Our VoiceNews & Politics

Diversity a Long Running Query for Youth for Western Civilization

Guest Blogger • Apr 19, 2011

Catharine Debelle

On April 7, Washington State University (WSU) held a public panel on the importance and value of diversity on university campuses.  One of the panelists was from Youth for Western Civilization, a campus group that works closely with white nationalists.  The event came out of debate on reducing the number of required diversity classes down to one.  But the question lingers, why was a campus organization with ties to white nationalism sitting on the panel?

The panel was mediated by Richard King, the department chair of comparative ethnic studies, women’s studies and American studies. And according to Anna Marum, who writes for the campus newspaper The Daily Evergreen, King stated that “Caucasians are slowly becoming the racial minority.”

Phil Tignino, a student at WSU and contributing writer to Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) blog site was the representative for YWC at the event. YWC is a relatively new organization with chapters in 12 different universities, mostly concentrated on the east coast.

Its mission statement “is to organize, educate, and train activists dedicated to the revival of Western Civilization. Hosting speakers, protests, educational events, and other activities to promote discourse and inspire action on issues of importance to the survival of our civilization.”

OneHH of the group’s founders, Marcus Epstein, is a frequent contributor to the white nationalist hate website VDARE.com. And according to Hate Watch, Southern Poverty Law Center’s blog, YWC appears to be a project of the Leadership Institute, which has ties to the Tanton Network.

YWC argued that diversity causes conflict. Furthermore Tignino contended that there is good and bad diversity, and that most university campuses and left-leaning institutions push for the latter. These institutions support bad diversity by funding multi-cultural groups which Tignino argues “get in the way of cohesive united community on campus by embracing” hyphenated American ethnic groups. Epstein wrote in one VDARE.com essay that “Diversity can be good in moderation — if what is being brought in is desirable.”

YWC argues that too much diversity is dangerous. “Too much diversity in too small a location leads to unrest, conflict, war and in some instances attempted genocide.”

Similar arguments about diversity in this country led to internment camps for the Japanese during World War II and the ghettoization of many Native American groups across the US. YWC, like other bigoted groups, pushes to destroy diversity by holding strong affection to white nationalism.

However, understanding the debate on diversity and multiculturalism is more than just about campus multicultural student groups and credited classes.  It is an ideological question for America’s future. According to Webster dictionary, diversity is defined as the condition of having or being composed of differing elements, variety especially: the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization.

Diversity is not about picking and choosing elements of different cultures that are of preference over others. Diversity is also not about trying to suppress aspects of different cultures while promoting a believed American one.

The US is built upon a diverse and rich history of immigration from all over the world not just European countries. As it states on the bottom of the statue of liberty “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” We are a country based upon values of freedom and democracy.  Promoting hatred is not one of them.

Shane Rasmussen who was the representative for GIESORC at WSU said “diversity should not be a question because it is a fact of life. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your heritage is, it just matters that you are; [and] united [in] the fact that we are all diverse together.”

Youth for Western Civilization has no place on a panel regarding diversity. Its hateful rhetoric and ties to white nationalism should place them where they belong - on the margins.   America is diverse. This is a fact of our nation and a fact that we should value and celebrate.

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