When Tracy Jordan told Tina Fey, on NBC Comedy 30Rock, to “stop patronizing [him] with [her] celtic slang, we have a Black President now”, he probably hadn’t read about the plague attacking several universities all across the southern parts of the country in the recent weeks.  A movement called “Youth for Western Civilization”, strangely echoing white supremacist rhethoric, has been assailling and targeting political science majors, mostly in the University of North Carolina.

Once again, extremism and racism are challenging the utmost and absolute freedom of speech on which the country has been based on. Civil liberties are questioned when the message is definitely making most students uncomfortable. Jesse Jones, a freshman at Vanderbilt, recognizes every civil organization’s right to express their own views in a public fashion, while admitting to feeling threatened by the group itself.“But their fascist-like logo, their name echoing ‘Hitler Youth,’ and Tom Tancredo’s call of ‘this is your country — take it back’ all quite frankly scare me,” Jones wrote in an e-mail to FOXNews.com.

The YWC’s website is attacking the very ideals that make a college experience necessary to one’s educational and personal development in political and social areas. Their website is claiming “pride in Western heritage” and preaches attack on “leftists” on what they call “poisonous and bigoted campuses”.  Jesse Jones wasn’t too far off in comparing them to the Hitler Youth. “A great part of college is definitely meeting people of different backgrounds, but a multicultural ideology teaches that we should appreciate things just because they’re different from our culture with no regards to the quality of the culture and that all cultures are inherently equal. I absolutely disagree”, says Trevor Williams, President of the YWC’s Vanderbilt chapter.

Education is no longer the only weapon to fight ignorance and bigotry. Without the proper tools to interpret what is handed out in terms of ideology and experience, the venom of racism will continue to spread in the very places we thought were safe from such cheap thinking.  If college is all about the wonders of personal discoveries and the pursuit of individual happiness, the luxury of ready-to-be-absorbed knowledge and the access to a possibly fruitful future, then Williams and his cohorts are dead wrong in their approach. Targeting “socialists” in the name of a Western ideology that not even Samuel Huntington would have dared labeling as “superior” proves that they are probably failing Anthropology 101. It’s alright, this is what summer classes are for.

UNC’s graduate student Tyler Oakley told Fox News that he does believe “western” is a veiled term for “white”, and that freedom of speech does not necessarily encompass hate speech (the ACLU had written about the rise of hate speech in colleges ever since 1994). The YWC is not yet classified as a hate group, but is already under suspicion for its rhethoric borderlining on white supremacy. The group’s honorary chairman, former Colorado Congressman Tim Tancredo, has already been opposing a state bill on college funding for illegal immigrants. When some students protested his appearance by claiming “no one is illegal”,  tensions emerged and the arrest of a UNC student, Elizabeth Koch, ended up on the YWC’s YouTube account.  A righteous attitude, pseudo-legit claims at political endorsement and the use of “multiculturalism” as a threat to national evolution amidst a serious economic crisis? History does repeat itself.

Other groups, like the Providence chapter at the University of Rhode Island, are using the world’s oldest excuse, unfair discrimination, against the refusal to be officially recognized as a campus group. Tim Dionisopoulos, who probably even forgot where his last name came from, believes that his Provost is scared “because the group stands for what it believes in”. What we are all waiting for is a thorough and sincere definition of what this “standing up” implies – as we will not sit here waiting for lynch battles and other random assaults in dorm rooms to wake up against the YWC. College students attending institutions in which the YWC has a presence,  be it official or not, must become organized and fight for what America has been funded on. Multiculturalism is the precise ideology that created this nation, and if the YWC members have yet to read between the lines of their Heidegger books, some political science students are fortunately a little more ahead in their apprehension of the world. Poisonous bigotry might try to disguise itself under the pretense of advanced knowledge and critical thinking, but ignorance and narrow-mindedness bear the same stench, regardless of the clothes in which it is covering itself.


Who is to blame? Has Barack Obama’s ascension threatened the white privilege’s tradition? Is the crisis ruining some private assets across the globe? Has the Madoff story broken down the ideal of financial immunity? Or is our youth simply running amok for fear of a blacked-out, pointless and overcast future? It is too late now to make the uneducated responsible for racism and ignorance. Colleges are places of learning. The YWC is given opportunities to change their ideals with every single class they attend to, with every book at their disposal. The fight has been displaced and now taking center stage in the very places we thought would save us from this serious downfall into the darkest pits of human history. Shall Europe conjure up the ghosts of 1930 through Tom Tancredo’s motto at the top of the YWC’s logo (“This is our culture — fight for it. This is our flag — pick it up. This is our country — take it back”) and we will find ourselves in familiar, yet deeply uncomfortable shoes. Our generation has been taught of fascism and nazism through books, through movies, and, sometimes, through the distant and painful eye of our grandparents. This is a fight they thought we’d never have to take. This is a belief that our educated selves should be able to avoid.


On a personal note: I have been alerted to this story by a student of the American University of Paris, a sister to the American University in Delaware, where the YWC has a chapter. AUP, like its other fraternal institutions across the globe, is firmly planted into an international background being taught in the American system. Its political science is department is thorough, outstanding, and relentless in its teaching. Because we have been raised and taught to believe in the transforming power of multiculturalism, we feel deeply for the rise and spread of the YWC and strongly support every student in Vanderbilt, Elon, UNC, Rhode Island, Bentley, Connecticut-Storrs to stand up against this attack on american values, on education, on knowledge, and most of all, on humanity. If there is one thing international relations students know, is that nations are not isolated islands relying on the single workforce of their land-born citizens.  We are hoping this article will be a wake-up call.