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Faculty Adviser Quits, YWC Loses Official Status at Towson University

By Ryan Lenz on March 28, 2012 - 3:26 pm, Posted in White Nationalism

Nearly two weeks after members of the Towson University chapter of Youth for Western Civilization chalked messages on university sidewalks that included the words “white pride,” the group has lost its campus privileges.

The school’s official recognition of the YWC was pulled when the group’s faculty adviser informed chapter president Matthew Heimbach that he would no longer be associated with the group.

“They were using rhetoric in their arguments that I found were not appropriate,” said the adviser, communications professor Richard Vatz.

In a letter to Heimbach, Vatz cited recent comments by YWC leaders at a Unity Campus Forum several weeks ago that included what he called “frightening rhetoric” describing political opponents as “cancer” and “disgusting degenerates.”

“This is not how conservatives comport themselves,” Vatz, himself a conservative, told Hatewatch.

YWC still can have a presence on campus, but it will not be recognized by the Student Government Association. That means it can no longer use campus facilities.

Vatz’s withdrawal is a blow to Heimbach, who has ties to the neo-confederate League of the South and worked hard to overcome resistance to the school’s  official recognition of the group.

“They found a loophole,” said Heimbach, explaining the YWC chapter’s ouster.

After the chalk messages, Heimbach admitted to The Baltimore Sun that members were indeed responsible for the sidewalk markings. But, he said the group is “only promoting traditional conservative values and is not racist.” He also told the Sun that he is advocating “pride in his culture,” not “white power.”

  • Hector

    Diversity is in truth a method of societal division. For harmony, unity and agreement are necessary. Therefore, all members of society must agree on fundamentals of unification. Certain rights are inalienable and the members of unified community need to determine what those are and support those rights for every member of the commune. So if free speech is one of those rights then it applies to all in the commune. If diversity of speech is valued, then no restrictions on any member’s speech can be a unifying point for the
    community. In this way, thru unity of the community, utopia may be approximated.

  • Deep Ecology

    Ruslan,

    The short answer is that to successfully implement one, you must also have the other. (Soc 101).

    The West, the US, Canada, and most countries in Europe have all adopted multiculturalism and promote the concept of the cultural mosaic versus assimilation to a central host nation culture. Assimilation was assumed to imply a negative judgement of an immigrants home culture, and instead the celebration of diversity or difference became the accepted policy.

    However, as with a tribal culture or modern developed nation, there has to be some common ideals that all can find and hold in common, or else diversity assumes a profound centrifugal force in the modern nation-state.

    So enter cultural homogenization. If diversity is the ideal, homogenization is the reality. Western nations under the neo-liberal rubric unite all one idea that all can agree to, consumerism.

    Despite the attempt to set global harmony to economic globalization, the move towards cultural homogenization that is implicit in consumerism and in globalization has significant consequences. Cultural homogenization substitutes a kind of decontextualized materialism for a more grounded and authentic sense of identity that can be found in a culture grounded in ethnicity, heritage, spirituality, language and soil. Hence, the often profound sense of alienation and emptiness that accompanies life in these de-cultured societies. (born out by numerous quality of life surveys)

    Harvard’s Huntington and Putnam have extensively researched and written about the consequences of these policies and the real impact they have on societal institutions, group cohesion and mutual trust, and public spiritedness.

  • Reynardine

    Ruslan, punctured eardrums cause the subject both to be [selectively] hard of hearing, and to speak out of his mouth and both ears at the same time.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    How can you accuse the establishment of promoting both multiculturalism and cultural homogenization at the same time?

  • Reynardine

    Gregory, I am, because it has been said before. For a key and concordance, go to Konrad Heiden, inter alia.

  • Deep Ecology

    Aron, thank you for the explanation and for the advice to take it down a notch.

    It would seem that with so many progressive think tanks there might be a unifying ideology or set of principles that most would adhere to, but perhaps not as you say.

    I like a lot of ideas of the continental New Right thinkers, but reject some as well, enough that if asked I would not consider myself one of them. As a traditional, orthodox Christian, their atheistic neo-paganism is a spiritual no-go for me.

    The new right critique of popular democracy, globalization/corporate-capitalism, multiculturalism/cultural homogenization and utilitarianism I tend to agree with.

    There are a lot of schools of thought within Right or Right leaning ideology, and apparently among the Left and New Left as well.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Ruslan, in accomodating inherent, intrinsic differences of human beings and varying worldviews/cultural context, how and by what criteria do you come up with a systematic, standardized “equal” response? The Western attempt (and Soviet in its day) was to always apply some universal ideological criteria in dealing with different cultures, (democracy in a tribal culture, womens rights in a conservative Islamic culture, neo-liberal economics in traditional societies, etc) almost always with unintended results.”

