A plan to have unarmed students patrolling the campus of Towson University in Maryland on foot has sparked accusations of racism.
The planned patrols are the brainchild of senior Mathew Heimbach, who also happens to head a group called the White Student Union.
Heimbach has written on his blog that Towson is experiencing a “black crime wave” with “black predators” preying on the “white majority student body.”
“Just like I wouldn’t be offended if — when you talk about serial killers, the average serial killer is a blue-collar, educated white male,” Heimbach told News4’s Jim Rosenfield.
“It doesn’t offend me to be able to talk about the facts,” Heimbachsaid.
Other students disagree. One black student told Rosenfield, “I thought [Heimbach’s statements were] racist, but they have their freedom of speech.”
“Certain things are just ingrained in you by your cultural values and what you were taught as a kid,” a white student said.
Heimbach’s group is not university-sanctioned, but it has attracted the attention of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which lists the White Student Union on a so-called “hate map” of white supremacist groups.
“I’m not a future leader of hate,” Heimbach says. “What I want to do in my entire life is enter seminary and become an Orthodox priest.”
Heimbach hopes to begin the patrols early next week.