Dr. Ibram X. Kendi makes his voice heard in the media storm of GSU’s new unofficial “White Student Union”

Photos: WSB Radio / Diverse Education

Photos: WSB Radio / Diverse Education

Weeks ago we reported that “some dumb kid” started a fake White Student Union on Georgia State University’s campus. Later we found that not only was it not fake, but the founder of the WSU had ties to several neo-Nazi hate groups and, as Huffington Post also reported, had espoused racially charged and bigoted remarks under usernames ‘frozenpie77′ and ‘sportline’, referring to Blacks as ‘niggs’ and ‘darkies’ while advocating for “Blacks who act aggressively” to be beaten up.

Patrick Sharp has adjusted his stance for why he wants a White Student Union on campus to the media several times, even to the point of removing the Traditionalist Youth Network off of his WSU’s ‘sister sites’ category (but they still list his group as a chapter) and apologizing for comments he made under what he thought was Internet anonymity, but the discourse is finally shifting away from Sharp.

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, an assistant professor of African studies at University of Albany — SUNY and author of the book The Black Campus Movement: Black Students and the Racial Reconstitution of Higher Education, 1965-1972 wrote a piece about the newest wave of white supremacy and Euro-centric “pride” that has cropped up since Matt Heimbach created a WSU at Towson University to intimidate people of other cultures, which has since been listed as a hate group.

Dr. Kendie’s piece in Diverse Education speaks on the history of Heimbach’s “activism” and explains that

“Sharp, Heimbach, and their WSUs are sprouting from the “identitarianism” movement, sailing to the United States from its birthplace and haven in Western Europe. The movement is openly embracing whiteness and Euro-centric thought. Since the 1960s, many people have privately and unconsciously embraced whiteness and Euro-centric thought, and have shown this embrace in public using non-raced terms. These identitarians consciously and publicly use race terms. They say every other race is doing it, so why not white people.”

He goes on to separate this “identitarianism” movement from the White Studies movement which actually sought to explore white racial identity and its affects on other cultures.

“These scholars,” he wrote, “have shown that to “promote a sense of ‘White identity,’” as the Georgia State WSU strives to do, is to promote identification of racial superiority.”

But Dr. Kendi doesn’t think the groups shouldn’t exist. In fact, he believes that the inherent reaction by many to denounce the groups and destroy them is not the best response. Instead, Dr. Kendi believes that they should be challenged in debate, otherwise, he warns, “They merely go underground, joining the ranks of the unrecognized, unknown White supremacist organizations that are probably operating behind closed doors on most of our campuses…”

Let them exist. Let them proselytize their messages of hatred, ignorance and bigotry. Let them be who they are and then promptly use counterarguments to attempt to talk some sense into them. Dr. Kendi advises, “use them as examples of one form of racism.”

Whatever the objective of Sharp or Heimbach — or any other like-minded White male Americans –  their fear of falling from power is probably not unfounded — but it does not excuse messages of hate, the claiming of their group as a “minority,” or the wrongful indication that the continuation of White supremacy defines White identity. Ethnocentrism is implicit in all species, but some of us like to rise above our baser instincts and use our intelligence and compassion to cooperate with and understand all cultures and races. Unfortunately, that is not what people like Sharp or Heimbach want. They want nothing more than a continuation of the control and superiority White men have had a strangle hold on for centuries. It’s time someone else took charge; they haven’t been doing such an excellent job in the realm of rational thought.

Morgan Mornet

Morgan is a magna cum laude graduate of Georgia State University's journalism program with a focus on public relations and a minor in English. Good thing she also decided to take lots of news and media writing electives along with a study abroad trip to Istanbul, Turkey that focused on media, business and journalism in a global context because it turns out she loves reading news, advocating for progressive civil rights and then telling other people about it. She covers "hard" local and associated news stories in the South for Biscuette, freelances and assists with media analysis and relations at an Atlanta-based international non-profit. 

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