November 4, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 36  

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NEWS

Caucasian Club causes stir - no burning crosses, yet

By Dan Perry
Gazette Staff

A controversial new student “club” at Western is causing a stir: CaucasianClubUWO, a Yahoo! discussion group, has invited many students by mass e-mail to join.

Many students, professors and even The Gazette received the SPAM invitation in their Western Mail boxes from “Lara Love,” who also goes by the moniker “diversitysnow,” the moderator of the group.

The invitation read as follows: We are the Caucasian Club of University of Western Ontario! We celebrate diversity, inclusiveness and mutual understanding. Everybody can join. Please don’t be mistaken because of the naming of the club. We are actually inclusive and we celebrate multiculturalism and tolerance.

“I received the initial SPAM, which I found disturbing. I wrote back and asked to be removed from the list,” said Sasha Torres, a professor of media, information and technoculture at Western.

“Ku Klux Klan [for example] has always mixed the ‘celebration’ of white identity or European heritage with terrorist acts against black people; that’s what they do. I’m not saying that anyone in this group is interested in carrying out racial terrorism against members of the [Western] community, but I am saying the celebration of so-called white culture has historically gone hand-in-hand with violence,” Torres explained.

The e-mail sparked some concern from Whose Improv is it Anyway? club president Nick Caughey.

“I felt this e-mail could have some negative connotations and maybe should be exposed. Or maybe shit like this happens all the time and this is just a sick prank.

USC general manager Mark Sellars clarified the relation of the club to the council: “The Caucasian Club is not now, nor ever has been an official USC club. As far as I am aware, we have never received a request to ratify a Caucasian Club, nor were we aware of its existence before [last] week.”

The Gazette, in response to several concerned e-mails received since the group’s inception on Oct. 21, began monitoring its online discussion board, which has been visited and contributed to by representatives of such groups as the Euro-American Issues Forum and American Renaissance, as well as one user’s daily posts (which have since been deleted) entitled “This Day in Caucasian History.”

Love claims in her messages to have deleted the history posts due to “inflammatory” and “homophobic” content; Love, however, has come under scrutiny as the sole censor from several sources, including other professors, students and citizens, both on the site and off (see box, below).

Love responded to The Gazette’s request for an interview, which was subsequently posted on the discussion board.

“It doesn’t seem like a good time for an interview. I don’t even understand why there’s so much negativity surrounding a ‘racial identity’ label that already has de facto recognition in our society and is affecting our everyday life, relation with others and self-perception,” she wrote.

USC VP-campus issues Adrienne Kennedy said it was not healthy to have this kind of group on campus. “The mere name, I think, could invite white supremacist groups, in an extreme case,” she added. “I don’t think [the club’s] name is in-line with its [stated] mandate.”


The following are verbatim quotes from the CaucasianClubUWO discussion group:

“I’m concerned that on a list that supports diversity, [one member’s] comments seem to have been deleted.”

“I’d hate to think that if I said something you didn’t like, you could just wipe it out .”

“There is nothing wrong with people being proud of their race (i.e. white nationalism).”

“If this isn’t going to be a place where white people can be proud and euro-centric without being censored and marginalized, and where free speech is not allowed even, then it’s not what I signed up for.”
“How can you have an unmoderated club that is moderated by diversitysnow in the secret corners of her dorm room?”

“When is something too racist to print, Diversity? Why do you alone have the power to determine this?”

“If [the questions] can’t be asked here, I’m not sure where they could be.”

“Why is your message board closed to the public?”

“If whiteness is not ‘unique,’ why do you have a ‘whiteness club?’ This seems to be a contradictory logic.”

“Why chose this name when you know what its associations are?”
“How is a white club an evasion of/resistance to ‘identity politics?”

“I’m concerned that having a discussion about race in a ‘white club’ (that you moderate) is a desire to explore race and racism on your own terms.”

“There is no reason why every other group can have a club and ours is a ‘horror.’”

“Is a claim being made that whites are suffering oppression? Many minorities would view that as offensive and insensitive.”

“I don’t believe there’s any dialogue going on in the list, but rather a series of monologues. A number of those monologues are racist or white supremacist.”

“If you are calling me a racist, may I call you a bigot? Since you feel that your view of the world is the only one that is legitimate, I believe that epithet is proper.”
“Who would you rather help? Steve or your Muslim friends?”

“Was [one member] trolling for white organizations online, or did you invite him to join the club?”

“The KKK wore masks because they had something to hide. What are you hiding?”

“I’m surprised that not wanting my race to go extinct, if not merely for the same reason that I don’t want mountain gorillas to go extinct, would warrant having discussion of my being kicked out of this forum.”

“Some folks I’ve talked to at UWO worry [the club] might be a front for white supremacists — at the very least, we can see that the name attracts them.”

“Since Diversity refuses to identify herself on campus (though I’ve heard a rumour The Gazette knows who she is) — she could never get a truly legitimate club.”

 

 

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