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Tag: turning point usa

'Turning Point' Student Group Promotes White Nationalist Speakers

The Turning Point USA chapter at the University of Alabama has enlisted two associates of notorious white nationalist Nick Fuentes as featured event speakers on campus next month.

Fuentes is a white nationalist, Holocaust denier, and anti-Semite who attended the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection also subpoenaed Fuentes this year for his role in organizing “Stop the Steal” rallies that led to the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol in 2021.

Turning Point USA is a right-wing student organization that was co-founded by far-right pundit Charlie Kirk. The group’s upcoming event at the University of Alabama, which is scheduled for October 26 and billed as a discussion with “selections from the rising young right,” will feature Kai Schwemmer, Tyler Russell, and Brandt Wiggins, all of whom are tied to Fuentes’ “groyper” movement of young white extremists.


Schwemmer is an alt-right influencer who has espoused white nationalist views; he previously spoke alongside alt-right troll and YouTuber John Doyle during a Turning Point event in April near the University of California, Santa Barbara campus. Russell, another speaker at the event, is a Canadian white supremacist who reportedly has “the aim of securing a white ethnostate in Canada.” Wiggins, another Fuentes associate poised to speak at the event, is the vice president of the University of Alabama Turning Point chapter. Wiggins is a white nationalist, anti-Semite, and anti-LGBTQ bigot.

On Telegram, Fuentes promoted the Turning Point event:

As Political Research Associates’ Ben Lorber explained in a recent Twitter thread, groyper leaders and influencers are increasingly positioning themselves to be leaders on college campuses with the assistance of Turning Point.

Although Turning Point has attempted to distance itself from white nationalists, the University of Alabama chapter’s decision to host these speakers continues a pattern of Turning Point closely aligning with white nationalists and other far-right extremists – including Fuentes himself:

  • In 2019, a Las Vegas Turning Point leader was caught on camera uttering racial slurs and celebrating “white power!”
  • Turning Point previously listed the alt-right social media platform Gab as a sponsor for its Student Action Summit. Gab is a haven for violent white nationalists and antisemites.
  • Neo-Nazi aligned figures appeared at Turning Point’s 2021 “AmericaFest.”
  • Turning Point defended a Florida professor and chapter faculty adviser for having ties to a white nationalist organization.
  • An Iowa Turning Point chapter invited Fuentes to speak on campus in 2019, where he spoke on “preserving the ‘European texture’ of the United States.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

How Republicans Learned To Stop Worrying And Love January 6

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

As the nation approaches the one-year anniversary of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, a disturbing trend has emerged in the right-wing media ecosystem: the open approval and valorization of the event.

Such thoughts first emerged that very day, when far-right commentators like former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka and right-wing site The Gateway Pundit cheered on the “patriots” who had “taken over Capitol Hill.” But after the coup attempt failed, right-wing media proceeded in the following days and months to come up with other explanations of what had happened. While they painted various conspiracy theories of left-wing infiltration or claimed there had been no insurrection at all, they also urged strongly against any attempts to investigate the event further — which did not exactly demonstrate much confidence in the alternative hypotheses.

But more and more, conservative media outlets are collectively ending up right back where they started, with a full embrace of the event, consistent with former President Donald Trump’s claims that “the insurrection took place on November 3rd,” and that January 6 was a “protest of the rigged election.” (This has also spread through official Republican circles, such as the local Republican Party in suburban Cobb County, Georgia, which is preparing to hold a “Candlelight Vigil for J6 Patriots.”)

This right-wing media campaign to excuse the Capitol attack is seemingly reflected by views among the rank-and-file GOP: A recent CBS News/YouGov poll finds that Republican voters have become less disapproving of the events of January 6 than they once were. While the vast majority still say they disapprove, a deeper look finds that this opinion has become spread between those who “strongly disapprove” and a plurality who only “somewhat disapprove.” Moreover, only 21 percent of Republicans will describe the riot as an “insurrection,” while 47 percent describe the people who entered the Capitol as having been motivated by “patriotism,” and 56 percent say they had been “defending freedom.” Moreover, 38 percent of Republicans say that political violence could be justified over election results.

