Nicholas Fuentes, an 18-year-old student who attended the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend, said that he’s received death threats for months over his conservative viewpoints — enough for him to decide it’s time to leave Boston University.
Fuentes said he made the decision to abandon his Political Science degree a month ago after being constantly threatened over his conservative views. He said no longer felt safe on campus, and will not return for the fall semester.
Still, despite the intensity of the backlash he’s received, he has absolutely “no regrets” about taking part in the controversial white-nationalist movement.
“I went to represent this new strain of conservatives, of people in the right wing who are opposed to mass immigration and multiculturalism,” Fuentes told Fox News 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.”
A Boston University spokesman confirmed to Fox News that the student had indeed left the school earlier this week and that “the safety and security of our students is our highest priority.”
While the ideology of the movement, he contended, used to be associated only with older men in America “like Pat Buchanan and Samuel Francis,” he believes a significant wave in the younger generation have been captivated by the ideology.
“We have basically been told our whole lives that white people are racist and evil and should be erased,” Fuentes explained. “We have basically been told that it is a crime to be born a white male.”
The student, who hails from a suburb of Chicago, is of Mexican lineage and contends that he and almost all other attendees did not go to the rally out of racist motivations, but rather most were like him and consider themselves to be “preservationists” staunchly against high levels of immigration.
“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,” Fuentes said. “The vast majority of people there were regular, decent people. I didn’t meet a single violent person. Our side is just preservationist.”
Fuentes noted that the Charlottesville rally had been in the works for about three months, and that people joined the fray not only from all over the U.S., but from Canada and various countries in Europe. But after posting on social media about going to the event – which turned tragic after a driver rammed a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman – Fuentes’ own firestorm began.
“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 sh– out of me. Stuff of that nature,” he said. “At least 10 to 20 of them were death threats.”
Fuentes said Boston University had given him opportunities to express his political views — and his support of Donald Trump — leading up to the November presidential election last year.
“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 recalled. “We went to the Dean and they gave us an auditorium, a police officer for security detail, they really made it happen.”
He is now taking a semester off and then intends to start at Auburn University in Alabama in the spring.
“It was one of my first picks after high school,” Fuentes continued, adding that the “friendly territory” of the Deep South will enable him to express his opinions freely without jeopardizing his safety.
In addition to studies, he hosts his own YouTube talk show modeled after Trump’s key campaign catchphrase “Make America Great Again,” and highlighted that he mostly has liberal-leaning friends – but the few who are conservative have experienced widespread backlash from their university peers across the country.
“Even worse than the threats I have received,” Fuentes surmised.
And even though he stands staunchly by his beliefs and makes no apology about making his mark in Charlottesville, he doesn’t plan on attending any such rallies in the near future.
“Everyone is a little shaken up,” Fuentes added. “The political climate has become so intense and so violent and toxic.”
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay