Students: Socialist classmate 'spit on' Thanksgiving display
- Two conservative student groups at Portland State University co-hosted a "Capitalism vs. Socialism" display on Thanksgiving Day, aggravating at least one classmate.
- Apparently incensed by the display's insinuation that socialism breeds poverty, the student allegedly spat upon the display and one of its organizers after a brief debate on the merits of the competing economic systems.
Conservative students at Portland State University claim that a classmate spat on them while they hosted a “Capitalism vs. Socialism” display on Thanksgiving Day.
The event, which was co-hosted by the PSU College Republicans and Turning Point USA (TPUSA) chapters, sought to contrast the material benefits of capitalism with the poverty created by socialism in the context of competing Thanksgiving feasts.
One table, emblazoned with the words “This is your Thanksgiving on capitalism,” featured a table full of fake fruit, a turkey, a gold bust and coins, sunglasses, drink cozies, and buttons stating “Big Government Sucks” and “Free Markets Free People.”
In contrast, another table, labeled “This is your Thanksgiving on socialism,” featured a handful of spiders and a single pear, all presided over by a skeleton leaning back in a chair.
Edward Mentrum, President of PSU TPUSA and organizer of the display, told Campus Reform that the event was intended to “stir a discussion on campus about capitalism and socialism,” and “make a clear statement to showcase the stark differences between socialism and capitalism.
“A lot of people are tired of the socialist's ideological monopoly on campus, and they're ready for a change,” Mentrum explained. “Far too many people on campus are afraid to speak up, so we want to change that.”
While Mentrum confirmed that the event had a lot of support, he also reported that things quickly escalated when one student took issue with the display.
“A guy came to our booth looking a little angry about our display and he said that capitalism is a disgusting ideology and that socialism is so great, so I started critiquing socialism,” Mentrum divulged. “It was then that he got so furious that he spit on me and my display.”
Other students corroborated Mentrum’s account.
Philip Arola, President of the PSU College Republicans, recalled that “a young man approached the table, and he introduced himself by attempting to make some witty remark about how he thinks the display was wrong.”
“The argument basically devolved into him claiming that Venezuela is a ‘state capitalist system,’” Arola continued, adding that “when we tried to dispel such a foolish notion, he spit on the table, turned tail, and stormed off.”
Taylor, a PSU student who requested that Campus Reform withhold their last name for fear of reprisal, confirmed both accounts.
“While we were working the display, a young man approached and engaged in a curt conversation with our president, Edward Mentrum,” Taylor stated, adding, “After a few moments, the young man abruptly ended the exchange by spitting on a stack of promotional materials and storming off.”
Campus Reform reached out to PSU to ask whether the administration has initiated an investigation into the matter, and is currently awaiting a response. This article will be updated if and when a statement is provided.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @rMitchellGunter