Socialist students refuse to join conservative food drive
Two socialist student groups at Kent State University recently refused to participate in a food drive with their conservative counterparts because conservatives have “dangerous” beliefs.
On Friday, the Kent State University chapters of Turning Point USA and Young Americans for Liberty challenged the Kent State Socialist Collective and the Kent State Young Democratic Socialists to a friendly, competitive food drive, tweeting, “come together to do something good for the community?”
The YDSA chapter issued a response statement Sunday refusing to join TPUSA or YAL in the challenge, explaining that “while this event would benefit the public greatly, we at YDSA do not work with organizations that promote/endorse figures who do promote sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, Zionism or any other intolerant dangerous belief.”
YDSA concluded that “it is against our principles to work with either TPUSA or YAL,” but then stated that while it will not work with either organization, the group is “still doing a food drive, just not with them.”
The Socialist Collective also came out with a statement saying it would not participate, explaining that the very fact that some people have excess food to donate is indicative of the problem with capitalism.
“More often than not, people are willing to donate canned goods for a food drive. But how often do we ask why there are people who rely on our charity to survive?” the group wrote, adding that “there’s nothing blowing through the trees that puts our human siblings at risk of malnourishment.”
“No, the need for food drives betrays a basic fact about our society. We have enough food to donate and too many people who need donations,” the Socialist Collective continued. “The issue is about wealth, who has it and who doesn’t. The issue is with capitalism.”
The group then urged students to participate in the YDSA’s alternative food drive, but asked that they also take time to “recognize why this is necessary,” saying, “the very system that TPUSA and YAL express their love for every week for in our student center is the one that brings about the conditions of poverty that gives us the empathic need of charity.”
After being rebuffed by both socialist groups, YAL and TPUSA issued a joint response noting that the purpose of the challenge was to “extend an olive branch to our ideological counterparts on campus, open up a mutual dialogue and friendly channels of communication, and accomplish some good for our community in the process.”
The statement acknowledged differences with the socialist groups, but insisted that “though we fundamentally disagree with our challengers’ ideology, we recognize these groups’ right to freedom of thought and expression in advocacy of their ideas.”
The groups reiterated that their purpose was “to unite under a banner of the common good, nonpartisanship, and peaceful civil discourse on campus for the betterment of our fellow human beings,” saying, “we made an attempt to come together with our opposing organizations and help the most vulnerable among us during the holiday season.”
YAL and TPUSA still plan to execute the food drive without the support of the socialist groups.
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