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March 18, 2015 7

White Supremacists Target Two Anti-Racist Intellectuals

Two white suprema­cist groups, National Youth Front (NYF) and Tra­di­tion­al­ist Youth Net­work (TYN), have launched a cam­paign against two intel­lec­tu­als whose work focuses on race– related issues. The two groups have orga­nized protests on cam­puses and used the Inter­net to gar­ner sup­port for their cause.

NYF member John Hess at protest in Arizona

NYF mem­ber John Hess at protest in Arizona

NYF, a branch of the white suprema­cist Amer­i­can Free­dom Party (AFP), has tar­geted Lee Bebout, an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of Eng­lish at Ari­zona State Uni­ver­sity (ASU) in Tempe. Pro­fes­sor Bebout is teach­ing a con­tro­ver­sial course called “U.S. Race The­ory and the Prob­lem of White­ness.” NYF mem­bers and sup­port­ers placed fliers declar­ing Bebout “anti-white” on cam­pus and in his neigh­bor­hood. White suprema­cist web sites such as Storm­front and Daily Stormer then pub­lished Pro­fes­sor Bebout’s con­tact infor­ma­tion. He has since received dozens of threat­en­ing and harass­ing emails and phone messages.

In early March, a small group of NYF sup­port­ers, includ­ing neo-Nazi Harry Hughes of the National Social­ist Move­ment, con­tin­ued their cam­paign against Pro­fes­sor Bebout by hold­ing a protest near ASU. Though NYF has tried to estab­lish chap­ters on var­i­ous cam­puses, the only area of real-world activ­ity appears to be at ASU. The group’s so-called direc­tor of national chap­ters, Dax­ter Reed (aka Daecca Reed) is based in North Car­olina. The leader of the group, Angelo John Gage, is a white suprema­cist based in New Jer­sey. He ran for U.S. Con­gress as an AFP can­di­date in 2014 and has done pod­casts on The White Voice, a racist Inter­net media site.

TYN, founded by white suprema­cists Matthew Heim­bach and Matt Par­rott in May 2013, has pro­moted a cam­paign against Tim Wise. Wise, an inde­pen­dent scholar, gives speeches about com­bat­ing racism at cam­puses around the coun­try. TYN mem­bers and sup­port­ers recently protested Wise’s speech at Indi­ana Uni­ver­sity at Bloom­ing­ton on March 11. Thomas Buhls, the head of the TYN chap­ter at IU—Bloomington, led a group of about 20 sup­port­ers who held signs against Wise and about end­ing “white guilt.” TYN has declared that Wise is anti-white.

Accord­ing to Buhls, a for­mer Klan mem­ber, TYN was joined at the protest by other white suprema­cists, includ­ing neo-Nazi Robert Rans­dell and mem­bers of hard­core racist skin­head group Supreme White Alliance. Buhls also reported that NYF mem­bers joined the protest, which was met by a larger crowd of anti-racist protestors.

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March 21, 2014 1

Divestment Resolutions Abound on U.S. Campuses This Week

In the wake of Israeli Apartheid Week, which recently wrapped up after tak­ing place on sev­eral dozen col­lege cam­puses dur­ing the month of March, divest­ment res­o­lu­tions were intro­duced on four U.S. col­lege cam­puses this loyoladivestweek.

Here’s a run­down on the res­o­lu­tions – two of which passed, two of which were held up – that were intro­duced this week:

Loy­ola Uni­ver­sity – Although the Loy­ola Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) chap­ter had dis­sem­i­nated a peti­tion urg­ing the uni­ver­sity to with­draw invest­ments in five cor­po­ra­tions, the cam­pus was blind­sided by the sur­prise intro­duc­tion of a divest­ment res­o­lu­tion in  the Stu­dent Sen­ate on Tues­day. The res­o­lu­tion, which passed by a vote of 26–0-2, had not pre­vi­ously been announced and stu­dents who sought to oppose it were not given the oppor­tu­nity to express their perspective.

