Fresno State College Republicans Earn Backlash for Criticizing Some Military Members as “Glorified DMV Employees”
Though the group did not apologize, it eventually deleted the social media posts causing outrage and implied that they were shared by someone who should not have had access to the organization’s account.
College Republicans Affiliate Attacks Veterans
The Fresno State College Republicans a student organization is facing widespread backlash after mocking a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder and criticizing other members of the military.
On Wednesday, the group specifically took aim at TikTok user Patrick Loller, a former Army medic who served in Afghanistan.
Loller, who uses they/them pronouns, has previously shared videos discussing their PTSD and criticizing anti-maskers. Earlier this week, they said some conservative groups on Twitter began circulating a TikTok they created in February.
“If you don’t wear a mask, it’s because you’re a coward. And that’s coming from me, a combat veteran!” Loller said in the video. “You’re terrified other people will think that you’re weak because you are.”
Fresno State College Republicans retweeted the video and wrote, “You’re such a hero that you’ll break down when I light fireworks next door.”
The GOP group later deleted the tweet, but then posted another one doubling down.
“Maybe guys who are actually fighting in combat are brave and whatnot, but the vast majority of our military are glorified DMV employees,” it wrote. “They work against what we as conservatives believe all the time with few exceptions.”
That post was also deleted after receiving criticism. On Wednesday, the official Fresno State Twitter page posted a statement that appeared to reference the group without explicitly naming it.
“We have been made aware of recent social media posts by a student organization that are deeply concerning and inconsistent with the University’s core values. Fresno State strongly supports our nation’s military and its veterans,” the school wrote.
“This matter has been referred to the Dean of Students for further review.”
College Republicans Groups Respond
On Thursday, the Fresno State College Republicans account shared a vague statement that seemed to imply the tweets were posted by someone who should not have had access to the account.
“The CSU Fresno College Republicans have always supported and appreciated our military members, veterans and all who have made sacrifices for our great nation,” the group tweeted. “Security passwords have been changed to avoid any further distasteful posts and need for anything similar to be removed.”
Many users condemned the student organization for not apologizing or taking responsibility. In fact, the post got so much backlash that the group disabled comments.
Later in the day, the official Twitter account for the California College Republicans defended its affiliate, claiming the group’s remarks were protected under the First Amendment. It then posted multiple tweets threatening legal action against the university.
“Offensive speech is free speech,” it wrote. “You don’t have the right to not be offended.”
Loller, meanwhile, has continued to mock the groups on Twitter and TikTok.
“That’s right! Their dads will sue! Don’t you dare stop those students from using university accounts to call veterans cowards!” they wrote. “The GOP stands for one thing, and that’s calling vets glorified DMV employees!”
“Just get a good look at what they wrote,” Loller said in a TikTok sharing the group’s initial tweet. “That’s making fun of me because I have PTSD from the war! I just feel so thanked for my service.”
Fresno State has not clarified what possible actions it will take against the student organization. Loller, for their part, told Fox26News they are not sure if the people who posted the tweets should be punished.
“You’re allowed to say whatever you want! I don’t know in like a public-facing university capacity what rules they broke, but go ahead – mock me all you want!” they said.
“But you’re doing it on the internet and you look stupid, so I’m gonna show everybody what you said. I’m all for them having the freedom to say that stupid thing. I just think there are also consequences to free speech.”
See what others are saying: (Fox26News) (The Fresno Bee) (ABC30ActionNews)
White Supremacist Propaganda Reached Record High in 2022, ADL Finds
“We cannot sit idly by as these extremists pollute our communities with their hateful trash,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.
White supremacist propaganda in the U.S. reached record levels in 2022, according to a report published Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center of Extremism.
The ADL found over 6,700 cases of white supremacist propaganda in 2022, which marks a 38% jump from the nearly 4,900 cases the group found in 2021. It also represents the highest number of incidents ever recorded by the ADL.
The propaganda tallied by the anti-hate organization includes the distribution of racist, antisemitic, and homophobic flyers, banners, graffiti, and more. This propaganda has spread substantially since 2018, when the ADL found just over 1,200 incidents.
“There’s no question that white supremacists and antisemites are trying to terrorize and harass Americans with their propaganda,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “We cannot sit idly by as these extremists pollute our communities with their hateful trash.”
The report found that there were at least 50 white supremacist groups behind the spread of propaganda in 2022, but 93% of it came from just three groups. One of those groups was also responsible for 43% of the white supremacist events that took place last year.
