Katrina A. Goggins, AP, April 12, 2007
The NAACP plans a summit Saturday to address racism on college campuses months after white students at Clemson University held a party mocking black stereotypes and after the founder of a white supremacist group spoke there earlier this week.
“This meeting will be the first step in creating positive changes for all students in South Carolina,” NAACP state Youth and College Division president Quentin James said of the summit planned at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.
“We have a lot of work to do,” said Dwight James, executive director of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “A lot of people have to wake up to what’s going on on campuses.”
James said some Clemson students were upset about the visit by Jared Taylor, founder of the Oakton, Va.-based New Century Foundation, who was invited by a student organization to speak at the campus Monday.
Taylor said he does not view himself as a white supremacist even though he believes whites are genetically superior to blacks. Taylor, who spoke against diversity in his speech Monday, has said the white race is losing its identity in the United States because of multiculturalism and immigration. Some of his comments were posted on the student organization’s Facebook page, according to the state NAACP.
“He believes that diversity causes problems,” said Stephen Webster with the New Century Foundation. “It’s not the strength that everybody says that it is and that it is in fact a weakness.”
His speech came just a few months after a party at which white students mocked black stereotypes by drinking malt liquor and at least one student dressed in black face.
Clemson president James Barker issued a statement by e-mail Wednesday, calling for “a stronger, more inclusive university.”
The NAACP is investigating incidents at Clemson and other colleges and universities around the country, James said.