Back in 2006, protestors at Michigan State University (MSU) confronted racist Congressman Tom Tancredo and disrupted his speech by chanting. In the aftermath, conservatives took to the airwaves claiming that Tancredo was the victim of violence.
Before the event, campus security removed two women who delayed Tancredo’s speech by stretching a 12-foot banner across the front of the classroom. It read, “No dialogue with hate.”
Police escorted the women into the hallway, amid more than 30 protesters who clashed with the officers trying to keep them out of the overcrowded classroom. After police released pepper spray and threatened the crowd with a Taser, the protesters gathered outside Bingham Hall.
The protesters relented, and Tancredo began to speak, describing failed state and federal legislation aimed at providing in-state tuition benefits for undocumented immigrants.
Two women stretched out another banner, first along one of the aisles and then right in front of Tancredo. Tancredo grabbed the middle of the banner and tried to pull it away from one of the girls. “You don’t want to hear what I have to say because you don’t agree with me,” he said.
The sound of breaking glass from behind a window shade interrupted the tug-of-war.
Tancredo was escorted from the room by campus police.
Event Follows Similar Script Tancredo’s Michigan State University Appearence
The event was surprisingly similar to Tancredo’s appearance at MSU in 2006. Like that event, the speech was organized by a student group that endorses racism and white supremacy under the guise of opposing “multiculturalism.” In this case, it was a group called “Youth for Western Civilization” a nationwide group that opposes undocumented immigration, multiculturalism, and affirmative action.
Of the group, its president said:
“This is an organization that seeks to promote Western civilization,” Matheson said at the event. “We believe that our civilization is under attack from liberal forces.”
Matheson said his organization supports people from every race participating in Western civilization, but that they must be properly assimilated to American culture first.
At Michigan State University, it was Young Americans for Freedom who organized Tancredo’s speech.
Tactically, the appearances were similar: the rightwing student group brought a controversial speaker to campus to provoke “violence” from leftist student groups, put members of their group in the crowd with video cameras to capture images of the “violence,” and then went on the news to denounce the left.
Those who have been following this blog for the past few years will remember that Young Americans for Freedom at MSU brought in a string of racist speakers–Chris Simcox, Nick Griffin, and Jared Taylor. The organization was later dubbed “a hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. However, every time we saw the same thing–invite a speaker with the hopes of provoking a confrontation and then use that in an attempt to gain more support for their cause.