’t care if you served in Iraq or not fruitcake.”
Another user argued that Smith was not a conservative while sharing a picture of Fuentes.
Unsurprisingly, one conservative suggested that the entire incident had been orchestrated by the federal government.
“They must be FBI, Trump supporters don’t act like that,” the user wrote.
Still, a significant portion of those responding continued to attack Smith for his sexual orientation and skin color.
“Hey rob how is gay sex right wing?” one asked.
Numerous supporters of Smith, however, came to his defense.
“I was there… when I heard the commotion, I stood up for Rob and made sure he got out of there safely,” another said. “This is the unfortunate reality of a fractured party without leadership.”
Despite the shocking display, TPUSA, which Smith contributes content to, does not appear to have released a statement on the incident. TPUSA did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Dot either.
The clash between TPUSA and the Groyper movement isn’t new. During its “Student Action Summit” in Tampa, Florida, in 2021, TPUSA struggled to keep white nationalists out.
That same year, Fuentes and his followers attempted to crash the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, and were ultimately removed.
Despite attempts by some supporters of former President Donald Trump to distance themselves from Fuentes and his ilk, the group continues to hold favor with some of Trump’s most prominent supporters, especially given Trump once dined with Fuentes.
This post has been updated with comment from TPUSA.