MSU Sons of Liberty invite British race-baiter to speak on climate change

Nick Griffin with Kyle Brisow of YAF on campus last time

Nick Griffin with Kyle Brisow of YAF on campus last time

Nick Griffin of the notorious British National Party appears to be planning a return visit to the Michigan State University campus, this time as a speaker recruited by the new MSU student group Sons of Liberty. (See links to news articles in the Michigan Messenger and Western Voices World News.)

The American Renaissance website says that MSU student Jordan Zammit heads the new Sons of Liberty student group. The site quotes him as saying, “It is an honor to host a distinguished speaker like Nick Griffin. His views will greatly contribute to the marketplace of ideas which is a fundamental aspect of a collegiate education.”

Attempts to reach Zammit for comment have failed. The telephone number listed for him on the MSU website has been disconnected, and my “friend” request on Facebook posted earlier today has not elicited any response. Calls to Student Life at MSU to discover whether the Sons of Liberty is indeed a recognized student group proved fruitless. The receptionist said she knew nothing, and a message left on her superior’s voicemail asking for contact information and the name of the faculty adviser has yet to result in a callback.

The MSU Sons of Liberty have apparently invited Griffin to expand on his contention that global warming is nothing more than a “secular religious hysteria.” As Griffin says in the video below, the left is promoting climate change as a threat to allow western governments to rob citizens of their freedoms, an increasingly popular meme among Glenn Beck devotees.

Griffin came to campus before with avowed anti-immigrationist Chris Simcox, the founder of the Minutemen. The group conducted patrols on the U.S. border with Mexico during the height of anti-immigration fervor a few years ago.

Simcox was invited to speak by the MSU Young Americans for Freedom chapter, the first campus group ever cited as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Simcox visit resulted in a disruption that resulted the arrest of a number of MSU students. (The bottom two videos at the end of this page show the disruption that occurred when Simcox tried to speak and then video of the five protesters who were arrested.)

Ben Smith of Politico says Simcox is now considering a primary challenge to oust Senator John McCain.

Inviting Griffin back to campus seems intended to provoke outrage more than to illuminate the issues. If the student group can infuriate enough people no doubt they will portray themselves as martyrs, an unhealthy narrative in right-wing politics these days, in evidence during sister Sarah Palin’s appearance at the Tea Party convention in Nashville last weekend.

It actually makes me sad to see the Tea Partyers, Minutemen and Sons of Liberty pretend that they are the logical successors of Thomas Jefferson, Tom Paine and Ben Franklin. That’s like saying Pol Pot carried on the work of Mahatma Ghandi because both were concerned with agrarian reform.

How about this time we just ignore the SOL student group and its odious guest? Wouldn’t that be a fitting way to marginalize them?

Bonnie Bucqueroux retired from Michigan State University's School of Journalism to experiment with online publications, including Lansing Online News. She is also co-president (with Susan Masten) of Lansing Area NOW.

5 responses to “MSU Sons of Liberty invite British race-baiter to speak on climate change”

  1. Chris Singer

    I agree Bonnie. My advice would be not to go protest – it’s what they want. They want to create a stir and if you raise a ruckus you give them what they want.

  2. James

    Instead of “ignoring” Mr. Griffin, which you’ve already failed to do by writing this article and promoting the event for him . . why not do something really radical, like show up with an open mind and actually listen to what he has to say, and THEN make a judgment based on actual events rather than some biased online article?

  3. Bonnie Bucqueroux

    James, the wonders of YouTube allow me to view Mr. Griffin’s uninformed and incendiary comments without having to give him the satisfaction of drawing a crowd. That’s the wonder of the Internet, in my book. We all have only so many minutes in our lives, and I do not want to waste any more of mine on fascist ranting.

  4. J. Edward Tremlett

    I’m of two minds on not showing up. On one hand, it’s depriving them of the ability to say their ideas are being suppressed. On the other, it sort of gives them the idea they can say what they like and not be called on it.

    I’m wondering if this isn’t a total gag, too. Are we sure this is actually happening?

  5. Bonnie Bucqueroux

    Mr. Tremlett makes a good point. We do need to make sure that our silence does not look like assent. And you are right – the previous student group of the same ilk, YAF (Young Americans for Freedom), was famous for announcing controversial events they never ended up holding. The SOL organizer has not returned our messages. We will keep you posted about whether this event ever takes place.

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