Update: The meet-up is cancelled.
Editors note: Story updated to include comment from Texas Rep. Diego Bernal and San Antonio City Councilman Roberto C. Treviño.
Return of Kings
Real men carry swords and wear wolf capes, right?
If you're doing the age-old bring the relatives from Kansas to the Alamo Saturday, watch out for people who ask you where they can find a pet shop.
Those folks are part of the Return Of Kings "movement," which is holding its international meet-up day. In a blog
, the group's founder Daryush “Roosh V” Valizadeh directs his adherents to meet between 8 and 8:20 p.m. and to identify their fellow "tribesmen" by asking "Do you know where I can find a pet shop?"
If you are asked this question, answer in the affirmative: “Yes, it’s right here.” You can then introduce yourself and get details about where to proceed at 8:20. If you ask someone for the pet shop and they appear confused or actually try to direct you to a real pet shop, they’re not there for the meetup.
Just to be totally clear, Valizadeh is a self-described pick-up artist, who has suggested that rape should be legal as long as it's on private property.
And, for once, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is on the side of reason.
“This pathetic group and their disgusting viewpoints are not welcome in Texas," he says in a statement. "I’ve spent much of my career protecting women from such vile and heinous acts, and it won’t be any different on my watch as Governor.”
Texas Rep. Diego Bernal said he's a strong supporter of free speech, but that doesn't mean the group can't be condemned for its views.
"As strong supporters of the First Amendment, sometimes we have no choice but to tolerate the very messages we find most offensive and heinous," Bernal says in a statement. "But that does not mean that groups can avoid our condemnation. The views expressed by Return of Kings are an affront to every measure of decency. They have no place in our community."
City Councilman Roberto C. Treviño condemns the planned meet-up.
“We have received reports that a group will convene at the Alamo on Saturday night to advocate legalizing rape. I condemn this effort or any effort like it to promote violence against women or any violence at all," he says in a statement. "The San Antonio Police Department will be monitoring this situation.”
The group is also holding events in Austin, Dallas, Denton, Houston, El Paso and Nederland, Texas.