college republicans tweet 1

In a tweet sent after the projected election results came in, Iowa State College Republicans called for everybody to "arm up," prompting a response from the university.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include that the Iowa Federation of College Republicans voted to defederate Iowa State College Republicans from its chapter. 

The Iowa Federation of College Republicans (IFCR) moved to defederate Iowa State College Republicans on the basis of inflammatory tweets, inappropriate behavior and disregard for fellow citizens Tuesday, according to a news release. 

"Although we all identify as Republicans, the IFCR Executive Board and Central Committee wish to convey inclusivity and diversity of opinions; including within the party structure," according to the release. " … While we do promote civil discourse over these ideas, we as a federation unequivocally condemn any real or perceived threat of violence." 

Ryan Hurley, president of Iowa State College Republicans responded to the Iowa State Daily's request to comment on the situation as of Tuesday.

"The motion to defederate us is a very weak move and a fine example of cancel culture on the right," Hurley said. "Whatever happens, we are excited to bring genuine conservatism and patriotism to Iowa State University." 

Shortly after President-Elect Joe Biden was projected to be the winner of the 2020 election, Iowa State College Republicans posted a tweet calling individuals to “arm up.”

The tweet, posted at 11:28 a.m., said “Everyone, you must arm up, expect these people to attempt to destroy your life, the elites want revenge on us.”

In the afternoon, the account also posted a video of Hurley speaking at a “Stop the Steal” rally in downtown Des Moines.

"Stop the Steal" rallies popped up around the United States in response to election results and claims of election fraud from President Donald Trump. Recently, the organization made headlines for getting banned on Facebook amid perpetuation of violence from members of the group.

The tweet was reported to the ISU Police Department (ISU PD). Officer Kaitlyn Boor said the contents of the tweet were not particularly concerning.

“At this point, I get why it might be a little alarming for some to read," Boor said. "But they do have that right to kind of post what they want to. But with something like this— and I'm more than happy to pass it along to my supervisors and make them aware of it— it's not all too alarming."

Boor added that any harmful tweets should be directed to ISU PD. 

Twitter users seemed to disagree with the fact the tweet wasn’t particularly harmful.

After the post was retweeted by the Des Moines Black Lives Matter account, it garnered 122 comments and 103 retweets in just a few hours.

Most users tagged Iowa State and ISU PD in their comments, saying the post was inciting violence on campus.

“@IowaStateU this your students trying to harm others??” one commenter said.

“Dude, we're not coming for you. We'd like you to live and enjoy your life. We actually don't care what you're doing much at all,” another commenter said.

One user even tagged the FBI, saying the matter needed to be investigated.

In response to the backlash, the College Republicans account made another post, calling themselves the “most oppressed group on campus.”

Iowa State released a statement regarding the post, via Angie Hunt, Iowa State news service director.

“Iowa State University is aware of a social media post by one of its student organizations, encouraging others to 'arm up,'" the statement read. “Any suggestion of armed activity by an Iowa State student organization is prohibited by university policy. Any conduct that violates university policy will be addressed in an appropriate manner.”

Additionally, the Iowa Federation of College Republicans (IFCR) moved to defederate Iowa State College Republicans on the basis of inflammatory tweets, inappropriate behavior and disregard for fellow citizens Tuesday, according to a news release. 

"Although we all identify as Republicans, the IFCR Executive Board and Central Committee wish to convey inclusivity and diversity of opinions; including within the party structure," according to the release. " … While we do promote civil discourse over these ideas, we as a federation unequivocally condemn any real or perceived threat of violence." 

The Iowa State College Republicans' account was temporarily restricted by Twitter for a short period of time but is now back up and public.

Iowa State’s College Democrats, led by President Sehba Faheem, released a statement Saturday night regarding the post.

“In a recent tweet, the College Republicans at Iowa State stated, 'Everyone, you must arm up, expect these people to attempt to destroy your life, the elites want revenge on us' in response to the presidential election being called for Joe Biden,” the statement read. “The College Democrats at Iowa State University wholeheartedly denounce this call to violence and call upon the university to apply appropriate disciplinary action.” 

The statement also mentioned rising fears of post-election violence but that this tweet from the College Republicans is a “concrete incitement.”

“It’s safe to assume that their followers are comprised of students, and so they are asking students to bear arms against others on campus, creating an unsafe and hostile environment that is difficult to successfully learn in," the statement said. "Every student must have the opportunity to learn safely, and the College Republicans’ consistent violent language diminishes this.”

The College Republican’s Twitter account has previously posted tweets calling for the deportation of Minnesota U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar and calling for an end to diversity and women’s and gender studies classes at Iowa State.

The group also retweeted a post saying coronavirus disappeared after the election despite record numbers of COVID-19 cases around the country.

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Image of a retweet from Iowa State College Republicans saying COVID-19 is gone.

The statement from the Iowa State College Democrats continued to say the country is likely to see mass demonstrations in the coming days both in celebration and retaliation, and messages like these show a strong potential for physical violence. 

“Not only is this language dangerous, but it is against the ‘Violence-Free University’ policy, which states that all implied threats of violence are not tolerated and will face disciplinary action," the statement said. "Additionally, firearms are not permitted on campus.”

College Democrats urged Iowa State to take action against this rhetoric.

On Iowa State University’s official Twitter page, the school said, “University leaders are taking steps to address conduct that violates university policy.”

College Republicans adviser Matthew Delisi did not respond to the Daily’s requests for comment as of Sunday, but Hurley gave a statement to The Des Moines Register.

"Our thought in writing the tweet was to support everyone in their right to bear arms," Hurley told the Register in an email. "People have sickly twisted it. Violence is not our intent." 

The Register reported that Hurley would not say who wrote the tweet or whether the group felt the need to issue an apology but did say the group has received death threats both before and after the publication of the tweet.

"We have to walk home all of our members in groups to ensure protection," Hurley told the Register. "We always alert people to the rights granted to them by the U.S. Constitution. This tweet is nothing to get worked up about."

(3) comments

Jack Hansen

Another Republican domestic terrorist

Lee Van Brocklin

Yup Republicans have burned down cities, incited violence against police officers and national guard, defaced public buildings and beaten up first responders. Oh wait......

Jack Hansen

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/09/local-arkansas-police-chief-quits-violence-democrats

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