TPUSA's Benny Johnson to Conservative Students: Do Not Let 'Tactics of Authoritarian Thugs' Silence You

Turning Point USA Chief Creative Officer Benny Johnson joined host Alex Marlow in a Wednesday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily for the weekly TPUSA campus report. Johnson talked about the students he has met during his time at TPUSA, many of whom have talked about the different ways in which they have been subjected to leftist hate, and that it is important for students to know they should not allow leftist intimidation tactics to silence them.

“The most dangerous place you can be out on a college campus is at a Turning Point [recruiting] table,” said Johnson, “because the left has warped into a violent movement, this has been seen across the country, Antifa has seen dozens and dozens of arrests, and oftentimes, the easiest person to target on the right is a young student.”
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The creative officer then went on to elaborate on a recent video production by TPUSA which tells the stories of six students who had each been attacked in different ways for being conservative. One student, Johnson mentioned, was subjected to bear spray that had been released inside the venue for a TPUSA event.

Johnson also spoke about members of Black Lives Matter, who showed up at one of his campus appearances to protest his speech this past semester. Johnson noted that he was able to have a productive dialogue with the student protesters, who told him that they believed the criminal justice system treats their communities unfairly.

“Do you trust the government? I asked,” said Jonson of his conversation with the protesters, “They said, ‘No, absolutely not, we do not trust the government, we think the government is targeting certain populations of people unfairly.’ I said, ‘Well,  most conservatives are principled on the one issue that we really do not trust the government and the people who run it.’”

And so, there’s a great place where conservatives and the left — or at least the students who have only been fed propaganda from the left — they’re actually on the right, in the sense that they are very suspicious of our government. They do not want it to have more control over their lives, they do not want it to affect them or their ideas, and they are not wanting to give it more power, and that is actually a wonderful Venn diagram intersection between conservatives — and people that would just assume to be on the left, and I think if we could have that conversation more, I believe that’s a place where a lot of students scratch their heads and go, “Oh, yeah, you’re right, I do not want to hand more of my autonomy over to the government.”

Johnson also shared what he would say to conservative students who are frustrated with the leftist environment on their campuses.

“These are not the tactics of winners, these are the tactics of losers,” said Johnson of leftist behavior on college campuses, “These are the tactics of authoritarian thugs who wish to silence you, and if you let them silence you now, well, then that will follow you for the rest of your life.”

“These are the tactics of people who have lost, and who are scared, and who are broken, and we have seen that throughout history,” continued Johnson, “History repeats itself pretty systematically on this level, and so, the fight is more important than ever. The best part about this fight is that one, you’re not alone.”

“Second off, you will survive this,” said Johnson, “Thirdly, you have organizations like Turning Point who will defend you — who will make sure that you have a support structure telling your story, going on the major news outlets that will listen — Breitbart has been absolutely instrumental on this and on the coverage of our campus leaders.”

“It’s sort of a wonderful tip of the hat, because Andrew Breitbart is of course the reason I am a conservative,” continued the TPUSA creative officer, “reading and listening to Andrew is really the main reason why I’m here today, and I think I am one of, of course, hundreds of conservatives, if not thousands of young conservatives leaders today that can trace their lineage back to Andrew.”

“I know how much he cared about the campus, the first time I saw Andrew was on a campus speech,” added Johnson, “honestly, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to carry that torch, and so let not your heart be troubled, you are not fighting alone, there are a lot of people here to help, and guess what, we’re winning.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.