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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

UT YCT Chair Lauren Conner Emails

By Byron LaMasters

Shocker. It's another YCT (Young Conservatives of Texas) controversy. There's some speculation regarding what the UT YCT chapter will be doing tomorrow. An email has been sent out stating the following:


Well, the YCT (Young Conservatives of Texas) are at it again. This time they've organized a so-called "Immigrant Hunt" for this Wednesday, March 2nd on the West Mall on campus-- they have reserved the space from 11:00am-1:00pm. They recently organized a similar event at the University of North Texas (http://www.yct.org/illegal.htm) and appear to be emboldened by the post-9-11 anti-immigrant climate. They plan to wear color-coded anti-immigrant shirts and "hunt for immigrants" who will be YCT-ers dressed in brown for Latina/os, yellow for Asians, etc. and offer rewards.

A counter-demonstration is planned by a multi-ethnic coalition of student organizations in response at the same time. Folks are asking for a huge turnout, and that people wear black shirts and white bandanas if possible, and bring signs and chants-- some folks will be linking hands in silent protest, others will be vocal and hold signs and pass out flyers outlining a progressive position on immigration. Please pass this information along to all your listserves. Thanks.

Apparently, this information was incorrect. The current UT-YCT Chair responded with this lovely email:


The information you received is false. Somebody made
this shit up, and I'm extremely pissed off. We're having a friggin' Texas Independence Day Celebration tomorrow....AND THAT'S IT!!! Cakes and Cookies and Lemonade!!! I got a hold of the original email that I'm guessing you received, and it was all lies. Email whoever sent you your information, and ask them to research their information before they sent it ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES!!!

Lauren E.Conner
Chairman
Young Conservatives of Texas - UT Austin
Lauren.Conner@bba02.bus.utexas.edu

Apparently, this email has caused the chair some negative publicity for the organization. These emails from Lauren Conner have also been sent tonight via the YCT listserve:


NOBODY IN THIS ORGANIZATION IS AUTHORIZED TO TALK TO THE PRESS OR ANSWSER ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING YCT, EXECPT ME. (NOT EVEN OFFICERS)

THIS IS TRUE ALWAYS, BUT ESPECIALLY TODAY AND TOMORROW

IF YOU ARE ASKED A QUESTION, RESPOND ALWAYS, "NO COMMENT"

AND... this


YCT: I didn't mean to sound like a dictator when I sent out that email about not talking to the press. The reason I sent it out bold and to the point is because I wanted to make sure that everybody read it. We've had some press problems in the last 24 hours. I retract my last email and am sending this one instead:

Just a reminder: Please remember that only members with express authoritzation from me can speak on behalf of YCT to the press. This is a policy put in place to protect the organization. I trust all of y'all, but we have had problems in the past when folks commented to the press without knowing all the facts of what YCT was doing. I don't want to hog the limelight, though. If you would like to speak to the press, please consult with me so we can make sure we are on the same page and everyone knows all the facts. But until that has happened and you have my expressed approval, I have to ask everyone to avoid speaking to the press for the protection of the group. Thanks for your cooperation and I look forward to seeing y'all tomorrow at Texas Independence Day!

Well... something is up! Will YCT-UT join YCT-UNT in a racist "Capture the Illegal Immigrant Game"? It wouldn't surpise me. Their chair, Lauren Conner is quite defensive.

http://www.burntorangereport.com/

6 comments:

  1. The counter-demonstration today was awesome. I guesstimate that between 5 and 600 students participated while only a handful of the YTC-ers showed up. Mostly Latino were present, but also a healthy mix of Asian, Anglo and some African American students—all protesting the YTC message of hatred.

    They were basically pre-empted once the news on them got out. Word is that they had every intention of going through with this but backed off once the story had been leaked. In fact, info had come from the Dean of Student Services as they were concerned in light of what had happened at the University of North Texas. If you have any questions of at least their views on immigrants, go to www.ytc.org

    LULAC was very involved there in challenging this and so I was already aware of this organization's philosophy and tactics.

    The spirit of the student community was peaceful, strong, and united. Can’t ask for more. It was beautiful!

