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This fall Matthew Heimback, a student at Towson State University in Maryland, proposed starting a white student union.
Maybe we should allow these groups to organize. We should not be naïve and believe they will not organize just because a college or institution does not allow them to. These individuals will just go underground and do it anyway. I think that we should see them in the light of day and expose them for who they are. They should be tagged and tracked. They should be on watch lists. Considering the threat of mass executions like what happened in Colorado it may be better for us to know who they are.
Heimbach, who prefers being associated with southern nationalists over white nationalists, said a photo of him holding a Confederate flag this summer in front of Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King, Jr. pastored in Montgomery, Alabama, ought not to be misconstrued. “[The Confederate flag] has never been a symbol of race,” Heimbach said. “Someone who has no connection to Dixie, no connection to the confederacy just doesn’t understand it.”
Towson University finds itself in a difficult position—legally required to uphold a student’s free speech rights but with a sticky race problem on its hands—and, in the American way, both compelled and loathe confronting head-on the issue of race.
Does Heimback have the right to form a white student union? His argument is that “other” individuals have the ability to create organizations. There are Black, Latino, and Jewish organizations, why can’t there be groups that focus and promote the opinions of white people. By not allowing their right to organize, Heimback argument is that it’s racism against white people.
On the surface this seems to be a plausible argument, but in reality this is the same one that has been used over and over again by individuals who promote fear and hatred. According to Heimback he decided to start a white student union at Towson this year, because he’s witnessed Towson become home to “a culture of crime where primarily it is non-whites doing it to white students and we perpetually have to live in a system of victimhood just because no one wants to sound racist.”
We need to expose the hatred. We need to expose these groups for what they are.
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc.