Many people, including myself, are puzzled about the White Student Union, a new student club at Georgia State University organized to recognize and appreciate white culture. Initially, I agreed with the idea of starting a white student union at Georgia State University. It seemed like a great idea. I felt that since there are other student clubs that reflect the different ethnic and cultural groups on campus, it shouldn’t be a problem starting a new White Student Union. However, as I continued my research, my perspective changed.
Having a white student club at a university where whites are not in the minority is unheard of in most teenager’s minds. According to Forbes.com, currently the majority of students attending are either white (35.89% ) or black or African American (37.47%). Clearly, whites are not the minority at Georgia State University, compared to, say, American Indians or Alaskan Natives who make up just 0.26% of the students. GSU White Student Union organizer Patrick Sharp told the AJC: “If we are already minorities on campus and are soon to be minorities in this country, why wouldn’t we have the right to advocate for ourselves and have a club just like every other minority?” While this contradicts the facts, every ethnic group has the right to start a student union or student club and many are well represented on GSU’s website under student cultural/multicultural organizations.
So, does this clear the path for Sharp’s club? In my eyes, no! According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit started by civil rights attorneys in 1971 to combat hate and bigotry, Sharp was inspired to start this club at GSU by Matthew Heimbach, the founder of the White Student Union at Towson University. Heimbach’s philosophy for his White Student Union is not exactly peachy either. In Heimbach’s own words, “This is our home and our kith and kin. Borders matter, identity matters, blood matters, libertarians and their capitalism can move to Somalia if they want to live without rules. In the West we must have standards and enforce them. The ‘freedom’ for other races to move freely into white nations is nonexistent. Stay in your own nations, we don’t want you here.” The SPLC has classified Heimbach’s club a hate group.
What a great person to use as a model for your student organization! Not only that, but Sharp has openly contradicted himself. In a recent interview with 11 Alive News, where he said, “You know, to say this is some closeted or curtained white supremacy, it’s pretty — and I’ll go ahead and turn their words around on them — it’s pretty ignorant and close-minded. It’s a pride organization, it’s a cultural organization. What we have is not hate for any other group . . . Whites are becoming a minority . . . We have a voice; we’re unique people, and we have every right to make that voice heard.”
According to Southern Poverty Law Center’s HateWatch blog, Sharp is a member of the white supremacy website Stormfront, and they link to the Liberty Lamp, a website that reports on right-wing racism, who found his screen name and posted screen shots of some of his white supremacist comments.
As these facts show, Patrick Sharp has not only contradicted himself about his intentions for this White Student Union student group at GSU, but he has presented himself as one person in the media and represented himself very differently on websites like Stormfront. Based on his digital imprint, GSU students like myself are now questioning Sharp’s motivation and inspiration for creating this campus “pride organization.”