A college socialist leader suggested during a speech last week that conservative organizations ought to be smashed and have their tents burned down, but later claimed it was a joke.
Florida International University student Andy Vila, chairman of a Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter, delivered a speech about fighting capitalism, conservative values, and President Trump, who he deems a “fascist.”
During the “How to Fight Fascism and the Right” spiel, Vila posed the question, “Now that I know how Right-wingers will act, how can I smash them?”
“We’re gonna talk about how this ideology manifests on a college campus here in America. We’re gonna talk about Turning Point specifically,” Vila said, according to The Washington Examiner.
Turning Point USA is a conservative nonprofit committed to defending free-market values and limited government.
Vila believes TPUSA enables fascism and accused its members of using racial and homophobic slurs in the name of free speech. Vila said when TPUSA held an anti-socialism event last semester, his group “strategized.”
“We were like, ‘Okay, guys, so these guys are gonna spread their BS message on our campus, what do we do? We obviously can’t burn down their tent, as much as we want to, because that’s a bad thing I guess.'”
DSA spokesman Lawrence Dreyfuss told The Daily Caller that FIU’s chapter is not “officially recognized.” Lawrence said DSA monitors unofficial chapters but would not state what actions, if any, would be taken regarding Vila’s comment.
The Daily Caller contacted Vila via Facebook and LinkedIn but did not receive a response in time for publication. TheDC also reached out to the Miami DSA Facebook page for their interpretation of Vila’s comment. The group is committed to the “restructuring” of society.
Vila told The Examiner that his comment was a joke and he condemns violence.