Towson University senior Matthew Heimbach has launched an effort to form a “White Students Union” on his campus, saying he is frustrated by the political correctness that holds his and other colleges hostage. He hopes to combat what he claims is a series of racially motivated black-on-white crimes near Towson, and give a voice to his white peers.
“We are living in a culture where we’re so PC [politically correct] … that it’s gotten ridiculous,” Heimbach told The College Fix. “If there is a legitimate thug or criminal who is victimizing people, we can’t talk about it because of the color of his skin.”
Student unions “uplift the culture and the people, and give them a voice with the administration,” he says. But Heimbach claims there is a double standard. Unlike black, Hispanic, Asian, and Jewish students, he says, Towson’s white students currently lack a race-specific forum in which to voice their concerns.
“Multiculturalism does not work. We have a national identity,” the American History major contends, citing arguments from Florida congressman Allen West and Stanford scholar Thomas Sowell (both black). And that national identity is not protected by “the hardcore radical leftists: the Islamists, the hardcore LGBT activists, the black supremacists.”
As evidence of the existence of such groups, Heimbach points to an April 2010 issue of Towson’s student newspaper, Towerlight, which featured a column entitled “Fiction of Reverse Racism,” written by then-Black Student Union member Adam Jackson, since graduated:
Now let’s talk about reverse racism. I think that the phrase is inherently oxymoronic. Does a hatred for white people make you a racist? No. There is a difference. Hatred does not equal power to oppress. Black people in the United States do not have the ‘power’ to oppress white people, bottom line. When I say we do not have the ‘power,’ I mean that black people do not have access to the imperialist structures that allow white people to maintain domination….
Reverse racism does not exist.
It is a myth created by white people so that they can feel more comfortable with marginalizing the black voice. It is an attempt to ignore suffering and oppression that black people face everyday.
The current Black Students Union vice-president, Ignacio Evans, has been known to sport a Black Panther t-shirt on campus.
Heimbach’s on-campus efforts are known for provoking controversy. He launched Towson’s chapter of Youth for Western Civilization during the spring 2012 semester, and in March, he and members of his organization wrote “White Pride” in chalk on campus sidewalks.
“After Black History Month, [in] which we respect everyone’s right to celebrate their heritage, [we thought,] ‘What would happen if we celebrated our own pride?’ and there’s the answer: Our chalkings were defaced, things were says to us,” Heimbach says.
He told The College Fix that he had his car vandalized, had received death threats by phone and in person, and that his then-girlfriend had threats posted on her dorm room door. The YWC group at Towson has since disbanded.
Shortly after the chalk incident Dr. Richard E. Vatz, professor of Rhetoric and Communication, resigned as the organization’s faculty advisor.
In a letter to Heimbach, later published on the political blog Red Maryland, Vatz wrote that he could not “in good conscience advise a group that attacks groups personally or tactlessly or does not recognize their dignity and the value of dignified argument in the marketplace of ideas.”
He cited as evidence the Youth for Western Civilization’s chapter report, written by Heimbach, which appeared on the group’s national website. The opening paragraph reads:
…From the day of our chapter’s inception, the spectrum of the radical left-wing elements at Towson University (the coalition of the pro illegal immigration groups, terrorist front organizations like the Muslim Student Association, ferociously angry gay groups of ‘tolerance’ like the Queer Student Union, and the disease ridden degenerates also known as Occupy Towson) all came together to attempt to intimidate and suppress our budding organization.
“I am sorry,” Vatz wrote, “but that is not how impressive and serious conservatives argue their case. Look at any of William F. Buckley’s treatises, Barry Goldwater’s, George F. Will’s, Paul Ryan’s, or go back to Voltaire or Edmund Burke, and you will find nothing of this style.” None of these mainstream conservative figures, in other words, believed “white pride” was the proper way to counter reverse discrimination or radical identity politics.
Heimbach, however, maintains that various student groups are unfriendly to the campus’s white population. He says most of the support he has received for a White Students Union has come from female students, who claim bias crimes and sexual assaults committed against them have been ignored by university administrators because they involve black assailants. Heimbach says he hopes a White Students Union will create a “safe space” for those students and, like other student groups, give them a voice with the administration.
Deb Moriarty, Towson’s vice president of student affairs, told The College Fix that any allegation of neglected reports or administration misconduct is “categorically untrue.” She says administrators “worked closely with police to investigate” claims made by, and against, Youth for Western Civilization members in the past, and that she was unfamiliar with Heimbach’s claims about white female students. Like all universities, she noted, Towson has a variety of security measures, as well as a number of ways students can report bias crimes.
Fix contributor Ian Tuttle attends St. John’s College.
IMAGE: Patrick Rohe/Flickr