A student at a university near Baltimore wants to start a White Student Union. Matthew Heimbach of Towson University says there is a Black Student Union on campus that celebrates its heroes, and he wants to be free to do the same.
“We want to replicate what every student union does on campus,” wrote Heimbach, a Ron Paul supporter, in the university newspaper.
“Love your race,” the ad placed in the paper read. “Support a white student union.”
The idea has drawn criticism from blacks and whites on campus.
“We had to congregate together because we weren’t allowed to congregate with whites,” said junior Julian Carroll. “There is a difference between a White Student Union and a Black Student Union based on the history of America.”
Richard Vatz, a communications professor at Towson University, said: “When you have a group that calls themselves the White Student Union, their only purpose is generally hostility towards those who are non-white.”
Vatz was the adviser for Youth for Western Civilization, a previous group headed by Heimbach. But Vatz resigned when the group wrote messages in chalk across campus that expressed white pride, such as “celebrate white pride” and “white South.”
“We want to be able to promote on campus for students who want to be proud of their heritage and the foundations of this country and stand up for themselves,” Heimbach said in regard to the group Youth for Western Civilization.
Heimbach claims that the campus is “hostile toward white students” and that the White Student Union would serve as a “safe space for members… who have heard ‘cracker’ and ‘honkie.’”
According to Heimbach, 17 students have expressed interest in joining the union. However, Heimbach claims he has been accused of hate speech.
“So Facebook banned me for a day and took down the Towson University White Student Union page for ‘hate speech,’” Heimbach posted on Facebook. “Funny enough the Towson University Black Student Union page is still up.”
Currently, the White Student Union is only in the works; it is not a Student Government Association-approved group. Should the White Student Union continue its efforts, some assume that the SGA will vote it down.
“After the headache of last year (Youth for Western Civilization), I’m afraid SGA might vote us down on principle,” he said. “But if we have the students, the adviser and the constitution, there’s no reason to allow us not to be SGA affiliated.”