Ari­zona State Uni­ver­sity – Also on Tues­day, a res­o­lu­tion call­ing on Ari­zona State Uni­ver­sity (ASU) to divest from Cater­pil­lar, which pro­vides heavy machin­ery to the Israeli army, was tabled by the Under­grad­u­ate Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment. The bill was intro­duced by the group “ASU Divest from Cater­pil­lar Inc.” and it will report­edly be amended and rein­tro­duced by ASU’s SJP chap­ter in the near future.

Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan – The Cen­tral Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment (CSG) was sched­uled to vote on a divest­ment res­o­lu­tion ini­ti­ated by the anti-Israel stu­dent group “Stu­dents Allied for Free­dom and Equal­ity” (SAFE). The meet­ing attracted an over­whelm­ingly large num­ber of stu­dents and as the room became over­crowded, the meet­ing was moved to another loca­tion on cam­pus where an announce­ment was made that the vot­ing ses­sion would be post­poned indef­i­nitely. Accord­ing to the Michi­gan Daily, the crowd then “pressed up against the stan­chions divid­ing the room and chanted ‘Divest’ at the CSG mem­bers for sev­eral min­utes.” In addi­tion, more than 100 stu­dents gath­ered out­side of the Michi­gan Union to rally in favor of divestment.

The fol­low­ing day, mem­bers of SAFE declared that they were con­duct­ing a “sit-in” near the stu­dent gov­ern­ment offices until the CSG would hold a vote on their divest­ment res­o­lu­tion. The stu­dents  took over the space and refused to leave until they were told that they would be arrested. Reports on Twit­ter indi­cate that mem­bers of the group are cur­rently recon­ven­ing for the third day of their “sit-in.”

San Diego State Uni­ver­sity – San Diego State University’s (SDSU) Stu­dent Diver­sity Com­mis­sion passed a divest­ment res­o­lu­tion by a vote of 11–6-2 on March 19. The res­o­lu­tion now will report­edly be brought before the uni­ver­sity council.

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June 6, 2012 1

Troubling BDS News on Campus?

Two devel­op­ments regard­ing boy­cott and divest­ment activ­ity on col­lege cam­puses hit the news this week. The first is that the stu­dent sen­ate at Ari­zona State Uni­ver­sity passed a res­o­lu­tion sup­port­ing divest­ment from a vari­ety of cor­po­ra­tions that the pro­po­nents claim are “com­plicit in human rights abuses in the occu­pied Pales­tin­ian Ter­ri­to­ries and Sudan.” The sec­ond is that a student-run café at Ever­green State Col­lege in Wash­ing­ton State, The Flam­ing Egg­plant Café, voted to boy­cott Israeli products.

While these announce­ments tend to cause rejoic­ing in the anti-Israel com­mu­nity, it is some­times best to take stock of the real impli­ca­tions of these devel­op­ments and con­sider them in their proper context.

In the case of Ever­green, it is not clear that the store pre­vi­ously car­ried Israeli prod­ucts and its deci­sion then to “boy­cott Israeli prod­ucts” might be heavy on announce­ment and light on actual prod­uct changes. Sim­i­larly, there is no evi­dence that Ari­zona State Uni­ver­sity has invest­ments in any of the com­pa­nies that were cited in the res­o­lu­tion. If the uni­ver­sity doesn’t, the res­o­lu­tion is ren­dered wholly irrelevant.

But even if the uni­ver­sity is invested in some of these com­pa­nies (which included, among oth­ers, Boe­ing, Cater­pil­lar, Motorola and United Tech­nolo­gies), the res­o­lu­tion is worded so blandly that it doesn’t seem like it has any bind­ing author­ity. The res­o­lu­tion pro­claims, “LET IT BE RESOLVED that Ari­zona State Uni­ver­sity Under­grad­u­ate Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment sup­ports on-campus divest­ment from…” [empha­sis added] It doesn’t actu­ally call on the uni­ver­sity to divest.

It is not likely that these recent devel­op­ments in the boy­cott and divest­ment cam­paign on cam­pus will have any con­crete impact. What is unfor­tu­nate, how­ever, is that they have the poten­tial to iso­late pro-Israel stu­dents and fur­ther cor­rode the atmos­phere on these campuses.

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