Indeed, much of the response to January 6 has depended on the source’s view about whether such an event could succeed — or only result in ignominious defeat. Far-right activist and talk show host Charlie Kirk, in the days following January 6, deleted a tweet in which he had boasted that his organizations were sending “80+ buses full of patriots” to Washington in order to “fight for this president.” A Turning Point Action spokesperson claimed that the organization had sent only seven buses, but it also later emerged that at least one suspect in the Capitol insurrection had traveled to D.C. on one of Turning Point Action’s buses.

It is also worth looking at what Kirk now has to say about political violence. When an audience member at one of Kirk’s events asked this past October, “How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?” Kirk responded that the questioner was “playing into all their plans,” because their opponents were “trying to make you do something that will be violent that will justify a takeover of your freedoms and liberties.” (Others pointed out that Kirk’s supposed objection to violence was based on its high probability of failure instead of any moral qualms.)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has created a propaganda series claiming that the attack was a false flag operation mounted by government elements in order to persecute conservatives, has also for long time cultivated a parallel narrative in which the insurrectionists were just regular citizens who “talked about the Constitution, and something called their rights.” Moreover, Carlson has claimed, they “were correct” that the 2020 presidential election had been rigged against Trump — and “if a mass of people show up angry at the Capitol, you should at least pause for a second,” and “maybe we should address their concerns.”

And on New Year’s Eve, right-wing site American Greatness — whose contributors have spread lies about the 2020 election and attacked Capitol Police officers — upped the ante with a piece titled “Of Reichstags and Bastilles.” Repeating a series of false claims that there was “overwhelming evidence of widespread voter fraud in multiple swing states,” contributor Eric Lendrum declared that “thus, the protesters were justified.”

The piece also claimed that Ashli Babbitt, the QAnon conspiracy theorist who was killed by a Capitol Police officer as she attempted to climb through a broken window leading to the Speaker’s Lobby, was “an actual hero … who was willing to give her life for her country—and ultimately did just that, albeit in a far more tragic way.” (Babbitt had posted online the day before the Capitol attack that “Nothing will stop us,” further adding: “They can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours… dark to light!”)

Lendrum concluded his piece with a declaration that conservatives should “stop trying to qualify their stances on January 6 with an obligatory disavowal,” and instead openly celebrate the actions of that day as “a reaction to a long train of abuses and usurpations perpetrated against the American people by an entrenched elite class that has infected our institutions.”

"The only course of action at this point is to be just as firm in our stance as the Left is. If they truly want to address January 6 by making dramatic historical comparisons, then so should we. If their aim is to make January 6 their Reichstag Fire, then we should go forward celebrating the events of that day as our Storming of the Bastille; a day where a symbol of the degeneration of our ruling class into total corruption and tyranny was challenged, and the elites were shown just what happens when millions of freedom-loving citizens finally grow sick and tired of a boot perpetually stomping on their necks."

Another peculiar set of visuals and commentary came Monday night on the far-right One America News.

OAN host Natalie Harp interviewed right-wing author Lee Smith about how the events of January 6 had supposedly been used to defame Trump supporters in general, with Harp calling the date a “plot against the people.” (This phrasing was in contrast to a book that Smith published in 2019, The Plot Against the President, denouncing the Trump-Russia investigations.)

While OAN aired B-roll photos and video of the January 6 attack itself, Smith claimed that the investigations were “effectively the demonization and in some cases the criminalization of opposition” to the Obama and Biden “faction” in American politics. “It’s despicable, but that's what we're up against. We're up against a very, a very ugly faction of the American public sphere.”




What Charlie Kirk's Potential Venues And Sponsors Need To Know

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

At an event this week in Boise, Idaho, right-wing commentator and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk was asked a friendly question by an audience member: "When do we get to use the guns?" the audience member said, even further adding that this was "not a joke." He asked: "I mean, literally, where's the line? How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?"

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At Idaho Event, Far Rightist Asks 'When Do We Kill These People?'

