UVA College Republicans falsely smeared as racists
The University of Virginia College Republicans group got a welcome assist from its Democratic counterpart after its members were falsely accused of participating in last weekend’s riot.
Even before the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and the preceding march through UVA’s campus by neo-Nazis, the CR chapter issued a statement condemning the event, its organizers, and their beliefs, calling out the “so called ‘conservatives’” for their “heinous ideologies.”
The group went on to “categorically” condemn the rally, arguing that it was planned with the “intention of intimidating minorities,” and rejecting the organizers’ assertion that the event in any way represented “the Republican Party or the conservative movement.”
“As College Republicans, we must take an active role in combatting these vile beliefs,” the statement continued, lamenting the use of “the conservative movement to justify these ideas,” and stating that “our organization will do everything in our power to reject them.”
Yet barely one day after Saturday’s subsequent rally, Twitter user Logan Smith accused the College Republicans of participating in the riot under his popular Twitter handle “@YesYoureRacist,” calling on his followers to “cross-reference these #Charlottesville photos with the UVA College Republicans membership,” claiming he was sure they would “find plenty of overlap.”
The tweet, which received 10,000 likes and 5,000 retweets before it disappeared, featured a photograph of an event with Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia Ed Gillespie, which included a number of attendees who were not members of the Republican organization.
The College Republicans later released a second statement to Raging Freedom, stating that it was “dismayed” at the accusation that “members were active participants at the ‘Unite The Right’ rally.” Calling the claim “unfounded and slanderous” and stressing that the “account couldn’t be further from the truth” in light of its August 11 condemnation of the event.
“To the best of our knowledge, none of our members attended and if we discover that they did participate, they will no longer be welcome in our organization,” the club added.
The statement noted that while some members of College Republicans feared false retribution, it was “very grateful for the support [it] received,” especially from the University Democrats, who called the accusations “wholly inaccurate” in a statement.
“This is wholly inaccurate. The [College Republicans] have firmly stated their opposition to Nazi and KKK ideology. Do not spread falsehoods about them,” the Democrats tweeted.
A follow-up tweet reiterated the Democratic students’ disgust with the “baseless slander” against their classmates.
In response to the outpouring of support, the CR chapter expressed its “hope [that] we as a society can return to peaceful, fact-driven political discourse.”
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