Despite the fact that the United States has on two occasions elected a Black man as president, the country is seeing some of its most polarizing behavior in generations.
There is no better evidence of this than the formation of the White Student Union at Towson University in Maryland. It is a white-pride group – one of several that have sprung up in recent years – that was founded a year ago. The group says it will start patrolling the campus to protect the white students from, well, you know who.
“The virtue of white Christian woman is under attack,” the group states on its website, “by degenerate criminals seeking to rob our women of their God given innocence,” it continues, evoking the language of some post-Civil War, Klan-style melodrama.
Really? In 2013?
All of this came under the headline: “Black Crime Wave Continues!” And the outlandish content doesn’t end there. The executive board of the White Student Union – imagine coming across that on someone’s resume – has made some pointed requests of its members.
The board “has unanimously approved” to make it mandatory for all female members of the White Student Union “to begin taking some form of unarmed self-defense training over the next month. Group funds will be used to purchase legal and nonlethal means of self-defense for all members.”
Every day, the group reports, “Black predators prey upon the majority white Towson University student body. White Southern men have long been called to defend their communities when law enforcement and the State seem unwilling to protect our people.”
The whole thing would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the group as a white nationalist hate group. It is a sign that, despite all the gains in civil rights over generations of American history, bigotry and prejudice are still a factor in the life of this nation. And it is doubly tragic to find it on college campuses, which should be the bastions of enlightened thinking.
With this kind of philosophy firmly on display on a college campus, should there be any question that the nation still needs vigorous laws to protect people of color from the effects of such thinking? It is the kind of thinking that created a need for the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action initiatives.
When white students look at their non-white counterparts not as fellow collegians but as lawless, marauding beasts, it is a sign that the toxicity of racism is alive and well. It is the kind of thinking that must be placed on public display and fought vigilantly.
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