Statement received on 1/25/18
Stay tuned for updates & replies to right-wing statements.
Trigger warning for racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism, r*pe jokes, csa, and more.
It should come as no surprise that racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism, and other hateful ideologies have been festering at this colonist institution since its inception. However, in the past year, coinciding with the election of Donald Trump, these ideologies have been on greater display in our campus community. We’ve seen fascist postings all over, cops protecting anti-immigrant speakers hosted by racist student groups rather than undocumented students, arrests of nonviolent protesters, swastikas drawn on car windows in the snow, and countless more instances of fascist organizing on this campus. Many of these instances are anonymous or function with the backing of armed agents of the State (paid with our tuition dollars) to do their dirty work. It hasn’t been until now that we can put names and faces to some of the sources of hate at the University of Pittsburgh. In the past few weeks our collective of anti-racist, anti-fascist friends and organizers have been compiling various screen shots and other evidence that ties members of the Pitt College Republicans and alt-right publication Polis Media to disturbing memes, jokes, and genocide apologia as well as r*pe joke including ones targeting some of the most vulnerable members of society – children and incarcerated persons.
Update: An editor at Polis Media has taken down the website and all related accounts in an attempt to keep his name clean. We see you Sam Bleifer, AKA Bleifbart from The Unsafe Place.
Update 1/26 – Second Statement Received from @PittRacists
A lot has happened in the past 48 hours since the
@pittracists page went up. Our proudest accomplishment was that Polis Media (formerly The Unsafe Place) has wiped itself entirely from the internet. Their Facebook, Twitter, and website all seem to have disappeared. Apparently the founder & former editor in chief Sam Bleifer, covering his own ass, took it into his own hands to erase his racist right wing publication from existence. Good riddance!
Before they could delete their posts we did get some screen shots of their bullshit statements. They accused us of being “radicals” & “extremists” for making public their own posts. Interestingly, editor in chief Arnaud Armstrong also said that he expects more screenshots to come forward so presumably he knows of more instances of his friends (and those he platformed at Polis) sharing neo-nazi propaganda.
We also got a response from the Pitt College Republicans. They claim that they were made aware of this screenshots “earlier this year.” The e-board of CR saw these screenshots last September and at least one of their officers (Devon Valinsky) was a member of the original groupme where the racist images were shared.
They also referred to the people called out on our account as “former members” when their last post on Facebook showed a picture of a meeting within the past week that featured both Kirk Briner and Devon Valinsky. They claim they were “reprimanded immediately” and have been “formally removed” from membership. However, they’ve know about these screenshots for months and have still been allowed at meetings and events. So the College Republicans must be referring to removing them immediately after they were publicly caught sharing racist propaganda, not after actually doing it.
They go on to whine about “violent leftists” and other antifascists. They reference anarchists threatening “local conservatives” with AK-47s. We agree that was nice to see some honesty out of the College Republicans for once as they are admitting that they consider Identity Evropa, a literal neo-nazi white supremacist organization founded by violent racist Nathan Damigo, a part of their category of “local conservatives” that advance “conservative values” like they do.
[PCR and Polis Statements can be read below]