A student-organized group calling itself the “White Student Union” says it will begin night time patrols on campus at Towson University near Baltimore, MD, in order to combat black-on-white crime.
The controversial group, founded by a few students last year, has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The WSU published an article recently bemoaning the university’s “black crime wave.”
The group, however, claims that its planned night patrols are not racially motivated.
“We just want to make campus a better place. If we see a white person commit a crime against a person who is not white, we’re going to assist the person who was attacked every time,” WSU President Matthew Heimbach said in an interview with The Towerlight–a Towson University student newspaper.
The WSU became the focus of controversy earlier in March during a panel on race at CPAC–the national conservative political action conference.
The host of the panel, K. Carl Smith, a black conservative who founded an activist group known as Frederick Douglass Republicans, spoke of a letter Douglass wrote later in his life offering forgiveness to his one-time slave owner.
At that point during the panel, Scott Terry, a member of the Towson WSU who was in the audience, spoke up, interrupting Smith, questioning what cause Douglass would have to offer forgiveness in the first place: “For giving him shelter and food?,” Terry asked.
The remark prompted audible gasps from the audience. Onlookers appeared to be appealed that someone would openly challenge the idea that slavery was a great evil.
Terry said he believed Republican outreach to minorities was being done “at the expense of young, white, Southern males.”
Despite the isolated nature of Terry’s comments, liberal media outlets such as Think Progress and The Huffington Post were quick to publicize Terry’s remark as an example of racism among conservatives and Republicans.
Scott Terry seemed to be proud of his racist attitudes. He later told Think Progress that if he lived in a society where blacks were permanently subservient to whites, he’d “be fine with that.” He proudly claimed to be a direct descendant of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. And he openly advocated racial segregation.
In light of the controversy surrounding Terry’s remarks at CPAC, the announcement that the White Student Union at Towson–of which Terry is a member–will begin night patrols has naturally provoked concern at the university and among some outside observers.
The White Student Union is adept at provoking controversy and stirring up publicity for itself. Last year the group made national headlines when it wrote the phrase “White Pride” in chalk around campus. WSU founder Matthew Heimbach sometimes refers to himself as “commander Heimbach” in communications to other WSU members.
Is a ‘White Student Union’ really a good idea in the first place?
The entire White Student Union project may be designed to duplicate activities of “Black Student Unions” or “Latino Student Unions”–which are so common on American campuses. But attempting to appropriate the hyper-victimized racial identity politics of the left for the cause of white nationalism will do nothing to improve race relations in America.
The Towson group has consistently pointed to the issue of combating black-on-white crime as a primary purpose for its existence. In an interview with The College Fix, WSU founder Matthew Heimbach, who “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.”
On the contrary, Heimbach, Terry and the Towson White Student Union seem capable of talking about nothing but skin color. And their latest plan to conduct night patrols on campus appears to be designed, not to protect students, but to draw attention to their fledgling group and its half-witted ideas about white pride.
Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix.
Follow Nathan on Twitter: @NathanHarden
IMAGE: El Nagual/Flickr