|Matthew Heimbach, YWC leader at Towson|
The Towson University chapter of Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), a controversial, far-right nationwide student organization, has claimed responsibility for chalking the racist message, “white pride” all over the campus. Students at the school in Maryland often use chalk to write messages or advertise events on campus sidewalks.
The term “white pride” originated from and is commonly used by white supremacist groups, including neo-Nazis and racist skinheads. The leader of the YWC at Towson, Matthew Heimbach, asserted that the group wrote the message because it wanted to celebrate its own pride and heritage, as other groups on campus do.
As a nationwide group the YWC claims that its chapters are open to people of all backgrounds. However, YWC’s promotion of white pride at Towson belie that contention. This is not the first time the group has promoted white supremacist ideals. In the spring of 2011, the nationwide YWC did a joint fund-raising campaign with well-known white supremacist Jared Taylor.
When Heimbach addressed a meeting held by the school to deal with the racial tension that the “white pride” messages engendered, he reportedly wore a T-shirt with a Confederate flag in the front, further inflaming the situation. The Confederate flag is a racially charged symbol of hatred and slavery that is offensive to many people.