NAME: Timothy P. Dionisopoulos
HOME BASE: Providence, RI, Washington, DC
DOB: January 7, 1962
You don’t have to scratch the surface too deeply with the group Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) to discover connections to white supremacist groups and the like, but the fact that they do have an albeit thin cover of the “We’re not racists” lie to hide it has been enough for some mainstream legitimacy. We should know better though. When you work with Peter Brimelow, who terms a multicultural US immigration policy as “Hitler’s revenge” and calls for the GOP to return to embracing its base because it is after all “the white party”, everyone pretty much has all they need to know. And when you have to deny that your co-founders include Marcus Epstein, who although part Korean and Jewish still works with white supremacists and has been convicted of attacking a black woman on the street calling her the N-word, you know you are not fooling anyone. So it is probably no big surprise that some of the YWC members are coming out of their face with who they are and what they are about. That’s what Tim Dionisopoulos did at a Oct. 1, 2010 anti-immigration rally inside the Rhode Island Statehouse in Providence when during a rant against immigration, the “Reconquista”, antifa and the movie Machete, he quotes the late white supremacist Samuel Francis of the Council of Conservative Citizens, as if his words were something rally attendees should heed. That rally was sponsored by the Rhode Islanders for Immigration and Law Enforcement (RIILE), and anti-immigration group run by a guy named Terry Gorman, to support Rhode Island State Rep. Peter Palumbo’s bill similar to the racial profiling SB1070 bill in Arizona. Both Gorman and Palumbo like to deny there are racists within their ranks. Dionisopoulos destroyed that notion.
Truth be told, Dionisopoulos damned a lot of groups he is associated with. Youth for Western Civilization is probably smart enough to know they can’t bullshit everyone, so perhaps there isn’t too much damage within the ranks there. But he is also a member of RIILE, even setting up their Facebook page, and the Chairman of the Providence College Republicans, and they try to be a little more mainstream than YWC. Dionisopoulos, however, is fitting the role of that Young Republican dirtbag that you find at every college campus serving no purpose but to antagonize everyone around him in an effort to score points with conservatives overall. The YWC connection suggests he wants to be a bigger asshole than that.
Fresh out of the Leadership Institute, the organization that trains college students to be right-wing activists and was the well from which Youth for Western Civilization sprung, Dionisopoulos was among those who participated in the YWC’s inaugural event at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference, which by the way included among its attendees the aforementioned Peter Brimelow and Marcus Epstein. Dionisopoulos decided to bring the group to Providence College, but as soon as YWC started hitting campuses across the country people were very aware to the stunt they were trying to pull – and they were not down with it one bit. As Providence College student Jackie Kramer wrote at the time in the college’s student newspaper:
“So this is what organized racism looks like. It masks itself as a push for unity while simultaneously pushing to silence and/or exiling those who are not “American” enough. It skews facts and history to justify the hatred and exclusion of an entire group of humans. I am not the best spokesperson to write on this topic, but I know that I have to use some of the concepts I have learned in my liberal arts classes to battle this racism. What have we learned at PC when members of our community are making judgments of people not based on their inherent dignity, or their intellectual ability, or their character? They ignore logic and historical facts and rely on nothing but culture alone. Have we even progressed as a school or a country? So many people are quick to believe that dialogues on race are obsolete because we have a Black man in the White House. Well, look again, because this is exactly why we need to continue to deconstruct racism. This is Providence College, and this is what racism looks like.”
Apparently Dionisopoulos wasn’t sure if students and faculty knew what racism looked like, so he invited Ex-Congressman Tom Tancredo to show them. Tancredo is best known as an anti-immigration activist that has called for everyone to stop following “the siren song of multiculturalism” and someone who can never seem to stay away from white supremacists when he engages in such activism. He is also known for expressing a desire to bomb the Muslim holy city of Mecca, something that didn’t go over all that well when he first made the suggestion. These are the kinds of things that stick with people when they hear such a person is coming to their campus. In April 2009, Tancredo was chased out of the University of North Carolina when that campus’ chapter of YWC invited him, and when Dionisopoulos tried to bring him to Providence College, the school shot him down, citing the fact that YWC was not a recognized student group within the campus and therefore do not have to cater to little Timmy’s antics. Tancredo ended up having to speak off campus, and Dionisopoulos has been whining about it ever since. It even came up in his speech at the Statehouse!
It seems that by this time Dionisopoulos was already making himself known as a scumbag – and he caught charges for it too. Police records note that he was arrested in late 2008 for harassing phone calls and conspiracy. Other than the fact that he was released on $2000.00 personal recognizance, there isn’t any public information available on this case because it has since been expunged from court records, so there is no information on what transpired or how it was resolved. That’s a good thing for Dionisopoulos as he tries to take potshots at other, browner people around him when they break laws. He is a regular contributor to the YWC webpage, and one of the things you will find there are some rather racist articles he penned on a number of topics, among his favorite being the Providence College Friars basketball team. In one article he writes about an incident where two black members of the team allegedly assaulted a foreign student. Dionisopoulos decides to make that an indictment on an entire race of people, writing, “Given the lily-white, suburbanite demographics of Providence College, the experiences and values of the basketball players are generally an ocean apart from the average student on campus.” He goes on to do the usual conservative whine about how if these were white students attacking someone black, “Surely the buzzing antifascists within the Black Studies Program or the Sociology Department would have organized a school-wide protest until cathartic diversity sessions were forcibly instituted en masse for every student.”
Dionisopoulos overreached with his stunts though. It is one thing to be the big conservative bomb-thrower on campus. Being known as the local bigot sends you into the abyss. That’s what is happening to him now. The College Hill Independent, a alternative weekly that serves college students in Providence, wrote about the rally at the Statehouse, where afterwards they contacted RILLE’s Terry Gorman to inquire about Dionisopoulos:
“In discussions with the Independent, Gorman reiterated his statements at the rally. “RIILE is just against illegal aliens,” Gorman said, explaining it did not matter what race or ethnicity the immigrants were from. He continued, “RIILE would totally disavow any realtion with [YWC and Tim Dionisopoulos] if, in fact, there was any inkling” of racist behaviour. Mr. Gorman, the ball is in your court.”
Indeed, it promises to be interesting to see not only how much Gorman and RIILE think they can play dumb, but how much Dionisopoulos can get away with. Rhode Island is not a state that takes this crap lightly.