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The politics of eliminationism—in which ordinary democratic discourse is replaced by the constant drumbeat of demonization that depicts one's political opponents as inhuman objects fit only for extermination—has been growing steadily in America for well over a decade, reaching a fever pitch during Donald Trump's tenure in the White House.
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‘Conservative Pornstar’ Disrupts Trumpist Youth Conference

Zachary Petrizzo

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Turning Point USA, the right-wing youth student organization led by Charlie Kirk, found itself in an unusual controversy Saturday night after "conservative pornstar" Brandi Love was allowed into a Florida conference and welcomed as an "Adult VIP," sparking backlash.

The drama began early in the night when the adult entertainer's presence in Tampa was first discovered by a follower of white nationalist Nicholas Fuentes and former Kansas State student Jaden McNeil, who wrote on Telegram, "Turning Point USA has a pornstar as a VIP at their Student Action Summit."

"Imagine sending your kids to this conference think they're gonna learn about Christian Conservative values, and they come home with photos with pornstars," he added, attaching a photo of Love snapping a picture with a TPUSA attendee.

Quickly thereafter, white nationalist "groypers" began to approach Love both in person at the event and feverishly online, hurling insults again and again at the adult star.

After a while, more mainstream conservative figures and student activists began to join in as well, calling out Turning Point USA for the alleged misstep. "A new low for TPUSA. Zero class left in that organization," Liberty University student Carley Dehnisch said. Right-wing writer Alec Sears penned, "Absolutely fucking speechless that 'conservative' org TPUSA has invited an actual porn star to a conference that minors attend." Young America's Foundation (YAF) intern Jacob Porwisz wrote, "Great job TPUSA, for inviting a porn star to their conference that features kids under 17; very conservative of them!"

Reached for comment by Salon, TPUSA spokesperson Andrew Kolvet declined to comment on the drama. Shortly thereafter, Love was banned from the gathering.

"We regret to inform you that your SAS 2021 invitation has been revoked," an email from TPUSA stated, posted to Twitter by the adult entertainer. "This decision is final. This revocation does not impact application to future events, and we hope that you will consider applying again in the future."

However, Love wasn't buying it and said the Republican Party is "broken" due to TPUSA officials giving her the boot. "Can't make this shit up lol!! I just watched Charlie Kirk, Dan Bongino, Rick Scott, Kat Timpf, speak about freedom, censorship, how inclusive the 'movement' is," she stated. "And then they had me thrown out of the Turning Point USA conference. The Republican Party is broken."

While many right-wingers cheered the ban on Love, an unlikely opposition force led by Federalist co-founder and frequent Fox News guest Ben Domenech also emerged: "I'm disappointed that TPUSA kicked out Brandi Love for no reason whatsoever. She's a Florida conservative businesswoman who loves America," he tweeted. "The right has an opportunity to be the big tent party. Don't be a bunch of prudes."

As of Sunday morning, the ban remained.

Turning Point USA is no stranger to such type of controversy, as back in December of 2020, the organization came under fire during their Student Action Conference in Palm Beach, Florida, over Bang Energy's "Bang Girls" blasting free cash into the crowd of college and high school students.

Following publication, factions on the right emerged over TPUSA's decision to ban Love. Notably, New York Post opinion editor and event speaker Sohrab Ahmari agreed with the move, tweeting, "Here at the TPUSA Student Action Summit, and I'm proud of Charlie Kirk and his team for revoking the pass of a pornstar who'd signed up as an adult attendee. There are kids as young as 15 here."

Capitol Rioter Who Assaulted Police Traveled On Turning Point USA Bus

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

A retired firefighter who threw a fire extinguisher at police officers during the January 6 Capitol insurrection was put under pretrial house arrest on Tuesday. Robert Sanford had surrendered himself to federal authorities on multiple charges nearly a week after the insurrection. HuffPo's Ryan J. Reilly reported that according to Sanford's attorney, the defendant traveled to Washington, D.C., on a bus organized by Turning Point Action, founded by Trump loyalist Charlie Kirk.