White supremacist events saw a startling uptick of their own, with the ADL documenting at least 167, a 55% jump from 2021.
Propaganda was found in every U.S. state except for Hawaii, and events were documented in 33 states, most heavily in Massachusetts, California, Ohio, and Florida.
“The sheer volume of white supremacist propaganda distributions we are documenting around the country is alarming and dangerous,” Oren Segal, Vice President of the ADL’s Center on Extremism said in a statement. “Hardly a day goes by without communities being targeted by these coordinated, hateful actions, which are designed to sow anxiety and create fear.”
“We need a whole-of-society approach to combat this activity, including elected officials, community leaders, and people of good faith coming together and condemning this activity forcefully,” Segal continued.
See what others are saying: (Axios) (The Hill) (The New York Times)
Adidas Financial Woes Continue, Company on Track for First Annual Loss in Decades
Adidas has labeled 2023 a “transition year” for the company.
Adidas’ split with musician Kanye West has left the company with financial problems due to surplus Yeezy products, putting the sportswear giant in the position to potentially suffer its first annual loss in over 30 years.
Adidas dropped West last year after he made a series of antisemitic remarks on social media and other broadcasts. His Yeezy line was a staple for Adidas, and the surplus product is due, in part, to the brand’s own decision to continue production during the split.
According to CEO Bjorn Gulden, Adidas continued production of only the items already in the pipeline to prevent thousands of people from losing their jobs. However, that has led to the unfortunate overabundance of Yeezy sneakers and clothes.
On Wednesday, Gulden said that selling the shoes and donating the proceeds makes more sense than giving them away due to the Yeezy resale market — which has reportedly shot up 30% since October.
“If we sell it, I promise that the people who have been hurt by this will also get something good out of this,” Gulden said in a statement to the press.
However, Gulden also said that West is entitled to a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Yeezys per his royalty agreement.
Adidas announced in February that, following its divergence from West, it is facing potential sales losses totaling around $1.2 billion and profit losses of around $500 million.
If it decides to not sell any more Yeezy products, Adidas is facing a projected annual loss of over $700 million.
Outside of West, Adidas has taken several heavy profit blows recently. Its operating profit reportedly fell by 66% last year, a total of more than $700 million. It also pulled out of Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine last year, which cost Adidas nearly $60 million dollars. Additionally, China’s “Zero Covid” lockdowns last year caused in part a 36% drop in revenue for Adidas compared to years prior.
As a step towards a solution, Gulden announced that the company is slashing its dividends from 3.30 euros to 0.70 euro cents per share pending shareholder approval.
Adidas has labeled 2023 a “transition year” for the company.
“Adidas has all the ingredients to be successful. But we need to put our focus back on our core: product, consumers, retail partners, and athletes,” Gulden said. “I am convinced that over time we will make Adidas shine again. But we need some time.”
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (CNN)
Immigration Could Be A Solution to Nursing Home Labor Shortages
98% of nursing homes in the United States are experiencing difficulty hiring staff.
The Labor Crisis
A recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper has offered up a solution to the nursing home labor shortage: immigration.
According to a 2022 American Health Care Association survey, six in ten nursing homes are limiting new patients due to staffing issues. The survey also says that 87% of nursing homes have staffing shortages and 98% are experiencing difficulty hiring.
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) outlined in their paper that increased immigration could help solve the labor shortage in nursing homes. Immigrants make up 19% of nursing home workers.
With every 10% increase in female immigration, nursing assistant hours go up by 0.7% and registered nursing hours go up by 1.1% And with that same immigration increase, short-term hospitalizations of nursing home residents go down by 0.6%.
Additionally, the State Department issued 145% more EB-3 documents, which are employment-based visas, for healthcare workers in the 2022 fiscal year than in 2019, suggesting that more people are coming to the U.S. to work in health care.
However, according to Skilled Nursing News, in August of 2022, the approval process from beginning to end for an RN can take between seven to nine months.
Displeasure about immigration has exploded since Pres. Joe Biden took office in 2021. According to a Gallup study published in February, around 40% of American adults want to see immigration decrease. That is a steep jump from 19% in 2021, and it is the highest the figure has been since 2016.
However, more than half of Democrats still are satisfied with immigration and want to see it increased. But with a divided Congress, the likelihood of any substantial immigration change happening is pretty slim.