    Actually the results have been overwhelmingly positive. Muslim women in the USSR went from being property(in certain cultures within Central Asia and the Caucasus) to educated scientists and intellectuals. In many socialist states, people looked beyond nationality. Nationalism only began to rise as economic problems mounted, and nationalist propaganda hammered at the door via organizations like Radio Free Europe. You see people of different cultures will work and live together in harmony as long as there is economic and social equality. If one group starts to feel they are getting screwed(a common feeling in Yugoslavia), they may lapse into romanticist nationalism.

    “What universal standard would you apply in the attempt to treat all equally?”

    I think it is more important for YOU to explain the standards you would use for treating people differently.

    ” More importantly, how would you apply it and why? Modern European and American feminists and LGBT advocates would be horrified to live in Iran under Shia law, do we have an obligation to liberate them?”

    There are Iranians in Iran who struggle for a secular state. It is primarily their responsibility. Also, we can make judgments about theocracy. I’m sorry but a secular state is better than a theocracy, it doesn’t matter where you were born.

    ” Is popular democracy superior to tribal culture in all circumstances?”

    Here’s where New Right racism shines through. It attributes tribal culture to peoples themselves, not to a particular stage of social or economic development. Not only democracy, but even concepts like the nation-state can fail when the level of development favors clan-based society. This explains the failure of independent Chechnya as well as the break-down of the Barre government in Somalia. However, this does not mean that people should be forever condemned to this mode of organization. With economic development comes the development of nation and new identities extending beyond the tribe or clan.

  • Gregory

    Reynardine,
    The “Jason Smith”(s) are the dangerous ones because they speak the language of their target audience. Idiotic, to be sure, but their message is clear and unambiguous. Deep, on the other hand, is something of a conundrum. I’m not exactly sure what he is trying to say and, I think, neither is he.

  • Reynardine

    Well, C.M., Deep is basically Jason with a deal of Blut und Boden tinsel, and some skill with squirting squid ink when confronted.

  • CM

    Deep,

    “…all of my commentary as to core values comes from the Center for American Progress, an excellent source of progressive-liberal commentary and advocacy.”

    Yes, and as I said before, and as you’ve stated even more explicitly, you seem to think modernism and liberalism are the same thing. You’re wrong. Whatever modernism is, it’s not identical with liberalism, so arguing against the one is not equivalent to arguing against the other.

    As for reductionism, here’s your statement that I was responding to:

    “…a reductionist argument that seeks to either redefine the position differently than stated and held or to insinuate nefarious, disengenous motives masked by stated rhetoric.”

    Your reformulated version after I criticized the first version: “I have used reductionism correctly, in that most progressives I have spoken to or read reduce most right thought to one thing, racism or repackaged fascism, ignoring the broader commentary as meaningless or accusing them of having disengenous motives and masking true intent.”

    Here’s the Merriam-Webster definition: “1: explanation of complex life-science processes and phenomena in terms of the laws of physics and chemistry; also: a theory or doctrine that complete reductionism is possible
    2: a procedure or theory that reduces complex data and phenomena to simple terms.”

    Your version, especially your second formulation, is a sort of impaired version of definition 2. What you’re really doing, of course, is trying to pre-emptively stop people from stripping your statements of their rhetorical decorations and exposing their fundamental emptiness.

    “… the modernist idea … is running into this blood, soil and religious retrenchment. If you see another trend on the international scene, please elaborate.”

    You do seem to love false dilemmas, but I’ll decline the invitation to endorse this one. You also seem to see no self-contradiction in espousing postmodernism while eagerly buying into the newest, shiniest mental construction, or meta-narrative. To those of us outside your bubble, things look rather different.

  • http://twitter.com/AronL Aron

    Deep Ecology,

    I think it is impossible, and actually quite foolish to attempt to define ‘liberal progressive values and beliefs.’ To me, it would be akin to attempting to define ‘terrorism.’ Just as with any esoteric term, each person’s definition is slightly different; no two definitions are alike.

    I follow a mixture of Jamesian Pragmatism mixed with Hegelian Constructivism. To that, I add a dash of Social Democracy, more out of love for the working man more than anything else.

    I am bourgeois. I’ll be the first to admit it. The son of a successful entrepreneur, I’ve lived a moderately spoiled life. But I know that wealth comes from the bottom, not the top. Happy and comfortable workers are productive and loyal workers. (I feel much admiration for the Carnegie Ethos.)

