The Justice Democrats has confirmed that Cenk Uygur and Dave Koller stepped aside from their organization after revelations of the Young Turks’ history of racist, sexist and pro-rape sentiments — and the popular progressive’s subsequent pseudo-apology in which he blamed the fact that he was a Republican when some of the comments were made.
They deleted their post after a wave of backlash from Young Turks fans, but republished it within the hour.
We are deeply disturbed by recent news regarding @cenkuygur & David Koller. Their language and conduct is horrifying and does not reflect our values at Justice Democrats. We would be hypocrites to not act immediately and ask for their resignation. Here is our official statement: pic.twitter.com/WYqawLtuGo
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) December 22, 2017
In the statement posted on Friday, Justice Democrats Executive Director Saikat Chakrabarti and Campaigns Director Alexandra Rojas said that they “welcome Mr. Uygur’s decision to resign from the Board of Justice Democrats and remove himself from any and all involvement in our organization. We have also removed David Koller as treasurer of our organization.”
Justice Democrats is a progressive political action committee that seeks to rebuild the Democratic Party. It was founded by Uygur, Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk, and former leadership from the 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign shortly after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
“I am disgusted by these posts. We would be hypocrites to not act immediately and ask for his resignation. Leaders must represent and be a symbol for the values of the organization they lead. That is why we have called for the resignation of elected officials and public figures this year who have abused their power and the same will be true for our leaders. Justice Democrats is dedicated to creating a progressive movement that challenges patriarchy, ends systemic racism and stands by the values of our platform. These two men do not represent our organization. The staff who have built this from the ground up and candidates who make up the slate do,” Rojas wrote.
Uygur was over 30 at the time of the posts, which included referring to Native Americans as “Redskins” who are always looking to make a buck, stating that Japanese women will sleep with American men for a new purse, and stating that women are “genetically flawed” and “poorly designed creatures who do not want to have sex nearly as often as needed for the human race to get along peaceably and fruitfully.”
Uygur then went the Kevin Spacey route with his apology — stating that he is now living as a liberal man — and blamed his disgusting statements on being a conservative at the time.
“If someone said that today, I would heavily criticize them on the show and rightfully so, and I have. I’ve criticized myself over the years,” he added. “I had not yet matured and I was still a conservative who thought that stuff was politically incorrect and edgy. When you read it now, it looks really, honestly, ugly. And it’s very uncomfortable to read.”
The Gateway Pundit also reported on a post by Young Turks co-founder and senior vice president of operations Dave Koller in 2005, in which he describes himself and Uygur asking 14-16 year old girls if they have ever had sex and referring to them as “whores in training” and “little spoiled brat bitch young American girls on their way to becoming abused porn actresses or dispensable property in a New York City prostitution ring.” He did however, admit that the trip did in fact take place.
Koller is currently the head of human resources at the Young Turks, meaning that anyone who experienced sexism or other issues in the workplace would have to report it to this man who referred to children as future prostitutes.
When the Wrap called Koller for comment, he declined.
“I don’t want to talk about any of that stuff. Thank you for calling,” he said before hanging up on the reporter.