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Georgia State student: Opposing ‘White Student Union’ is ‘ignorant and closed-minded’

By David Edwards
Thursday, August 1, 2013 11:15 EDT
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Patrick Sharp (WXIA)
 
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The student who is responsible for creating a controversial “White Student Union” at Georgia State University has accused opponents of the group of being “ignorant and closed-minded.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday reported that official at the university had started receiving complaints soon after freshman Patrick Sharp started his club, which he says is intended to celebrate European and Euro-American history.

“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?” Sharp told the paper. “Why is it when a white person says he is proud to be white he’s shunned as a racist?”

About 38 percent of Georgia State students are white, while 35 percent are black, 12 percent are Asian and 7 percent are Latino.

Sharp told WXIA that he had been inspired by a White Student Union that had decided to “patrol” Towson University in Baltimore.

“I sort of took it upon myself, kind of with inspiration from Matthew Heimbach’s group in Maryland, at Towson University,” Sharp said.

But protest fliers have now started showing up on campus comparing Sharp’s group with Nazis and white supremacists.

“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 closed-minded,” he explained to WXIA. “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.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Doug Covey acknowledged that the university had received at least six complaints so far, but he said Sharp had a right to speech even if some found it offensive.

“The campus, as a public institution, is a place where freedom of speech and association and the liberal exchange of different points of few is cherished and protected,” Covey insisted. “And any group that wishes to seek recognition must meet the standards of alignment with institutional mission and non-discrimination. And any group which wishes to exist informally, without institutional affiliation, certainly is free to do so, just as a right of their citizenship.”

Watch this video from WXIA, broadcast Aug. 1, 2013.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
 
 
 
 
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