Student Confrontation At UMD Captured On Video

DULUTH, Minn. (WCCO) — A YouTube video of a confrontation between an African American student activist and a conservative group on the UMD campus has gotten more than 80,000 views in the past week. It’s now prompting a debate on free speech and what should and should not be allowed on college campuses.

The video was posted by Youth for Western Civilization, a group with chapters on nine college campuses that opposes multi-culturalism and affirmative action. The youth group said the video shows them threatened, not only by the African American student, but also by UMD staff.

The incident captured by a video camera was shot by the conservative youth group and edited. The group posted the video under the heading “Black Panther threatens Conservative for passing out free Pocket constitutions.”

In it, a UMD student approaches the campussite where Youth for Western Civilization is passing out literature. On the tape you can hear an exchange between two students.

“If you threaten the multi-cultural center you will shoot me,” said one person.

“I didn’t say that,” said the other person.

Here’s the video from YouTube

Officials with the Youth for Western Civilization did not return our email inquires for interviews. Its website features positions against affirmative action and said that Western Civilization is under assault from the radical left.

In the video, a woman who is an administrator for UMD goes over to look at the group’s literature. The administrator can be heard asking on the tape, “Is this a white supremacist group?”

A young man responds, “Absolutely not.”

The administrator responds, “Well it looks like one.”

UMD issued a statement saying the administrators comment was based on the literature she saw on the table. Professor David Schultz, a constitutional expert at Hamline University, said while private universities can limit speech, the constitution protects almost all speech at universities, including everything that appears in the video.

“You have individuals who are out leafleting  who are distributing the U.S. Constitution who support one group, and you have another group that is criticizing them in terms of their leafleting. It’s perfectly legitimate and there is absolutely nothing the university could have done,” Schulz said.

Paul Clearly, the young man who made the video, said he felt threatened by the exchange and said UMD did not protect him. Officials with UMD issued a statement saying Freedom of speech on campusis a fundamental tenet of the University of Minnesota.

The other young man in the video did not return our email request for an interview.

More from Esme Murphy
  • Jake

    The ‘administrator needs to RESIGN, and go back to SCHOOL. Clearly, she was trying to intimidate this group, using her ‘rank’ as an ‘ace in the hole’. AA needs to GO AWAY, and like, NOW. It’s not just about education, it’s about economics, it’s about opportunity, it’s about REPARATIONS, it’s about FAIRNESS.

  • Jesus Saves

    Of all the things a person could oppose in this world, why would multi-culturalism top anybody’s list?

    • Come on now!

      Are black, Asian, Hispanic, Native American… (put any race here) Christian values not right compared to white christian values??

    • Down with Hate

      You DO know that Christ wasn’t white, right?

      • r

        He also didnt wear his pants down to his knees walk like a chicken

        • Jesus Saves

          Jesus didn’t wear pants. I don’t know about walking like a chicken though. Biblical texts differ on this point.

      • user

        Christ wasn’t white, he was Jewish. White is of anglo saxon origin.

  • CJ

    Whatever guy who is talking with the administrator and says “that’s not what we’re passing out” why would you say even say such a thing if you didn’t feel some kind of embarrassment for whatever it was that was that was on the table.

  • Really anglo lady

    As a total white bread person, I denounce these racists who undoubtedly have never read the constitution they pass out. If you don’t like the way this country is going, go to the country of your ancestors because whites most certainly were the first inhabitants here. Ignorant hicks.

  • Angus

    The American Indian will be shocked to learn the whites were here first. And by the way, many of our greatest advances have been made by non whites so do not try to claim white Christians get all the credit. Note: The white boys were responsible for the KKK (a nice social group), the Nazi party, etc. Please read all of our history, not the sanitized garbage that is put out by the white conservatives.

  • BC

    Really, I find many of them extremely threatening especially if you disagree with them

    • Larry F.

      At least these western civilization buffs aren’t youth mobs robbing stores, beating people at the state fair, and perpetrating home invasions for “retribution.” You must find people advocating living peacefully threatening. That’s very sad, I feel bad for you.

    • Doc

      Kind of like democrats if you disagree with them they freak and your a racist

  • Mel

    The entire purpose of this article is to highlight free speech, which all 3 individuals in the video practiced. It is their right. It is only a crime when it becomes an assault. If there were no punches thrown, the entire exchange was legal and should be welcomed on campuses, where the free exchange of ideas is supposed to be embraced and welcomed. There are political, religious, ethical and racial values that will offend and may stir up anger, but again, all perfectly legal. I think it is good to have opposing ideas presented on campuses as long as it doesn’t lead to violence. By the way, I am an educated female, not a white ignorant male as some of you may have assumed.

  • r

    Racism goes both ways, I fought for Americans so that they could have free speech, the kkk is no different from the black pathers they are both hate groups and trash . I am very proud of my white coservative heritage!

    • Mark

      One might at least call slavery and continuing rascism a legitimate reason for having a little hate in you. You can’t exactly put any legitimacy on either, but at least one is a somewhat reasonable response to persecution.

