My Michigan Messenger colleague Todd Heywood reports on a speech at MSU by Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party. Griffin was invited to speak at MSU by the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at the university. YAF has been complaining for months about being listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and to be fair, I do think the SPLC tends to throw around that label a bit too casually at times. But not, it would seem, in this case.
If you don’t want to be considered a racist hate group, you don’t invite people like Griffin to speak. And you certainly don’t put out press releases gushing over Griffin like this:
Kyle Bristow, the chairman of Michigan State University chapter of YAF, said, “It is an honor to host Nick Griffin at my university. Griffin is going to explain how multiculturalism, mass immigration, and Islam are destroying Western civilization.”
Now, words like “multiculturalism” can mean many things, and I don’t believe that being opposed to illegal immigration or being a fierce critic of Islam (as I am myself) makes one a racist; but one doesn’t have to dig far to find out that what Griffin means by being opposed to “multiculturalism” and “mass immigration” is that he is opposed to whites mixing with other races at all. The constitution of the party he leads makes this quite clear:
The British National Party stands for the preservation of the national and ethnic
character of the British people and is wholly opposed to any form of racial integration between British and non-European peoples. It is therefore committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration and to restoring, by legal changes, negotiation and consent, the overwhelmingly white makeup of the British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948.
The BNP, unsurprisingly, limits their membership to those of white European descent. Griffin also preaches holocaust denial. He says that hundreds, “maybe thousands”, of Jews were killed in Eastern Europe by the Nazis because they were communists, but that the existence of gas chambers were “nonsense” (see video here). And during his appearance at MSU, as Todd reported, he had similar things to say.
For instance, he said that would “shove homosexuals back in the closet and kill them.” He also said, “We don’t believe in integration. Integration is extermination.” And, “”You seek to deny the white people of the world the right to collect in their own community and self determinations; then you are a racist.” That’s all standard white supremacist rhetoric.
He was accompanied at his appearance at MSU by Preston Wiginton, who was co-administrator with MSU YAF leader Bristow of a white supremacist Facebook group. Wiginton has long posted on the white supremacist website Stormfront.org. When confronted about that at MSU, he replied:
“I have not been to Stormfront in a year,” said Preston Wiginton to questions about his ties to the white supremacy website.
Oh, well, I guess that settles it. “How dare you say I’m a white supremacist, I haven’t been to a KKK cross burning in months.” That was also a lie, by the way, as a search shows that he has been posting on the Stormfront forums under his usual nickname, True American Patriot, as recently as July 29th of this year. And some of what he has to say is quite interesting. Like in this post, where he talks about the need to commit violence against “muds” (meaning, of course, dark-skinned people):
Beating down a mud when they try to poisen one of our own or when they try to seduce one of our girls may not be God inspired, but rather a rightous act of collective preservation.
Love the predictable misspellings; why is it that white supremacists rarely have anything about which to genuinely feel superior? Or this post, where he brags about having put more than $50,000 into “White Nationalism” in 2006.
YAF may not like being called a hate group, but they’re just ducking into the punch. You invite white supremacists to speak on campus and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s game, set and match. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.
Let me say one more thing: there were not only attempts by opposition groups at MSU to disrupt the speech, there were also threats of violence. Todd reports that a group of protesters chased some YAFers around campus. They also did the same thing they did last year when they pulled the fire alarms during Tancredo’s speech. This kind of action I condemn without reservation; those who engaged in it should be arrested and charged and, if they are students, disciplined by the university. Whether they are racist or not, the same first amendment that protects our speech also protects theirs. And kudos to Todd Heywood for speaking out against those actions.