White supremacist student Matthew Heimbach, a thorn in the side of Maryland’s Towson University who has led two racist campus organizations, says his White Student Union (WSU) will start patrolling the campus at night next week in order to halt what his group characterizes as a “black crime wave.”
Heimbach, a 21-year-old who has said he had his “racial awakening” while still in high school, has been in the national news since earlier this month, when he and fellow WSU member Scott Terry interrupted panelists at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with a series of racist arguments. Terry advocated “separate but equal” policies, described slavery as providing food and shelter to black people, and allegedly muttered, “Why can’t we just have segregation” in the exchange. The event, caught on videotape and broadcast nationally, was a severe embarrassment to CPAC, which has tried to avoid being tarred as racist.
Now Heimbach, who describes himself as “commander” of the WSU (a possible hat tip to the late “commander” of the American Nazi Party), says that his group will be leading patrols of three male and one female student several nights a week. The men will be armed with heavy police flashlights and the woman will carry pepper spray.
Under the headline “Black Crime Wave Continues!”, the WSU website claims that “every single day black predators prey upon the majority white Towson University student body.” Heimbach also told The Baltimore Sun that “every time the offender is a black male, usually between 18 and 25.” His website adds that “White Southern men have long been called upon to defend their communities when law enforcement and the State seem unwilling to protect our people”— a fairly obvious allusion, it appears, to the terroristic role of the Ku Klux Klan during Reconstruction.
In fact, the university said in a statement, there is no crime wave, black or otherwise, although there have been concerns about sexual attacks and armed robberies. The school said that violent crime on campus fell 37.5% from 2011 to 2012.
In response to Heimbach’s announcement, Towson also said that the WSU is not an officially recognized campus organization (it is allowed to rent campus facilities for meetings, as many other off-campus groups also may do); that Towson is “one of the safest campuses” in the Maryland state system; and that the general public ought not to “take the law into their own hands.” But the school added that it would increase its own evening patrols in a bid to make the campus community feel safer.
The WSU is not some namby-pamby opponent of multiculturalism. Its website carries links to the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), the descendant of the segregationist White Citizen Councils of the 1950s and 1960s and a group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” As part of its platform, the CCC opposes “all efforts to mix the races of mankind.” The WSU website also links to the website for “The Political Cesspool,” a radio show based in Memphis, Tenn., that specializes in sympathetic interviews with leading racists and anti-Semites.
Heimbach’s WSU is not his first racist organization. For a time, he was the president of the Towson chapter of Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), another racist campus group that was headed nationally by Kevin DeAnna, another hard-liner who also has worked with white supremacist organizations. DeAnna quit that group in February 2012. Later last year, after members of Heimbach’s YWC chapter chalked “White Pride” on campus sidewalks, the group lost the support of the university administration and official status, leading to its collapse. At that point, the Towson group was the only remaining chapter of YWC, which is now apparently defunct.
Heimbach then started the WSU as a replacement. Soon enough, it had gathered members like Scott Terry (Heimbach has claimed a highly improbable 50 members), whose own website includes sections with headlines like “Arguments Against Miscegenation” — that is, what the Klan would call “race-mixing.” Terry also writes about “Kinism,” a racist ideology that emphasizes close relationships among “kith and kin,” meaning members of the same race. It also links to the sites of the CCC and a racist journal called American Renaissance, whose leader, Jared Taylor, has written that black people are incapable of sustaining any kind of civilization. Taylor was brought by Heimbach to speak at a WSU campus event last August.
In an interview with a white nationalist radio show last October, Heimbach detailed some of his racist views. Warning that the “enemy is at the gates,” he said that white people are “rediscovering who they are” and waking up to the threat. “We’re seeing other cultures take over essentially our country and are replacing what we knew and grew up with and what our ancestors fought and died for, for something entirely foreign,” he said. He said that while he didn’t agree with using Nazi symbols, he would not “insult anyone” by attacking them for doing that because “if you’re out there advocating for white interests … I commend you for it.”
Heimbach doesn’t limit himself to racist student groups. He’s also the head of the Baltimore chapter of the CCC and a member of the League of the South, a neo-secessionist group that opposes racial intermarriage, seeks to impose “Anglo-Celtic” supremacy on a Southern nation, and sees egalitarianism as an evil doctrine.