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September 25, 2003

Racists at UT

By Byron LaMasters

Well, the racist SMU YTC fundraiser isn't the only racist event on campus in this state. At UT fliers were distributed today by a White supremist group.

On a similar note, the UT YCT chapter handed out fliers today calling Umer Zaman is a terrorist. Zaman is not a known terrorist. He is a Pakistani student suspected of transcript fraud. He's wanted for questioning by police, but has not been charged with any crime. I would agree with the Daily Texan that this is an example of "heinous example of racial profiling at its worst". This is how racist / xenophobic people and organizations think. He's an Arab. His transcript was a fraud, so Ah-hah! He must be a terrorist! Lock him up! Umer Zaman may very well be a terrorist, but there's no evidence of it, and YCT is simply spewing racist and xenophobic hysteria by its actions. Here's the full editorial:

We strongly urge the Young Conservatives of Texas to cease posting or handing out "wanted" posters with Umer Zaman's picture, and condemn any future attempts to do so.

Creating such posters unfairly and irresponsibly suggests Zaman is wanted by a law enforcement organization.

No information suggests Umer Zaman is a terrorist. Zaman was never connected to a terrorist organization or accused of aiding any sort of terrorist plot.

Zaman is an international student from Pakistan who disappeared after UT officials confronted him with charges of transcript fraud. Linking Zaman to terrorism represents an overt attempt to villainize him for his background.

The distribution of flyers only creates an atmosphere of fear and paranoia. Casting Zaman as some sort of dangerous figure is a heinous example of racial profiling at its worst.

While federal officials admitted to the Texan they were interested in the Zaman's case, that interest does not mean officials want Zaman in custody.

The production of "wanted" posters sets a dangerous precedent for students who believe they possess the right to vilify and demonize those not yet convicted of a crime. And the implications of that abuse of power don't stop at just one nationality or ethnic group.

A student organization attempting to take the law into its own hands harms both those innocent until proven guilty and the student body as a whole. With the Campus Fusion event just on the horizon, student groups should be looking to extend and diversify their goals and membership rosters, rather than seeking to alienate others.

If the Young Conservatives of Texas believe in condemning those who possess similar traits to known terrorists, the University will become an unwelcome place for students of all backgrounds, nationalities or religions.

Once again, we strongly suggest that the YCT not continue to create and distribute "wanted" posters.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at September 25, 2003 02:18 AM | TrackBack


The YTC 'bake sale,' itself merely a political event, was no more racist that affirmative action itself. That was the entire point; I'm sorry you missed it.

Comparisons to white supremicists, then, are clearly unwarranted.

Posted by: Owen Courrèges at September 25, 2003 02:41 AM

Byron, this sort of behavior on the part of the YCT shouldn't surprise us!

Posted by: David G at September 25, 2003 02:41 AM

And SMU shut down the bake sale.

Remind me again, whose dissent is being crushed in America? Has John Ashcroft done anything so oppressive as shutting down the SMU protest against affirmative action?

Posted by: Mark Harden at September 25, 2003 10:30 AM

I updated this a little bit to explain my position a bit further...

Posted by: ByronUT at September 25, 2003 11:49 AM

Here is the letter to UT students from President Larry Faulkner regarding the incident descibed in the first paragraph:

Dear Members of the University Community:

This morning our campus was the target of an ugly racist flyer from an
outside organization. This kind of material has no place in a civil

As I emphasized last spring, this university is founded on the value of each
individual, so we must reject and take steps to eradicate behavior that
casts disrespect on any person because of racial or ethnic identity. We
stand by our commitment to an educational environment in which standards of
civility reflect mutual respect among the diverse members of our campus.
Such an environment is critical to the academic success of students, and
ultimately, the success of our university. The open forum for speech and
debate on the campus is limited to students, faculty, and staff. This
outside organization has no right to speak on the campus, and to the best of
our ability we will enforce the rules that exclude this organization from
the campus.

Larry R. Faulkner

Posted by: ByronUT at September 25, 2003 02:51 PM

Taking random assholes who get chased out of the GOP convention as evidence for the general views of everyone there is lame. That's like me saying that the guy who said I should be shot is representative of your website.

The YCT flyer is dumb. But it is not racist.

Posted by: TX Pundit at September 25, 2003 04:16 PM

This reminds me of what happened a couple years ago, when I discovered some National Alliance (neo-nazi), anti-semitic propaganda attached to the A-Frame for the Steel dance group.

I believe I took down the flier and then wrote an email to Steel informing them that someone had vandalized them.

I also ripped down a sign last year that said "Tony Sanchez is a baby-killin sp**" (derogatory term for Chicanos).

Posted by: Jim D at September 25, 2003 05:15 PM

I love this line

"This kind of material has no place in a civil

Wow, cool, he hates freedom.

Posted by: Matt at September 28, 2003 09:51 PM

Dear Mr. Lamasters:

I read your article on Burntorange.com about the YCT "Wanted" fliers that were posted around campus last week. As the creator and author of these posters, I would like to give you my feelings on your article:

First off, I sincerely doubt that you have ever actually SEEN one of these posters on campus. They were posted Wednesday night and I didn't see any of them still up when I got to class Thursday morning. The reason I mention this is because if you HAD seen a poster, you would have realized that the poster in no way paints all Pakistanis as terrorists, nor does it accuse Umer Zamen of any terrorist activities, as you say it does. Everything on that poster came from information drawn from the Daily Texan story, and any attempt to call these fliers racist or xenophobic is sadly mistaken.

I would also like to address the follow-up posting that you added to your story, in which President Faulkner is denouncing the "racist" postings, was directed to an off-campus group that had posted fliers on campus without permission. It has nothing to do with YCT or our posters, and your attempt to link the two is evidence of horrible journalism and pathetic lies. The "first paragraph" you mention in your follow-up is barely 2 lines, while the vast majority of the article is given over to the YCT posters. Given that the article was mostly about YCT, I find it extremely likely that the way in which you posted President Faulkner's statement was deliberate, in order to someohow link his prohibition of OFF-CAMPUS material with Young Conservatives of Texas. Therefore, I strongly request that you issue a statement of clarification that clearly delineates between the group that President Faulkner was referring to, and YCT.

- Kyle Shelton

Posted by: Kyle Shelton at September 29, 2003 02:25 PM

So, is Mr. Zaman an Arab or a Pakistani? The two are different you know...

Posted by: Skim at December 16, 2003 07:20 PM
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