Stop Skidmore College from Approving the Young Americans for Liberty Club

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On Friday, March 5, Skidmore Club Affairs will meet to decide whether or not they will approve of the creation of a Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapter on campus. Should they approve the club it will then move to Senate for final approval before becoming an official Skidmore club with funding and backing from SGA. YAL chapters across the country have been springboards for hate speech and bigotry disguised as political discourse and their proclivity to spread hatred cannot be tolerated. 

  • In 2018 the American University YAL hosted an event originally titled “No, Don’t Believe All Women”,  with the editor for the Daily Caller, a site that the Southern Poverty Law Center has listed on their hate-watch project for their “ white nationalist problem”. 
  • In 2018 the University of Oregon's YAL chapter hosted Milo Yiannopoulos for an event during which he stated “I don’t want Muslims in the country. You have two kinds of Muslims in the country. One, you have the nice middle-class who are never going to blow themselves up in an airplane or in a public space, and the other kind of people you have in this country are terrorists, people who are here to commit terrible crimes.” 
  • In 2016 at UCLA a trio of students attended an event organized by the college’s YAL chapter titled “An Encroachment on Liberty: How the Left Exploits Transgender Laws” carrying signs among which read “transgenderism is a mental disorder!” 
  • In 2016 at a University of California Santa Barbara event organized by YAL in which members carried Yiannopoulos in on a throne “Yiannopoulos called the UCSB gender studies professors along with all gender studies professors carpet munchers and dykes. He repeatedly returned to the right-wing mainstays that all feminists are fat and ugly. He referred to the anger of black female protestors at DePaul, saying “maybe it’s ’cause I fucked all their brothers.”

YAL’s pattern of racism, homophobia, and transphobia cannot be disputed. Skidmore must make no space for this kind of open bigotry on campus. 

Since the beginning of the 2020 semester, the climate at Skidmore has become increasingly hostile to BIPOC and marginalized students. It is no coincidence that this club is being proposed following months of bold activism by students of color. It is also no coincidence that several of the board members for the proposed YAL club have time and time again voiced racist, antisemitic, rhetoric on campus. The would-be faculty advisor for this club also has a long history of defending hate-speech and dismissing women, femmes, and students of color within his classroom. 


Rather than aiding BIPOC students who felt unsafe leaving campus during election season after neo-nazi signage was placed on campus, or speaking out about the epidemic of anti-Asian racist rhetoric and aggression on campus, or, offering support to the women of color on campus who have been doxxed and threatened, those who are attempting to start this YAL chapter have instead chosen to center themselves as victims. If YAL members truly cared about freedom of speech they would focus their efforts on supporting the students of color who have literally received death threats for their writings and their activism. It is clear that the attempt to establish a YAL chapter is a reactionary response to students of color voicing their experiences and is an attempt to silence our voices. It’s time for Skidmore to decide whether it cares more about the comfort of white people or about the basic dignity and safety of students of color. 


By bringing this group on campus, Skidmore would be saying that they do not value the lives or the respect for marginalized students, faculty, or staff. It is abhorrent that this group which is openly affiliated with abusers, fascists, and racists advertises on campus and that they have received faculty endorsement at all. 


A disturbing number of YAL’s own official political endorsements have openly shown patterns of racism, antisemitism, and homophobia. 

  • Rand Paul has for years used his various newsletters to spread bigotry and to promote racist writers and publications. Over the years (among hundreds of other statements) his publications defended an anti-semitic Holocaust denier, blamed AIDS patients for their illness alleging that gay men were trying to  “poison the blood supply”, stated that it would be better for LGBTQIA people to remain closeted, suggested that Black protesters hold demonstrations at a crackhouse rather than the statue of liberty, and stated that “percent of the black males in that city {new york} are semi-criminal or entirely criminal". When confronted he denied having knowledge of any of the racist or homophobic statements despite the sheer number of bigoted articles and that the publications bore his name. 
  • Thomas Massie has flown a confederate flag outside his home, stating “I was not offended by it (and) I hadn't been taught to be offended by it” and remarked that “he hasn't seen an articulate person" in reference to Black Lives Matter activists.
  • Andrew Napolitano has been accused twice of sexual extortion, assault, and attempted rape, as well as of drugging a victim.
  • Jeff Deist is the president of the Mises Institute which the Southern Poverty Law Center has listed in their hate-watch project as “neo-Confederate”. Deist has also given a public address during which he remarked “blood and soil and God and nation still matter to people" (blood and soil referring to one of the most widely known and used slogans of Nazi German). The former vice-chairman of the Libertarian National Committee itself also denounced Deist saying "the Mises Institute has been turned into a sales funnel for the White Nationalist branch of the Alt-Right". 

YAL at Skidmore is another symptom of the disturbing unchecked normalization of bigotry on campus that continues to silence and endanger students of color. This club is nothing more than hatred disguised as political freedom. 

Sign the petition to tell SGA and Skidmore administration that we will not stand for hate on campus. When YAL is up for approval, urge your student representatives to reject their application. 

Sources: 

Washington Post: "Ron Paul signed off on racist 1990s newsletters, associates say" (2012)

Slate: Fifteen Years Ago, "Ron Paul Wasn’t Claiming Somebody Else Wrote His Newsletters" (2011)

Mother Jones: "10 Extreme Claims in Ron Paul’s Controversial Newsletters" (2012)

The Eagle: "Young Americans For Liberty chapter hosts controversial event with Daily Caller editor" (2021)

The Tab: "Everything that happened when Milo Yiannopoulos came to Oregon last night" (2016)

Daily Nexus UCSB: "Milo Yiannopoulos Is Cancer" (2016)

NBC Los Angeles: Controversy Over UCLA Students' Anti-Transgender Bathroom Signs (2016)

Courier-Journal: Rep. Thomas Massie called out by opponent for displaying Confederate battle flag at home (2020)

North Jersey.com: Second sex assault lawsuit claims Andrew Napolitano offered legal help for sexual favors (2020)

Arvin Vohra Facebook Status: (August 14, 2017)

Mises Institute: "For A New Liberteriane" (2017)

Newsweek: Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie Says He Does Not See 'Articulate' People Among George Floyd Protesters (2020)

Out.com: "Fox News' Andrew Napolitano Accused Of Sexual Assault By Two Men" (2020)

New Republic: “Angry White Man” (2008)