Following the insurrection, Kirk deleted a January 4 tweet saying his organization was sending 80 buses of Trump supporters to the "Stop the Steal" rally on January 6. A Turning Point Action spokesperson claimed that the organization had sent only seven buses to the capital and that the student protesters were not involved in the day's violence.

During his January 4 podcast, Kirk stated, "Turning Point Action is being financially supportive of that rally. We are sending buses."


Charlie Kirk:

He also said during that episode: "We are at Turning Point Action helping with the big event in Washington."


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In the weeks leading up to the insurrection, Kirk spread misinformation and dangerous rhetoric involving the attempted election coup. He called on former Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally discard state electors. He also criticized Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for congratulating President Joe Biden on his election victory, saying, "You typically don't use the term 'congratulations' when someone just stole a bank."

After the attack on the Capitol, Kirk called the violence "bad judgment" and said it was "not wise," continuing, "However, 'not wise' does not mean you're an insurrectionist."

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Insiders Cashing In At Questionable Trump-Linked College Outfit

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica

This election, one of President Donald Trump's most influential advocates is 26 year-old Charlie Kirk, who has developed a unique bond with the first family. The conservative star dines with the president at Mar-a-Lago and rang in the new year there. During each of the last two winters, he used the club to hold a formal fundraiser for his nonprofit, Turning Point USA, that featured Donald Trump Jr.

At a Turning Point event in June, the president, addressing the crowd, said, “Let us also show our appreciation to my good friend, Charlie. I'll tell you, Charlie is some piece of work who is mobilizing a new generation of pro-American student activists." On a Turning Point webpage soliciting donations, Trump Jr., a close friend of Kirk's, is quoted as saying, “I'm convinced that the work by Turning Point USA and Charlie Kirk will win back the future of America."

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Trump Jr. Booed Off UCLA Stage By Far-Right Hecklers

Donald Trump Jr.’s appearance Sunday at a university to talk about his new book on liberals and free speech was marked by an argument between him and the audience over why he would not take questions, the Guardian newspaper reported.

Members of the audience of about 450 people at the University of California, Los Angeles, were vocally angry that Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, former Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle, declined to take questions because of time constraints, The Guardian reported. Trump was at UCLA to promote his new book Triggered: How The Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us.

After initially being greeted with shouts of shouts of “USA! USA!” when he first appeared on the stage of a lecture hall, members of the audience eventually turned to louder, openly hostile chants of “Q and A! Q and A!” after they were told he would not take questions, the newspaper reported.

The Guardian said that Trump Jr. told the audience that taking questions from the floor risked creating soundbites that left-wing social media posters would abuse and distort.

Guilfoyle told audience members that they were being rude, according to the Guardian. Salon reported that the former Fox News host then angered the crowd further by suggesting, “I bet you engage and go on online dating because you’re impressing no one here to get a date in person.”

Shortly thereafter, she and Trump Jr. left the stage.

Outside the lecture hall, several dozen protesters organized by the Los Angeles chapter of Refuse Fascism protested. The Los Angeles Times reports that protesters chanted “UCLA protects fascists” and “humanity first.”

Andy Stein, a supporter of Donald Trump, told the Times that he came to UCLA to listen to Trump Jr. because he sees the son as a “chip off the old block” and admires his “feistiness.”

According to the Guardian, one of the loudest protesters in the audience at UCLA on Sunday was 21-year-old Nick Fuentes, an extreme-right activist and podcaster who has become a figurehead among the more outwardly xenophobic, racist, and homophobic corners of the far-right movement.

Fuentes and his followers have targeted others on the far right, notably Charlie Kirk, the 25-year-old founder of Turning Point USA, one of the sponsors of Trump Jr.’s book tour. Kirk appeared alongside the younger Trump on Sunday.

In a tweet Sunday evening, Fuentes said he and his followers were not upset with Trump Jr., whom he called a “patriot,” but rather Turning Point USA, which he claimed “SHUTS DOWN and SMEARS socially conservative Christians and supporters of President Trump’s agenda.”

“We are AMERICA FIRST!” he wrote.