As has been publicized dozens (if not hundreds or thousands if we count social media) of times, the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) are, at the time of this writing, planning a "catch an illegal immigrant game" wherein students are encouraged to hunt "several people walking around the UT campus with the label 'illegal immigrant' on their clothing". While the YCT claim, according to the event's Facebook page, that "the purpose of [the game] is to spark a campus-wide discussion about the issue of illegal immigration" - the event is dripping, head to toe, with racism and bigotry.
To try to argue that "illegal immigrant" doesn't have pejorative connotations and a racialized definition would be, to be absolutely underwhelming, naive. The "illegal immigrant" label is used (and has been used historically) on UT campus, the city of Austin, and the entire United States as a means of dehumanizing, attacking, and degrading people of color. It is nothing short of a racist dog-whistle.
And this isn't the YCT's first flirting with explicitly racist politics. In 2005, the same group was under fire for planning, oddly enough, a "hunt an illegal immigrant game". The UT president at the time stated; "The proposed action by the Young Conservatives of Texas falls within their constitutional right of free expression and must be allowed to proceed, if they so insist. But I also wish to convey my view that it would be nothing more than a despicable display of inhumanity, having nothing to do with the American conservative tradition". And, while it is well and good to be "protecting free speech", the YCT group is marked by their incredibly insensitive, inhumane demonstrations that they stage with stunning precision. Earlier this year, they were the center of a controversy surrounding a "affirmative action" bake sale that advanced the racist narratives and rumors surrounding admissions practices.
While we, the undersigned, acknowledge and respect the university's role in allowing a diverse range of political organizations and demonstrations under the banner of "free speech", the University has an obligation to its students to roundly denounce harmful, alienating narratives and, in doing so, make the University a safe environment to historically oppressed groups. The YCT have routinely hidden behind the University's adherence to "free speech" as a means of attacking, intimidating, and degrading non-white students on campus. They have a documented history of attacking specific racial groups, playing on xenophobic hysteria, and being, as Faulkner said, "inhumane". Therefor, we formally request that the Dean of Students revoke the YCT's status as an officially registered student organization. Should the university fail revoke the YCT's status as an officially registered student organization, it will be making the implicit claim that not only are outlandishly racist events ignored by the tower, but that all students of color are fair targets for future "hunts".
- President of the University of Texas at Austin
- Assistant Dean of Students
Revoke Young Conservatives of Texas's status as a "registered student organization"
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