Youth for Western Civilization
|Motto||Defending the West on Campus|
|Type||Youth activist group|
|Roughly 10 members at each chapter|
Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) was a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States. It was founded by Kevin DeAnna. Its honorary chairman was former Colorado US Representative Tom Tancredo.
The group opposed what it viewed as "radical multiculturalism, socialism, and mass immigration" and a "poisonous and bigoted leftist campus climate".
YWC was a more conservative and issue-specific alternative to groups such as the College Republicans (CRs), but many of its leaders and active members were also involved in the CRs, and YWC was represented at the 2009 National CR Convention.
YWC was organized on at least seven university campuses. According to its website, the group hoped to inspire Western youth on the "basis of pride in their American and Western heritage", defeat "leftism on campus", and create a right-wing subculture as an alternative to what it calls a "poisonous and bigoted" campus climate.
YWC's mission statement was "to organize, educate, and train activists dedicated to the revival of Western Civilization":
- Organize: Youth for Western Civilization will identify and organize students to form chapters that will host speakers, protests, educational events, and other activities to promote discourse and inspire action on issues of importance to the survival of our civilization.
- Educate: Youth for Western Civilization will print a publication and host study groups and discussions for the benefit of our members and the public at large.
- Train: Youth for Western Civilization will host conferences, training workshops, and education in political technology to make members more effective in executing the goals stated above.
The mission page stated that YWC had "the self-evident right and duty to work for the survival of our own culture and civilization". It asserted that "Western Civilization has also given priceless gifts to the rest of mankind, including advances in medicine, the arts, and scientific exploration" and that it received "continual assault and hatred" from the "radical left".
YWC had chapters at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Vanderbilt University, American University, Elon University, the University of Connecticut-Storrs, Liberty University, Boise State University, Bentley University, and Towson University; there was also a chapter at Providence College recognized by the national organization but not by the school.
The logo of YWC, in black and white, featured a hand gripping an object. According to the group, the object was a hammer carried by Charles Martel, who stopped the impending Islamic expansion into Europe during its early years. However, the logo was criticized by some who say it closely resembled a fasces.
YWC members engaged in a range of activities, including protesting a performance of The Vagina Monologues, and bringing speakers such as Tom Tancredo, Robert Spencer, and Bay Buchanan to university campuses.
On October 5, 2009, the Vanderbilt YWC chapter protested at the site of a Wachovia Bank in Nashville because of Wachovia's affiliation with the now-defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
Tom Tancredo incident
On April 14, 2009, campus police at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill used pepper spray and the threat of Tasers against protesters outside the room where Tom Tancredo was scheduled to speak to YWC against in-state tuition benefits for illegal immigrants. The group's president, Riley Matheson, attempted to introduce Tancredo but was shouted down by protesters. When Tancredo appeared, he was booed with shouts of "racist" and "white supremacist". He attempted for several minutes to speak but was repeatedly shouted down.
A window was smashed a few feet from Tancredo. Two protesters held a sign reading "No Dialogue with Hate" in front of Tancredo's face. Tancredo was eventually escorted out of the room by the police.
Tancredo later claimed that a police officer accidentally broke Tancredo's middle toe by stomping on his foot, as the officer attempted to escort the speaker through a crowd of protesters.
UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor Holden Thorp and UNC System President Erskine Bowles called Tancredo to apologize for the incident. The head of the American Civil Liberties Union in North Carolina said that the video of the incident was "chilling" and "de facto censorship".
Tancredo returned to UNC-Chapel Hill on April 25 to speak, again at the invitation of YWC. During his second appearance, Tancredo gave a brief speech entitled "Is Western civilization worth saving?" He was interrupted once, when two thirds of the audience stood up, chanted "No human being is illegal" and filed out of the room. Tancredo finished his speech and took questions while protesters rallied in the Pit, outside.
On September 18, 2009, Elliot Cramer, the faculty adviser for the University of North Carolina branch of the YWC, resigned after writing in an e-mail that he had a gun and knew how to use it. The e-mail came in response to brochures opposing the organization and had Cramer's photograph, home address and telephone number. It said in bold letters, "Why is your professor supporting white supremacy?"
Nikhil Patel, president of the university's chapter of the YWC, sent an e-mail to Cramer notifying him of the brochures and saying that he was concerned for his safety. Cramer responded to the e-mail with "I have a Colt 45 and I know how to use it. I used to be able to hit a quarter at 50 feet seven times out of 10." Cramer also sent Patel's letter and his reply to the chancellor of the university, Holden Thorp.
Thorp then contacted Cramer, expressing concern that this e-mail might be used against the university and ultimately asked him to resign from the faculty adviser position. He said Cramer's statement was "highly inappropriate and not consistent with the civil discourse we are trying to achieve". Cramer explained to the chancellor that this was not meant to be taken seriously but that the chancellor should know about the distribution of these brochures.
Three advisers were appointed to replace Cramer.
- "About Youth for Western Civilization". Youth for Western Civilization. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- "Youth for Western Civilization group at Vanderbilt stirs furor". Retrieved May 27, 2009.[dead link]
- "Western Expansion". Retrieved May 28, 2009.
- "Right-Wing College Group Riles Students on Campuses Nationwide". Fox News. April 29, 2009. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
- YWC Represented at College Republican National Convention. Youth for Western Civilization. Accessed July 16, 2009.
- "Our Mission". Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- Devin Saucier. "Wachovia ACORN Protest". Youth for Western Civilization.
- DeConto, Jesse James (April 16, 2009). "UNC leaders apologize for speech fiasco". Raleigh News & Observer. Retrieved July 13, 2009.[dead link]
- Hoxworth, Laura (April 15, 2009). "Protesters Stop Speech". The Daily Tar Heel. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
- Harrell, Andrew (2009-09-18). "YWC adviser steps down at Thorp's request". The Daily Tar Heel. Retrieved 2009-12-06.