The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

National YAF Leadership Cracks Down On Racist Lecture Series

By David Holthouse on March 3, 2008 - 1:49 pm, Posted in Academic Racism, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino, Anti-Semitic, Hate Groups, Hate on Campus

Kyle Bristow, the former chairman of the Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans For Freedom, is no stranger to erratic behavior. But the MSU junior exhibited a particularly strange emotional schism last week, rhapsodizing about bald eagles one minute, and then branding the national leaders of YAF “cowards” the next.

Bristow’s wild mood swings began last Sunday, February 24, when he announced that he was resigning his MSU-YAF post in a rambling and egomaniacal, but generally upbeat letter that concluded with Bristow graciously “passing the torch of freedom to the next generation of YAF leaders.” Then, on Thursday, February 28—the day after YAF founder William F. Buckley died—Bristow published a bitter screed on the website of the racist magazine American Renaissance. It was titled, “Why Jared Taylor Cannot Speak at MSU.”

A bit of background: Taylor, the editor of American Renaissance, was scheduled to address the “perils of multiculturalism” on the MSU campus March 19 in the latest of a YAF-sponsored series of lectures by right-wing extremists, including British National Party chairman and Holocaust denier Nick Griffin, that have drawn skinheads and other white supremacists to the MSU campus. While Bristow disclosed that Taylor’s lecture had been cancelled the same day he published his letter of resignation, he offered scant explanation until his piece appeared on the American Renaissance website.

In it, Bristow revealed that YAF national chairman Erik Johnson “threatened to revoke our YAF charter if the talk went forward.” “National YAF was adamant,” Bristow wrote. “We were not to host Mr. Taylor. If we defied National YAF and sponsored the talk anyway, we would have lost our YAF charter and would no longer have been an official student organization with the right to host events on campus.” Johnson’s “excuse,” Bristow revealed, “was that YAF does not officially recognize multi-culturalism as a threat to the United States.”

While Bristow did not link his abrupt resignation with Johnson’s ultimatum, his disdain was clear, as he blamed the cancellation of Taylor’s lecture equally on liberal activists and “…cowards at the university and in ‘conservative’ organizations.”

Meanwhile, MSU-YAF’s new co-chairs posted a joint statement in which they indicated their plans to shift away from Bristow’s obnoxious race baiting, presumably to rescue the group’s national charter. “While we support Kyle Bristow, we feel that he has had his time to promote conservatism and now it’s our turn to leave an imprint on the movement at MSU,” they wrote. “We will pursue our own course and focus on the issues we feel are vital to the campus and country…We feel that there has been a dearth of attention paid to the protection of civil liberties, and now more than ever we need to protect our constitutional rights from a heavy-handed government…These are issues we plan to promote during our leadership and are the items we believe to be in the most desperate need of addressing.”

  • Eldon Ball

    I have supported SPLC for years. But I have lately heard that you’re aiding & abetting illegal immigrants. That amounts to importing poverty! I can’t support you again until this stops. Illegals drive down wages & drive up prices. They take jobs thet should go to our poorly skilled & poorly educated citizens & legal immigrants. To help these economic migrants, we, as a nation, should give free birth control to everyone on Earth & economic aid to all nations exporting migrants.

  • Trip Marz

    Recent articles posted that John McCain accepted Hate group financing from members involved with the “World Church of the Creator” founder Matt Hale have been largely denounced but a close comerade of his Kyle Bristow, the former chairman of the Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans For Freedom have endorsed him and in a release of of his campaign contrubuters in fact many names associated with subjective groups but none of them as to have been noted as “Hate Groups”
    But many contrubuters have links and ties to these groups, but the noted contrubutions are not directly in the organization names of the “hate groups” but their leaders and members have made personal contrubutions.

  • unlucky 13

    Fellow can’t get his way.Well play the violins and boo!hoo!hoo!First young people should get education including the kind that continues after a person leaves the classroom.After years of disappointments and misadventures of many sorts they might actually know a little politics.then they’d know not to bawl when they lose a round or two in their various struggles.This goes for young genius of the left and right sort as well as religous and non-religous types.When you get so old you don’t give a damn maybe your a real Einstein.Meanwhile who gives a rats ass about this Bristow delinquent.Ï

  • Philip

    National YAF does not appear to do much, but it is part of a more active group called the Leadership Institute. Leadership Institute has funded speakers for MSU-YAF, as well as made statements in support of Central Michigan YAF.

  • GENO-cydal 88

    Sounds like a red flag should be raised when the mentioning of “Kyle Bristow`s bizzare mood swings” and “erractic behavor” was displayed and reported. This should be enough to catch the attention of their University`s psychotherapists and councilors. In the wake of all the recent campus shootings and massacres devastated by psychopathetic gunmen, embarking on a bloody trail of no return, shall serve as a pretext for future carnage.

    Unlike other university campus clubs and organizations, YAF`s core focus is primarily based on hate which bleeds violence and surrealism. Its members are almost always depicted as a bunch of angry xenophobal lunatics and dubious autocratical campus freaks displaying firearms and other instigative behavior.

    In terms of their political futures, anyone who was associated with this organization or an active participant/ a simple contributor will most likely never be succesful in seeking politcal seats in governmental institutions. Their ties to such hateful organizations will always popped up and entitled to public ridicule, backlash and impeachments. A call for their resignation. Then they go on to blame the media etc et al,…………..

  • Adam

    This talk about “national YAF” is pointless. It hasn’t been active since the early part of this decade. The organization is legally controlled by people who don’t even do anything with it. They have no office, staff, or budget.

    I suggest that the SPLC investigate the legitimacy and standing of this “national YAF” and show that it’s a bunch of hot air. The only way Bristow is able to maintain a shred of credibility is though crazy claims that he’s part of some legacy extending back to the 60s. For example, he always claims that YAF (read: MSU YAF through “national YAF”) has an advisory board including Dick Cheney and other prominent conservative leaders. Yet, we all know that they would never stand behind an extremist organization like Bristow’s MSU student group. You guys should investigate some of this stuff.