Back in 2017, New Times
obtained screenshots of gross chats among Florida International University's Campus Republicans. They joked about the Charlottesville neo-Nazi attack last year and threatened to "call ICE" on fellow, undocumented students who were begging Congress to pass the DREAM Act.
Now, New Times
has received disgusting chats from another FIU conservative group, Turning Point USA (TPUSA) — a far-right, college-focused group led by commentator Charlie Kirk. Members joke about watching underage cartoon pornography and deporting Latina women, and, in the most repugnant case, share racist "Pepe the Frog" memes showing Syrian men raping a white Swedish woman at gunpoint.
In one section, a prominent group member apparently had to warn others not to use racial slurs or reference neo-Nazis too often. One group member asked how "edgy" the person's "meme game" can be in the group chat, titled "TPUSA FIU Fun." A prominent group member responded by telling the user to "avoid using the n word and don't reference Richard Spencer too much and don't Jew hate ... all the time." [sic]
Spencer is, of course, an avowed white nationalist who regularly quotes Nazi slogans and advocates the creation of a "white ethno-state."
Representatives for the group did not return messages from New Times
yesterday. (A Facebook message was "read.") Nor did the group's regional field director in Florida, Driena Sixto, respond to New Times. S
he also participated in the chats, the WhatsApp screencaps show.
Turning Point USA was founded in 2012 by square-headed right-wing commentator Charlie Kirk. Kirk has since brought on pundit Candace Owens and has repeatedly held events with Donald Trump Jr. (One was held last week at Nova High School in Davie, but Trump Jr. wound up not attending.) Trump Jr. also wrote the foreword to Kirk's recently released book. (Kirk's text has received uniformly negative reviews — even from other conservatives
). But TPUSA is perhaps most famous for the antics of its Kent State University chapter — in 2017, TPUSA activists at the Ohio school wore adult diapers and sucked pacifiers to parody "crybaby" liberals.
Of course, the internet has made fun of the group's members nonstop ever since then for making themselves look like morons.
Although Kirk and TPUSA formally denounce racism, white nationalism, and the alt-right, lower-level TPUSA members keep getting outed as racists or fans of prominent neo-Nazis. In 2017, the New Yorker
's Jane Mayer reported the group had possibly coordinated illegally with prominent conservative campaigns and had also "fostered an atmosphere that is hostile to minorities."
The magazine obtained internal screenshots showing former national field director, Crystal Clanton, stating "I hate black people. Like fuck them all... I hate blacks. End of story.” The Huffington Post
also reported that TPUSA replaced Clanton with a woman named Shialee Grooman
, who has used all kinds of racial and homophobic slurs online (including the N-word) and once tweeted the sentence "I love making racist jokes."
And, earlier this year, the head of Turning Point's diaper-wearing Kent State chapter quit — and wrote in a scathing op-ed that one of TPUSA's regional managers was "liking tweets from notorious Charlottesville attendee and white nationalist icon, James Allsup.
" (For what it's worth, many political commentators, from Leftists
to even the staunchly conservative National Review
, blame campus-conservative groups for functioning as alt-right breeding-grounds.)
FIU groups have been outed before for gross, sexist private chats. In 2017, New Times
obtained Tau Kappa Epsilon frat members' texts making rape jokes and sharing nude pictures of women without their consent
. FIU temporarily suspended all Greek life on campus while it investigated the matter. Then, New Times
obtained College Republicans' conversations joking about the Charlottesville neo-Nazi murder of Heather Heyer. FIU's College Republican vice-president then quit the group
Much of the FIU Turning Point chat reads like a bunch of young idiots trying (and miserably failing) to sound tough and edgy to impress one another. A source with knowledge of the FIU chat said that the "TPUSA FIU Fun" chatroom is used to announce the group's meetings and official business, while also serving as an outlet for group members to talk about campus life and share jokes and memes. But it turns out many members find some pretty heinous stuff funny.
Most notably, one user shared a Pepe the Frog meme showing Syrian men raping a white, Swedish woman at gunpoint. The "joke," if it can be called that, was simply that Sweden is letting in too many Syrian refugees, and that the Syrian men are going to pay the Swedes back by raping their women. It's basically about the Swedes getting literally "cucked."
"But it's awful in Europe cause 'WeRe DiVeRsE," the poster wrote, using ~ironic~ punctuation to poke fun at the concept of diversity.
(In right-wing internet parlance, Pepe the Frog is a meme character popular with internet neo-Nazis, and the term "cucked," which comes from "cuckolding," references white people letting nonwhites infect their culture. It's as gross and racist as it sounds.)
"History repeats itselff," one user then responded.
Another user then referenced the period from roughly 718 to 1492 when white Christians violently pushed Muslims and Arabs out of the Iberian peninsula in what is now Spain.
"Let's hope the next Reconquista
doesn't last 774 years," the user wrote. The term — which translates to "reconquest" — is often referenced in white-nationalist and neo-Nazi circles online.
In another part of the chat, a different user made a blunt joke about deporting brown women as part of a Halloween costume.
"I want to dress like an ICE officer in assless chaps" and "aggressively grapple Latinas and deport them," the post read, even though some members of the group appear to identify as Latina.
Some other group members even joked about watching cartoon porn involving underage girls. Many white nationalists and other members of the online alt-right, including Richard Spencer
, have loudly professed their love for Japanese anime. One FIU TPUSA member took things a step further by posting a meme referencing "loli hentai," a type of Japanese pornography that, according to Urban Dictionary at least, depicts underage, prepubescent girls having sex:
Other chats showed TPUSA chat members joking about "infiltrating" other groups on campus, especially leftist or progressive organizations. One user joked about trying to get a progressive campus activist expelled.
According to FIU's own college magazine, PantherNOW
, TPUSA created a chapter at the school in 2017.
Field rep Driena Sixto, who had already graduated from the school by then, told the paper she had helped bring Turning Point to FIU to change the allegedly "liberal narrative" on college campuses. (It's worth noting that data show the alleged "anti-conservative crisis" at colleges appears to be overblown, and that, if anything, leftist professors actually get "persecuted" more often than right-leaning ones.
An FIU spokesperson declined to immediately comment on the posts. But, during a similar controversy with the Campus Republicans, the university stressed racist-murder jokes did "not represent the university community."