At the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday, two members of the White Student Union at Towson University advocated for racial segregation and defended slavery. A presentation was being made at the CPAC by K. Carl Smith from Frederick Douglass Republicans. The presentation was about Republicans reaching out in better ways to minorities.
One member of the White Student Union, Scott Terry, challenged Smith about the inclusion of blacks in the GOP camp. The video of the encounter was captured by ThinkProgress.
In the video, you can hear Smith respond by citing a letter Douglass wrote. Douglass forgave his former owner in the letter. Terry interrupted with, “For giving him shelter and food? Why can’t we just have segregation?”
White Student Union “founder and commander,” Matthew Heimbach said that King was a “Marxist.” Terry spoke with The Guardian after the event and said that he is a descendant of Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president. He said that slavery is a “complicated issue. I can’t make one broad statement that categorically it was evil all the time because that’s not true.”
“Diversity is not a strength,” Heimbach said in an interview with the Baltimore Sun. “We’re being displaced from our own country,” in reference to immigration.
Towson University has been cautious with the group, not making moves to shut it down or to endorse it. The group has been labeled a hate group by The Southern Poverty Law Center. Heimbach said in response to the hate group label to Slate the following:
“You look at the SPLC, as fake as they are, they talk about how patriot groups are increasing in the Obama era. With a black face in charge of the White House, of the federal government, we know it’s foreign. We know something isn’t right.”
Close to 23 members of the White Student Union attended the CPAC event.