Saturday, March 10, 2012

Youth For Western Civilization Singled Out For Criticism For Chalking White Pride Messages At Towson University

The group Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) is being singled out for criticism because some of its 12 members chalked messages that included the words "White Pride" at several locations on the campus of Towson University, including the Student Union and Freedom Square, on Saturday March 3rd, 2012. When the messages were discovered the following Monday, the usual suspects raised the standard hue and cry about "safety", "diversity" and "inclusion". Media sources include the Baltimore Sun and WJZ Channel 13 and the Council of Conservative Citizens.

Kenan Herbert, a 24-year-old senior and president of the Black Student Union (BSU), said "As a black student, those words scared and concerned me...A lot of other students and I feel unsafe with this organization being on campus." He added that YWC is setting back efforts to make the school more inclusive and diverse. However, Herbert was neither asked nor did he volunteer to explain how the existence of a Black Student Union makes the school more inclusive and diverse.

Marilyn Mayo, who studies extremist groups for the Anti-Defamation League, said that while not explicitly racist, YWC's language demonizes minorities, gays and lesbians, and non-Christian religious groups, complaining that "What they're talking about is preserving white culture when we live in a diverse, multicultural society". Mayo also was neither asked nor did she volunteer to explain why preserving black culture via a Black Students Union is O.K. in a diverse, multicultural society.

It also triggered a meeting on Thursday March 8th, attended by about 400 students, where Youth for Western Civilization and concerns about racism at the school were discussed. However, Teri Hall, associate vice president of campus life, defended YWC, saying that they were within their First Amendment rights and did not break any campus rules. YWC chapter president Matthew Heimbach, who was present at the meeting, explained that his group is only promoting traditional conservative values and is not racist. He said he's advocating pride in his culture, not white power. "White pride is no different than gay pride or black pride," he said. "I'm not trying to put anyone down. We want to celebrate our unique culture, and we encourage every other group to do the same."

The Towerlight, which is the campus newspaper, provides many more details about the meeting. Heimbach said that he does not feel like the forum was productive, and that it was a very one-sided discussion on the issue of his group and students feeling unsafe on campus. “Overall, I feel the event was a little rocky,” he said. “Things have been interesting. They have been misquoting us, saying we support white power, which we don’t. But when you have a group like this, emotions run high and they misquote us to try to fire up the crowd.” The tension in the room climaxed when Heimbach began debating Keenan Herbert on the issue of BSU vice-president Ignacio Evans wearing a black panther T-shirt and comparing that to the groups with which YWC is associated. He capped it by saying that if the university attempted to restrict YWC’s access to free speech, he would “bleed the university white of all its money.” Video report of the meeting embedded after the jump:

Youth for Western Civilization is a campus youth movement with a mission to organize, educate and train activists dedicated to the revival of Western Civilization. Youth for Western Civilization has no racial requirements for membership and they are not a racist group. YWC is somewhat coy about the number of chapters they have because they have active groups and members at a far larger number of campuses than publicly admitted. However, many of them are members of other conservative or libertarian groups, have independent groups, or for whatever reason can't start a YWC chapter under that name, often because of administration rules or pressure. Read the Towson chapter's most recent end-of-semester after action report.

Reaction: YWC gets vigorous support on this five-page Stormfront thread and a shorter WhiteNewsNow thread as well as VNN Forum. Not very many supportive comments on mainstream media sites; I grabbed the only two I could find.

sam said on 10 March 2012 at 12:23 am (posted to the Towerlight):
Why is it that people that are not white can call us crackers, honkies, rednecks and that is not considered racist. The guy wears a black panther shirt to show his pride when that group was mostly racist. Every race or religion has some sort of way of showing there pride and it will always offend someone. From what I read it was white pride that was written not white power which is a know phrase that is used by the Klan. What is wrong with white pride. I see people wearing shirts and flyers around campus that say viva la raza, black and proud but of course they couldn’t be racist could they. I also love it when whit people say its reverse racism. Racism is racism. Now the guy from YWC wearing the stars and bars shirt was just wearing that to provoke a reaction and its a shame that flag is considered a racist symbol when it is not. Racist people who use it to promote racism make it a racist symbol. To me its a sign of rebelling against a government that wants to control how we do everything and takes away the powers of the State government from them. i think the British flag is offensive because of the way the English treated my ancestors and its colonies. I think the catholic Church is offensive for the way they would try and force people to accept there religion. I could go on for hours but why its not worth it. This campus is a joke and most of the people on this campus think that the world starts and stops for them. Everything in the world is offensive to someone somewhere.

dcapettini said on March 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm (posted on WJZ Channel 13):
Black Pride, Latino Pride, Gay Pride, International Women’s Day, Native American Pride, Deaf Pride – These are all healthy expressions. White Pride is intimidating and needs to be monitored. A hell of a lot more white people are killed, robbed and beaten by members of “legitimate” prideful communities than the other way around.Check out Maryland’s murder statistics I do not belong to any White Pride groups and do not have any plans to join. But, get off our backs! My people got off the boat in 1913. We never had any slaves and never killed any Indians.

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