by Domenic Powell
A Youth for Western Civilization blogger from Towson University posted a photo urging people to “Hang Nelson Mandela and all ANC terrorists” on Monday, in a post that was later edited to remove the photo.
Matthew Heimbach, the aforementioned blogger, is the president of the Towson University chapter of the group. His keen sense of irony drove him to wear a Confederate uniform and pose with an African American man for his author headshot for the blog. Aside from apartheid in South Africa, his interests include the Confederacy, the League of the South, and the wildly Islamophobic coalition of football hooligans and neo-nazis known in the UK as the English Defence League (EDL).
The post itself is alternatively elegiac prose lamenting the decline of the white Afrikaner supremacy and a repudiation of Black South Africa. Completely absent from the post is any thought as to why Black South Africans would have ever wanted to overturn apartheid.
In addition to his YWC post, Heimbach is also a member of the Maryland chapter of the League of the South, which opposes interracial marriage and defends segregation as a policy designed to protect the “integrity” of the white race. Secession is also on the LOS menu. Michael Hill, the national leader of the group, once proclaimed that antebellum-era slavery was “God-ordained.” Heimbach, for his part, has spoken at LOS events. (Watch Heimbach discuss both YWC and LOS here).
YWC has a history of racially problematic posts. One post described some Providence College basketball players who were arrested for assault charges as being “intoxicated with ghetto swagger and their own primal rage.” The author of that post, Tim Dionisopolous, explains that racial difference is at the root of incidences such as these:
“Given the lily-white, suburbanite demographics of Providence College, the experiences and values of the basketball players are generally an ocean apart from the average student on campus.
This gap has unfortunately manifested itself in a series of incidents that include everything from one teammate smashing another with a tire iron, to another player assaulting his girlfriend on campus.”
Groups like YWC often hide behind free speech and the marketplace of ideas to justify their presence on campus; in Towson’s marketplace, YWC is propelling a recession.