Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), the ultraconservative student group sworn to defend “the West” from the “radical left” and multiculturalism, seems to be finding new friends on the radical right – and a new enemy in the federal government.
Founded just over five years ago by American University student Kevin DeAnna, YWC is already notorious for its cordial relations with white nationalists like Jared Taylor and nativists like Tom Tancredo, the former congressman who serves as its honorary chairman. The group is tied up with anti-Muslim activists, and the leader of its Towson State University chapter in Maryland is a member of the neo-Confederate hate group League of the South.
Disparate though they are, at least those affiliations are linked together by the common themes of nationalism and xenophobia. But in a recent blog post warning of avian flu, FEMA concentration camps, and an impending “totalitarian takeover of the United States,” YWC leadership jumped straight into the deep end of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement.
In a post titled “2012: The Year of Police State America,” YWC Vice President Taylor Rose rants about the controversial National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which conspiracists believe is part of a government plot to round up huge numbers of Americans and detain them indefinitely in concentration camps. (The NDAA, which has opponents on both the left and right, does, in fact, broaden the government’s power to detain U.S. citizens.)
According to Rose, the NDAA puts the U.S. on the same level as “Third World nations such as China, Burma, North Korea, Iran and Cuba.”
Even more frightening to Rose is the fact that the Department of Homeland Security monitors social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as blogs covering bird flu, drug trafficking, cybercrime and natural disasters.
“Coincidentally all of this comes at the heels of worsening of border security, increased drug trafficking, and a new strain of avian flu in the United States,” Rose writes. “Does the government know something we do not? Is economic collapse right around the corner? Are we on the verge of an avian flu pandemic that the feds are ill prepared to confront? Probably so, as we know that the federal government is nowhere near as transparent as we could ever hope it to be and we also can know for certainty that the federal government has one thing in mind: the complete and total overhaul of the American liberty system and the destruction of all Christian, patriotic and elements of right-wing power in the United States.”
And that’s not all. According to Rose, the government plans to “eliminate” the Internet and redefine terrorism as “American Patriots, rather than jihadists.”
“The only hope that Right-wing and for that matter even radical Left-wing citizens have, is to educated [sic] themselves, network, follow the advice of [racist radio shock jock] Michael Savage and buy guns and most importantly of all pray, for that is all that stands in between us and a total government takeover of our lives. Do not fall for the lie that ‘it cannot happen here’ for in keeping with the numbers, we are far passed [sic] the horrors of pre-Nazi Germany.”
(It’s unclear here which historical period he’s talking about – for all its extremism, YWC has never embraced Nazi Germany as an ideal, as Rose’s last sentence would seem to imply.)
Rose, who has a B.A. in international relations and is fluent in German, is a recent a graduate of the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University (home to Mat Staver and Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel, an anti-gay, anti-Muslim organization that has also flirted with the Patriot movement). He has for some time served as YWC’s unofficial ambassador to Europe. In April 2011, he met in Antwerp with members of the far-right Belgian political party Vlaams Belang, which opposes multiculturalism, advocates for strict limits on immigration, and whose members have traveled in the past to meet with American hate group leaders. A month later, he appeared at the “March for Freedom,” an international anti-Muslim demonstration in Cologne, Germany.
According to his YWC biography (which is unintentionally revealing about the quality of his education at Liberty: the young man apparently doesn’t understand the origin of the term “Tea Party”), Rose is “active in the Tea Party movements both in the United States and in Europe” and lives in Bucharest, Romania.