The benefit of the doubt

So some university students formed a Towson chapter of the Y0uth for Western C1vilization.  They most recently made the news after chalking slogans like “Wh1te Pride” and “Anti-Racist is Code for Ant1-Wh1te” around campus.

[Chapter president Matthew] He1mbach, a 20-year-old junior, said the group is only promoting traditional conservative values and is not racist. He said he’s advocating pride in his culture, not “wh1te power.”

“Wh1te 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.”

From another article, also He1mbach:

“What we want to do is be able to promote on campus for students who want to be proud of their heritage and the foundations of this country.  They have a place to do that and be able to stand up for themselves.”

Source.

Yeah, I might just buy the idea that He1mbach is just regular garden-variety stupid like so many other folks in the majority.   Even though I think that regular stupids should be able recognize that no, wh1te pride is not the same.  No, the term  “traditional conservative values” is often code for institutionalized racism.

Regular stupids would quickly see that the phrases “Wh1te Pride” and “Anti-Racist is Code for Ant1-Wh1te” are regularly used by wh1te national1st hate groups.

But given that He1mbach is wearing a shirt with a confederate flag on it and is additionally a member of the League of the S0uth, I’m pretty sure he knows all of that.  And given that Y0uth for Western C1vilization associates with the likes of Jared Tay1or and Tom Tancredo, I’m pretty sure his pants are on fire when he says he doesn’t have a racist agenda.

But we’re seeing the mainstreaming of these groups at an alarming rate.  And it was because we so often just had to give them the benefit of the doubt.

6 thoughts on “The benefit of the doubt

  1. And because the silent majority who consider themselves “not racist” have very little understanding of or commitment to anti-racism and just float along on the current of society’s prevailing mores, they are easy prey for bigots like this. I think that if racist views became acceptable and mainstream once again, most of the silent majority will just adopt racist views. Most people seem to believe whatever’s in fashion without seeking a strong foundation for their beliefs.

  2. I think that, among the many, many concerns this gives me, one of the foremost is that I have heard white liberals/progressives say that they more or less hear “anti-white” when someone says “anti-racist.” To learn that this understanding is propagated by hate groups and shared by people I consider friends is … distressing.

  3. I think that if racist views became acceptable and mainstream once again, most of the silent majority will just adopt racist views.

    Winterwind – That is scary, but I totally agree. I think the majority of people just don’t want to get involved, don’t want any trouble, and as long as no one is bothering them, they’re fine with whatever.

  4. I want to add something else. It is completely acceptable for people considered “white” in the US to celebrate their ancestry with cultural events and organisations promoting, say, traditional Swedish cuisine, German fashion, Scottish music, Russian art or English literature. That happens all the time.

    The term “white pride”, however, has a completely different connotation. That term has historically been used by racists and white supremacists. It is impossible to rehabilitate that term (not that Heimbach and his racists friends actually want to – they know it’s a white supremacist term and that’s exactly the brand of despicable hate they’re interested in promoting). It’s completely disingenuous to claim that using white pride slogans is equivalent to simply promoting a culture. Rather, it is a form of hate speech designed to make people of minority backgrounds feel unwelcome and unsafe in society.

    To use an analogy, the name “al-Qaeda” is firmly associated in most Americans’ minds with the terrorist organisation founded by Osama Bin Laden. However, in Arabic, the phrase al-Qaeda simply means “the foundation.” So, if I were a dishonest shit like Heimlich, I could start a student organisation in my uni called “al-Qaeda” and claim that it was an innocent drama club named for a strong foundation in Shakespearean acting.

    If my group then started chalking “Al-Qaeda Forever” or “Come and join Al-Qaeda” all over campus, I’m pretty sure a large number of students would feel angry, threatened and unsafe, which would cause a serious disruption to the learning environment. I wonder if in that case if my university would defend my right to freedom of speech? Who am I kidding? I would be arrested and shipped off to Guantanamo Bay to be tortured and held without a trial in the blink of an eye.

    These cowards don’t even have the guts to be up front about what they’re promoting, which is racial hatred, plain and simple. They prefer to spread slowly and sneakily like a malignant tumour hiding in the rotting underbelly of our society’s ignorance. Racism, like fungus, grows best in the darkness of the human soul, fertilised with plenty of bullshit.

  5. “He1mbach is wearing a shirt with a confederate flag on it” I mean i understand the guy is only 20 years old so i when i read his interviews i try taking this into consideration however there is no excuse for this. He just makes it hard to take what he’s saying seriously!

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