Turning Point USA Yukked It Up With Racist Rape Memes? You Don't Freaking Say.
Turning Point USA is a group for college Republicans led by Charlie Kirk. Their mission statement is "to educate students about true free market values." They are known for maintaining a Professor Watch List that lists professors who are liberals -- "liberal professors," as you know, are not allowed or even legal -- and for once holding a "protest" of "safe spaces" in which they all wore diapers. It was really fucking weird.
This week, members of Charlie Kirk's Republican Diaper-Fetish Good Time group at Florida International University had some of their private chats exposed by the Miami New Times and -- would you believe it -- it seems like some of them might be extremely terrible people.
When one member asked just how "edgy" they were allowed to be with their memes, they were advised "avoid using the n word and don't reference Richard Spencer too much and don't Jew hate ... all the time." Because a little anti-Semitism is fine, just don't want to go overboard. Godforbid!
They also shared a meme of a Syrian Pepe the Frog raping a Swedish woman while her ostensible husband is forced to watch -- like a cuckold. The response to this was not "Hey that's fucked up," but rather "Let's hope the next Reconquista doesn't last 774 years." The Reconquista -- which refers to a series of escalating conflicts in which Muslims were violently forced out of Europe -- is a popular meme among self-described white supremacists.
It's both racist and a rape joke! How can they lose?
In another chat, one member suggested that he wanted to dress up as a Sexy ICE officer for Halloween in order to "aggressively grapple Latinas and deport them."
This, as you might imagine, is not the group's first racist controversy. In a 2017 New Yorker article, Jane Mayer reported that Crystal Clanton, the former national field director for the group, sent a text message to another member reading "I HATE BLACK PEOPLE. Like fuck them all . . . I hate blacks. End of story."
Charlie Kirk, of course, has been very, very clear that Turning Point USA is a very mainstream Republican group that is not at all associated with the alt-right or with white nationalist or white supremacist groups. They do not represent the views of these groups, but of mainstream conservative thought. "That BS they're trying to say out there, it's not who we are, it's not what we believe, it's not what Turning Point believes," he once said in a speech to his supporters, in which he decried being labeled an "ethno-nationalist" just because a bunch of neo-Nazis came to his rally to support him.
In fact, the leader of the Republican party, Donald Trump, has even quoted Kirk on occasion.
“The President has accomplished some absolutely historic things during this past year.” Thank you Charlie Kirk of T… https://t.co/M7G4m0QqmO— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1513952224.0
And you know what? I believe him. I fully believe that all of these messages are 100% in line with mainstream conservative thought these days, which is not, in fact, at all different from "fringe" conservative thought these days. After all, the Metropolitan Republican Club of New York just recently hosted Gavin McInnes's reenactment of the assassination of the leader of Japan's Socialist Party, after which his gang of Proud Boys chased down and beat the living daylights out of some protesters.
In fact, I think it is very unfair to keep forcing the labels of "alt-right" and "neo-nazi" on obviously mainstream conservatives such as these, or to suggest that their views are somehow "fringe." We should just call them all what they are -- Republicans. Very normal, mainstream Republicans who think a little "jew hate" is fine every now and again.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse