A YWC student group at Towson University has drawn criticism from other students and groups who claim it is racist.
Eric Maza reports
On Saturday night, the group, Youth for Western Civilization, chalked messages that included the words “White Pride” at several visible locations on campus, including the Student Union and Freedom Square, said its president, Matthew Heimbach. When discovered Monday, the messages angered other student groups, who saw them as having nationalist connotations.
“As a black student, those words scared and concerned me,” said Kenan Herbert, a 24-year-old senior and president of the Black Student Union. “A lot of other students and I feel unsafe with this organization being on campus.”
Kenan Herbert said the group is setting back efforts to make the school more inclusive and diverse. (Source: Baltimore Sun)
The Black Student Union was “scared by these words and by this organization.” One could ask if other students feel safe with the Black Student Union on campus. The school’s efforts to be more “inclusive and diverse” does not include White Americans.
The incident is laughable and startling!
The report goes on
[A] debate culminated Thursday with a meeting, attended by some 400 students, where Youth for Western Civilization and other concerns about racism at the school were discussed, said Teri Hall, associate vice president of campus life.
Hall said the meeting was useful in moderating what had become a heated debate. But school officials won’t be punishing the group because it has not violated any school rules.
“They are within their First Amendment rights,” Hall said.
The Towson chapter is part of a national group that was formed at American University in 2008 and has since slowly spread to some 15 campuses, according to Kevin DeAnna, the president of the national organization.
The national group’s politics have alarmed civil rights organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, which have been monitoring the group for several years. While not explicitly racist, the group’s language demonizes minorities, gays and lesbians and non-Christian religious groups, said Marilyn Mayo, who studies extremist groups for the Anti-Defamation League.
“What they’re talking about is preserving white culture when we live in a diverse, multicultural society,” she said.
Mayo suggests that “multicultural society” does not include White American culture nor European heritage.
“What we want to do is be able to promote on campus for students who want to be proud of their heritage and the foundations of this country,” Matthew Heimbach, president of Youth for Western Civilization. “They have a place to do that and be able to stand up for themselves.”
Good for you Matthew!