Students Debate Anti-MLK Demonstrator

Trevor Stevens, The Battalion, January 20, 2012

A crowd of students stood shoulder-to-shoulder near the Sul Ross Statue in Academic Plaza Wednesday morning, peacefully protesting the demonstration of a former skinhead and Aggie, Preston Wiginton.

“[Wiginton] is here because of the MLK breakfast with Harry Belafonte, who was a friend of Dr. King,” said Valery Owen, senior university studies major. “His main message is to talk about Dr. King and the shortcomings of Dr. King.”

Senior American studies major April Williams, who comes from a family of mixed heritages, said Wiginton was protesting MLK because the reverend fell short morally. She countered that everyone has shortcomings, which doesn’t take away from the fact that MLK was an amazing man.

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During the discussion, Wiginton said he considers himself a “tribalist,” advocating “complete sovereignty and separation” of different ethnicities.

When asked by a student in the crowd whether he believed there was a superior race, Wiginton said he thinks separate tribes have different superiorities—“they have different things that they’re good at,” he said.

“There is no such thing as equality in the world: some people are smarter; some people are faster; some people jump higher,” Wiginton said. “How many white people run under a 10-second 100-meter dash?”

Wiginton’s original focus was to present his point—before the Dr. Martin Luther King Breakfast—that civil rights “is not good for America” and that it “destroyed the black family.”

Wiginton said when the welfare state was pushed in the name of economic equality, “the black woman” no longer needed a man in her life to provide for a family—the state became the father.

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Wiginton’s arrival at Academic Plaza was met with a gathering of students. Some quietly held signs, others reviewed notes of online research about Wiginton and more discussed their predictions of the anticipated protestor. Though the discussion of Wiginton’s presence on campus and his political beliefs included the shouting of labels such as “racist” or, from Wiginton, a sign that read “poopy-face liberal,” the event contained no physical violence.

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