President of @TPUSA FIU Chapter cowardly runs away after being calmly asked by @YDSAFIU president @Vilydna to explain internal chats by his chapter referencing Richard Spencer, islamophobic rape memes, jokes about sexually assaulting latinas and deporting them, and antisemitism. pic.twitter.com/YfM2Q1bfGM
— Tomas Kennedy (@tomaskenn) October 17, 2018
On Tuesday, controversial screenshots surfaced from group chats between multiple members and leadership of Republican Party-affiliated campus group Turning Point USA (TPUSA). In those chats, users shared several alt-right memes and made anti-Semitic comments.
Originally published by the Miami New Times, those group chats were made by Florida International University (FIU) members of the conservative student group and cautioned users to “avoid using the n word,” temper their references to frequently-punched white nationalist leader Richard Spencer and also advised posters not to engage in “Jew hate…all the time.”
Mediaite’s Caleb Howe also noted, “The subject of the chats were rape jokes, racist jokes, pepe memes, Nazi references, and, if you can believe it, more.” At least one of the rape jokes was also Islamophobic–featuring Syrian refugees raping white Swedish women at gunpoint. Another comment referenced a desire to sexually assault Latina women. The user wrote:
I want to dress like an ICE officer in assless chaps [and] aggressively grapple Latinas and deport them.
On Wednesday, the president of the TPUSA FIU chapter–the chapter implicated in the chats–was approached by a member of FIU’s branch of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA). After being questioned about the various references, the president simply walks away.
YDSA Chair Andy Vila approaches TPUSA’s chapter president Andrew Pis and asks a general question about the group chats. To which Pis says, “Sorry, no comment.”
“No comment?” Vila asks. “You were specifically making comments about raping Latina women; there were people making anti-Semitic comments.” Pis reiterates, “Look, we have no comment.”
Vila then ups the ante a bit. He says, “Okay, if you don’t give me a comment, I won’t go away and I’ll be making sure that everybody who’s watching this will know exactly who you people are.”
TPUSA’s Pis then threatens to call security on Vila.
Vila responds by essentially daring Pis to do so–noting that he’s doing nothing wrong per FIU’s campus rules and asserting that he has a right to be there. Pis looks to a fellow TPUSA member who apparently hadn’t heard about the group chats until this point and mouths one final “no comment” before folding up his laptop and quickly walking away.
Law&Crime reached out to TPUSA for comment on the controversial group chats but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication.
[image via screengrab]