The NYU College Republicans released a statement on Facebook calling conservative speaker James Merse a “whiny cuck” after the club disinvited Merse on Tuesday. Merse was originally scheduled to speak on Thursday, Oct. 19.
Chair of the New York Federation of College Republicans Paul-Anthony Cuesta spoke in Merse’s place.
“Before we cancelled we didn’t even know what he was going to talk about,” CAS senior and NYUCR Vice President Xavier Malaussena said. “We did jump the gun a bit on accepting him — we felt a little pressured because it was a week out and we didn’t have a speaker. Our mistake.”
The group cited Merse’s ties to ACT for America and the organization’s designation as an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center as reason for canceling Merse’s speaking appearance.
NYUCR reached a decision independently based on what ACT for America had said in the past, according to members of the NYUCR Executive Board.
“We have a lot of press on our ass right now, along with the administration (due to recent white nationalist events held on campus),” read an email to Merse from NYUCR released by the Daily Caller. “Upon review of one of your group memberships, ACT for America, we thought it would be safer to not go through with this speaker event.”
The email pointed to ACT for America’s ties to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa — whose fliers were found around campus in late September — and the Charlottesville, Virginia-based neo-Nazi Vanguard America as reasons for his disinvitation. It also cited safety concerns, similar to those that arose following Gavin McInnes’s appearance at NYU.
The group released a statement to mixed reactions on Facebook Wednesday evening defending its decision, expressing dismay at conservative websites that criticized its decision.
“If you really believe conservatives are in a culture war with the left, and that college campuses are at the heart of this conflict of ideas, stop shooting your own soldiers, and stop acting like the enemy,” the statement reads. “This isn’t about us avoiding controversy, that is fake news.”
Malaussena said the statement was directed at Merse and not the larger NYU community.
“It was definitely inflammatory, that was the purpose,” he said. “We decided the best way to end this was to come out hard and not mince our words and frankly it worked.”
NYUCR had their usual meeting Thursday night.
Email Sayer Devlin at [email protected]