    But I also know that ideals and reality are generally mutually exclusive. So I lean more toward pragmatism because I simply want the job to get done in the best possible fashion.

    (And regarding my comment describing your writing as ‘similar to that of an acolyte,’ I wasn’t calling you an acolyte at all. I simply feel that the reverence displayed in your comments is starting to approach a nearly ‘worshipful’ level…)

  • Deep Ecology

    Aron, you are right about the level of discussion though, getting a bit too esoteric for this forum. However, I am very interested in what ideologue or idea unites the liberal-progressive movement.

  • Deep Ecology

    Aron, I cut and pasted verbatim from the Center for American Progress, and was answering Ruslan’s statement that progressive liberalism is not empirical or ideological.

    Unless we can frame the discussion properly, identify what each other believes and why, then exchange and understanding is impossible.

    So weigh in, what are liberal progressive values and beliefs?

    What do you mean by acolyte by the way? Acolyte of what or who?

  • http://twitter.com/AronL Aron

    DE,

    It is funny that you speak of Pragmatism, and yet your arguments are so convoluted, so full of sociological and metaphysical ‘woo,’ that I really am starting to believe you have no idea about which you speak. While you are certainly better written than either of them, you have placed yourself in the same class as Funinsnow and Jason Smith. Namely, your refusal to compromise on even a single point.

    Your writings very much have the air of the ‘acolyte’ about them, and it seems that people are finally starting to take notice. You might wish to lay aside your Mid-Century Continentals and venture out into the real world. I’m fairly certain that Post-Modernism has received the same fate as Benthamite Utilitarianism.

  • Deep Ecology

    CM

    “What it sounds like you’re saying here is that the most postmodern response to the modern is to revert to the premodern, the mediaeval, the tribal, primitive, or more likely some “neo-” construction of those things. There’s a wide streak of Nietzscheanism in that sort of thinking.”

    From conflict study, especially in light of post-ideological thinking, it is our observation that much of the world is reverting to pre-modern criteria for context and identification. The collapse and separation of Sudan, the Balkans conflict, identarian movements within the EU, conservative pan-Islamism, all are indicative of this trend. The Arab Spring is not about true liberalization in the Western sense as another example.

    Put simply, the modernist idea of increasing centralization of the nation-state system into effective transnationalism, continuing progress and advancement of the ideological unification of mankind under one rubric, and global cultural and economic unification is running into this blood, soil and religious retrenchment. If you see another trend on the international scene, please elaborate.

  • Deep Ecology

    CM and Ruslan,

    You two are the most intelligent of the commentators here at SPLC and both of you do an excellent job of explaining your positions.

    However, at this point, I believe we have reached an impasse. Just as there is some variation within Right, Far Right, and New Right positions, perhaps the liberal-progressive movement finds itself with some of the same disagreement of what is or is not fundamental to its core values and beliefs.

    CM, all of my commentary as to core values comes from the Center for American Progress, an excellent source of progressive-liberal commentary and advocacy. Is there broad disagreement with their positions? Again, a strawman is a position not argued by your opponent, I have endeavored to respond to the core intellectual values posted on their website and attached position papers.

    Posner is an outspoken and influential advocate of the concept of universal human rights, to be applied at all times to all people. Is he not representative of SPLC’s position on human rights and if not, could you elaborate on the differences? (Ruslan as an avowed Marxist has already done so, impossible to apply because of class differences)

    I have used reductionism correctly, in that most progressives I have spoken to or read reduce most right thought to one thing, racism or repackaged fascism, ignoring the broader commentary as meaningless or accusing them of having disengenous motives and masking true intent.

    In my humble opinion, modernism in its broadest context is foundational to progressive-liberal thought. Post modernism (of which there is much disagreement what constitutes the core of post modernist thinking) nevertheless posits a very different worldview than the modernist narrative.

    Ruslan, in accomodating inherent, intrinsic differences of human beings and varying worldviews/cultural context, how and by what criteria do you come up with a systematic, standardized “equal” response? The Western attempt (and Soviet in its day) was to always apply some universal ideological criteria in dealing with different cultures, (democracy in a tribal culture, womens rights in a conservative Islamic culture, neo-liberal economics in traditional societies, etc) almost always with unintended results. What universal standard would you apply in the attempt to treat all equally? More importantly, how would you apply it and why? Modern European and American feminists and LGBT advocates would be horrified to live in Iran under Shia law, do we have an obligation to liberate them? Is popular democracy superior to tribal culture in all circumstances?

  • Reynardine

    “Blut und Boden”, q.v. My poor hunting dog has been howling from all the dog whistles.

  • Gregory

    I think you’ve gone off the rails, DE.