A TAC Success Story

April 2009

University of North Carolina undergraduate Riley Matheson was always an avid conservative, but not politically active. A classics major, he didn't have much time for groups like the College Republicans.

According to Riley, "As a traditional Catholic with nine brothers and sisters, I naturally identified with Pat Buchanan, and read all his books. The more I read, the less I wanted to be involved with the establishment Republican Party." Instead he applied for an internship at The American Cause last summer after his junior year in college. "Being able to work side by side with Bay on issues I really care about made me more passionate to get involved."

While in DC, he also took activism seminars at the Leadership Institute, an organization that helps train and organizes young conservative leaders. Returning to UNC, started up a chapter of Youth for Western Civilization-a national campus group dedicated to fighting radical multiculturalism, racial preferences, and mass immigration.

After spending the first semester recruiting members and the even harder task of finding a faculty advisor, the group was finally launched. He brought Bay to speak this March on multiculturalism and assimilation. According to Riley, "she gave a great talk and we got a pretty good crowd, but I was actually surprised how little opposition there was to the speech." He had no idea just how much opposition he'd get when he brought his next speaker, former Congressman Tom Tancredo who also serves as honorary chairman for Youth for Western Civilization.

Left wing groups at UNC had been urging the school to open up its doors to illegal aliens. The issue was on the floor North Carolina legislature. Polls showed that 70% of North Carolinians opposed allowing illegal aliens to enroll. Far from being an "extremist," the vast majority of the State agreed with Tom.

After Bay's speech the Campus Left began to take notice of the group, and when YWC announced Tancredo's speech, they pounded. They created a petition called "No Space for Hate" that accused Riley an Congressman Tancredo of not representing "a campus culture that respects differences and is a safe place for everyone to learn and grow."

When Congressman Tancredo came to campus, the reaction was unprecedented. Hundreds of left wing protesters showed their respect for diversity by chanting "Shut them down, we don't want racists in our town." When Tancredo began his speech, two students took a 20 foot banner stating "No One Is Illegal" and marched right in front of him. As he tried to deal with the banner carriers, a protester tossed a brick through the window; and soon the protester began attacking the police who had to use mace to subdue them and escorted Tancredo out. Talk about "a safe place for everyone to learn and grow."

Congressman Tancredo is no stranger to rowdy left-wingers  on campuses, but even he was shocked. "I'm used to kids trying to make a ruckus, but this is the first time that I've seen professors egging them on." The event became an instant nationwide story. The Drudge Report put links to the videos, and Tom and Riley appeared on dozens of TV and radio programs. The American Cause helped out by contacting North Carolina congressmen Walter Jones and Howard Coble and a number of state reps to demand the University take action against the protesters.

Rep. Jones went on to denounce them on the Congressional Record. Even the ACLU and National Council of La Raza made qualified criticism of the protesters. The Cause then helped bring former Congressman Virgil Goode one week later to finish Tom's interrupted speech and also talk about how modern concepts of "hate speech" and multiculturalism are at odds with free speech and democratic values.

After all the bad press from Tom's event, the school made sure the protesters were relatively well behaved. Campus police warned that anyone who disrupted the speech would be arrested. Six protesters were taken away. Many more used more cowardly means such as trying to set off fire alarms or placing time set noisemaking devices.

Riley is pleased that UNC and America as a whole is standing with him in the name of free speech, but still thinks much needs to be done. "Most people who criticized the protesters still suggested that Tancredo and our group are racist and extreme, but the positions we are taking on immigration and affirmative action are shared by the majority of the American people. The real extremists are the left wing protesters and the professors who indoctrinate them."