Founded last year, the White Student Union has stirred significant controversy already. The organization has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In addition, its founder, Matthew Heimbach (who goes by the title “Commander Heimbach”), and fellow organizer Scott Terry interrupted a minority outreach panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference this month in order to defend slavery, noting that slaveholders provided blacks with food and shelter. Terry later told ThinkProgress that African-Americans “should be allowed to vote in Africa” and he’d be “fine” living in a society where blacks are permanently subservient to whites.
The Towerlight has more on the vigilante plan:
The controversial White Student Union has resurfaced on Towson’s campus with plans to conduct random nighttime patrols, which members say are for students’ protection.
Some members of the group, equipped with flashlights, will conduct on-campus safety walks, and female members will carry pepper spray in an attempt to protect students from various crimes like sexual assaults and robberies, WSU President Matthew Heimbach said. [...]
Heimbach said female members have also been enrolling in self-defense classes, and members have been going to local gun ranges as a group, but not in a “military way,” Heimbach said.
He said group members would carry no weapons on the nighttime walks.
One need look no further than the White Student Union’s blog to see why their vigilante operations could turn problematic. In a blog post last month entitled “Black Crime Wave Continues!“, the group writes:
The frequent robberies, sexual assaults, and acts of vandalism at Towson University are not often reported in the local media. For those who are not Towson students it seems hard to fathom that every single day black predators prey upon the majority white Towson University student body. White Southern men have long been called to defend their communities when law enforcement and the State seem unwilling to protect our people.
As a result, the post reads, “The WSU executive board has unanimously approved to make it mandatory for all female WSU members to begin taking some form of unarmed self defense training over the next month.”
Though no Towson faculty would sign on as a sponsor for the WSU, the administration allows the group to use university resources. As the group bragged in September 2012, it is “excited to report that it has taken one step closer toward becoming recognized by Towson University,” pointing to its profile on a university website.