      If you hit me with a stick because you hate me for no reason, and I hate you because you are always hitting me with a stick for no reason… I’d say I have a bit more right to my hate, fruitless as it may be.

  • jyte

    If the black youth wants more respect they need to earn it pull up their pants get jobs raise their children not just father the children but raise them to be human This also goes to alot of whites out their stop acting like your a brother because your not walking like a chicken doesnt make you a man

  • tough one

    Multiculturalism refers to the official government recognition of and accomodations provided for different cultures existing within a naiton. In a diverse nation this can open a real can of worms in terms of implementation. Some people also feel it prevents people from identifying with their nation and as part of that nation. Opposition to multiculralism can be troublng as it often attracts xenophobic, nativist, and even rackal elements. Hopefully this is not the case with this group. Affirmative action is even tougher one. When it was implemented it was intended as temporary reverse discrimination to address discrimination against minorities. The tough part is deciding when enough is enough. How do you even form a criteria to decide that?

  • What a fool

    If I wore a button with hitlers face on it, what would that make me? Idiot!!!

    • what?

      Wow, that came from left field. Just how does that bizarre and random analogy relate to anything in the article? Like maybe if they were handing out copies of the constitution that would make them…….Americans?

      • Mike Hawk

        If you watched the video you would know what the button comment was about.

        • what?

          Are you referring to the button with the image of Huey P Newton? What has that got to do with Hitler? People run right to the Nazis to denigrate anything or anyone they disapprove of. What does the struggle for civil rights and social equality have to do with Hitler or the Nazis? Everyone in this video spoke their opinions without loss of civility. They were certainly contentious, but each allowed the other to speak without insult or attempting to shout them down. Pretty cool actually.

  • L Wolfe

    Wow…boring news night I guess! I thought that’s what college kids were suppose
    to do….experiment with life, thoughts, words, actions & experience consequences. I think we should just leave them alone. They’re not breaking the law, but doing what young adults do in the process of growing up away from home ….There are much more news-worthy stories than this.

    • kate

      So you think there should only be 3 news stories posted per day? What about the rest of us that like to find out what is going on in the world?

  • Norge

    Of all the things one could oppose in this country why would it be passing out copies of the Constitution of the United States of America? Unles some people don’t actually like the COTUS.

    • Robert


  • See BS

    Multi-culturalism is just neo-religion, because this perfect utopia has never existed on the planet.

    Nerdy white liberals think the entire white population is suppose to feel guilty for the Democrats racist Ku Klux Klan paper trail in American history.

    I wonder if the very existance of UMD is linked to the lynchings of black people in Duluth. Seems like the lynching happened in 1920, and UMD became a State Teachers College a year later.

    And if you go to the history museum in St Paul you will see Ku Klux Klan rallies in Owatana and people wearing white hoods and sheets demanding public education in newspaper photographs.

    • Mike

      Multiculturalism isn’t a new phenomenon in America and has been around since the founding of this country. We are a melting pot of different nationalities and a diverse culture. Irish, German, Scandinavian, French, African American, American Indian, on and on. All here together, whether you like it or not.
      Your idiotic attempt to paint this incident as liberal is a pathetic excuse for an argument on grounds were their are none. At best, your just stating the obvious, your a white redneck with a cross to burn.

      • See BS

        I think you are a nerdy white “Brown nosed” liberal and you throw white people under the bus to score brown nose points with minorities.

      • it is new

        You misunderstand what multiculturalism entails. It is opposed precisely because it inhibits the ideal of a “melting pot.” Multiculturalism is the official recognition of and accommodations made to preserve cultural distinctions within a nation. You go to the post office or DMV and there are separate lines for the different cultural groups. Product packaging contains multiple languages. Road signs are in multiple languages. Schools must accommodate multiple languages and cultures. Here in the US we have worked toward the idea of a melting pot while encouraging people from different cultures to take pride in and celebrate their different heritages. Being against multiculturalism does not mean rejecting the diversity that has made our country great.

  • JAG

    “Youth for Western Civilization”=Hitler Youth

    • don't like them then call them nazis

      If you don’t like what someone is doing, immediately trot out a comparison to Hitler and the Nazis. It has been done so often it is now meaningless. It speaks more to your misunderstanding of what multiculturalism means, rather than to what this groups stands for. JAG=Knee jerk reactionary

  • mark

    Hitler a racist?Really?Ah hitler hated jews.Hitler was allied with Japan.Dont believe all that jewish prop.

  • mark

    And him not shaking Jesse Owens hand at olmpics.Dotored he didnt shake any American atletes hands.And im sher that if it was a racial or hostile atmosphere he would not of went he new he was safe.

  • mark

    Bye the way im not a racist my black friends agree with me.

  • keep that ole race card ready

    I don’t think being an administrator means giving up her freedom of speech, but it is rather disturbing that she immediately accused these people of being “white supremacists” without even finding out what they were about. It does show a tendency for the left to trot out the race card whenever it suits their purpose.

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