A College Republicans group in California is under fire after sending out tweets that disparaged members of the U.S. military.
The Fresno State College Republicans this week attacked a disabled former Army medic-turned-comedian who shared a video criticizing anti-maskers. In the video, Patrick Loller calls those who don't wear a mask "cowards."
"The fact that you equate putting a piece of cloth over your face to stop the spread of a deadly pandemic with WEAKNESS, lets me know just how small you are as a person," Loller says in the 58-second video. "You're terrified that other people will think you're weak. Because you are."
"And ironically, by not just wearing a mask when you go out in public, you are broadcasting to the world exactly how much of a coward you actually are. It's amazing. Your fragile little ego is taking people's lives," he adds.
In a now-deleted post, the Fresno State College Republicans retweeted Loller's video with the caption, "You're such a hero that you'll break down when I light fireworks next door," in what many saw as a dig against veterans with PTSD.
In a subsequent tweet that was not deleted, the student group wrote, "Maybe guys who are actually fighting in combat are brave and whatnot, but the vast majority of our military are glorified DMV employees. They work against what we as conservatives believe all the time with few exceptions."
A little PSA for my anti-masker men out there https://t.co/6gmZ8xnq3S— Patrick J Loller (@Patrick J Loller) 1612910356.0
Speaking to the Sacramento Bee, Loller said that while he gets lots of criticism over his video, he was shocked by the tweet from the Fresno State College Republicans that seemed to make light of PTSD.
Loller then responded with a TikTok video.
"Gosh, imagine having your masculinity called into question by a dork like me," Loller said, "and your response is to insult every veteran who's ever been jumpy after hearing an explosion."
After the school got wind of the dust-up, officials issued a response rebuking the student group's rhetoric.
"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," the university's tweet said. "Fresno State strongly supports our nation's military and its veterans."
Others on Twitter made their thoughts about the student group's actions known before the tweet was deleted.
@FresnoStateCRs This is absolutely disgusting. @Fresno_State, are you really going to allow a group affiliated with… https://t.co/G8id2EbgTc— Kayla (@Kayla) 1628709528.0
@FresnoStateCRs Making fun of combat veterans for having combat stress is about the most disgusting thing I could i… https://t.co/pVQcwmvnyO— ConcLaveTime (@ConcLaveTime) 1628711170.0
The courageous @FresnoStateCRs have turned off replies to their tweets after harassing a veteran with PTSD. That’s… https://t.co/Ja3vPiy1fP— Ben Jackson (@Ben Jackson) 1628784147.0
@FresnoStateCRs So you don’t actually support veterans who suffer from trauma related PTSD? I thought that a big re… https://t.co/Fwm16spnXi— Ying Cameron (@Ying Cameron) 1628684843.0
@FresnoStateCRs Sad excuse as to why you publicly shamed a vet for having PTSD. Absolutely pathetic. Drop the vol… https://t.co/LzN4RGth1w— 🌑evolving.mystic♋️ (@🌑evolving.mystic♋️) 1628776752.0
@FresnoStateCRs would REALLY like this one to go away. Let's make sure it doesnt!— Resist. (@Resist.) 1628785874.0
@FresnoStateCRs "We're sorry we mocked a disabled vet for asking people to be socially responsible". That, that is… https://t.co/EBFFQasZBX— Nys (@Nys) 1628775637.0
@FresnoStateCRs You really expect people to believe you got hacked? And respect veterans? When you mock one for PTS… https://t.co/oeqtf4PIvn— Savannah Morris (@Savannah Morris) 1628773032.0
@FresnoStateCRs If you guys believe in mocking vets with PTSD, you deserve to have your beliefs shit on.— Alyssa Spring (@Alyssa Spring) 1628729360.0