    Angela

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  2. I am appalled that anyone would use the word peaceful to describe the demonstration that went on yesterday. Parts of the rally were peaceful. The group on the West Mall steps, the groups near the tents - these people were peaceful. They carried signs; many did not speak. These were peaceful protesters.

    The group that was not peaceful was the mob that crowded around about six YCT members and proceeded to shout and curse. No stretch of the imagination could possibly allow for this scene to be considered peaceful. It was loud and stupid.

    I'm not a fan of YCT. Many of their antics in the past, both at UT and various other campuses, have been insensitive and often miss the point they hope to convey. That having been said, the actions of the crowd yesterday were just as fruitless. What was proven? That fifty people can scream and shout so loud that the five they are shouting at decide it's not worth their time to stand and take it? That people can be angry and rude? My hat goes off to the protesters.

    The simple truth is that the protesters circulated misinformation, and decided to protest. That in itself is not so bad. True, they should probably have checked their sources, but they would still be well within reason to protest the actions of YCT-UNT, and decry the sentiment regarding illegal immigration that is perpetuated by YCT nationwide. The silent protests on the steps and the maintenance of tests would still have been as poignent and well received.

    However, the poor judgement that YCT-UT would have displayed had they carried out the "Hunt" was unfortunately displayed by the angry mob. It wasn't a thing of beauty. It was deplorable.

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  5. * Sorry about the comment deletions. Blogger commenting must have a problem. Keeps screwing up my text.

    *******

    Well, there's free speech and there's free speech. You put your opinion, someone will have another- and the right to express it. A bunch of domestically born Anglo males can't exactly lay claim to much disenfranchisement.

    The YCT represents the same mindset that drags people behind pickup trucks. They chose to associate themselves with the hunting of humans- and I have no sympathy for them.

    -weez

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  6. As with alot of issues, their are always two sides to a story. I was their from the beginning of the protest until the so called 'angry mob' disbanded. Sure there were a few instances when a person who was unassociated with the protest took things a bit too far by flinging cake onto the YCT members that were present. That I believe was unacceptable. But what I find even further unacceptable is the actions and ideals of YCT members. The Young Conservatives of Texas have previously held an immigrant hunt that was highlighted by students posing as immigrants being captured and in return for the capture, received a "hundred grand" candy bar for their services rendered. Sure they are only highlighting an issue that is central to many in the Southwest region of the United States but they have done it in a way that is ignorant and negligent of the immigrant community. YCTer's have been spreading their ignorant propaganda by spreading claims that immigrants hurt our economy by draining our social services all the while not contributing compensation in the form of taxes. Well the truth is that immigrants whether illegal or not contribute alot more to the United States economy than the YCTer's give them credit for. For example, ANY person regardless if they have permission from the federal government to reside in the United States, buys goods and services from businesses. These goods and services include sales tax that illegal immigrants can not redeem in the form of manifiestos like their documented counterparts. Also, undocumented immigrants can not take advantage of alot of the social services that many of us take for granted. YCT'ers also claim that illegals bring crime into the United States. This claim is utter nonsense. The vast majority of immigrants come to this country to work, to find a better life not only for themselves but for the families most leave behind. The come here with one goal in mind and that is to work or to progresar. It is the legal citizens of the United States that make up the crime and corruption problems that we presently have. The YCTer's are prime examples of America's republican right. They blame their problems on those that do not have the means to defend themselves through media and the fact that many have language barriers to take into account. This makes me appreciate the people who stand up for the rights of the immigrant who come to provide economic prosperity to the very people who oppress them. Bands like Los Tigres Del Norte who personify the immigrant experience and use the many tales of immigrant injustice in their music exemplify the biggest voice that many immigrants have. That is why when over 500 students at The University of Texas gathered together to act as the voice of opposition to the YCT's anticipated actions, the sense of cultural pride illuminated the west mall. Regardless if you were from South America or Central America, regardless if you were from a different minority group, all the different color faces came togther for a cause that many in the miniority community feel, oppression. The unification of all these various types of ethnicities was something to marvel at. Seeing student organizations that previously had uncooperative relations come together hand in hand was something that in my eyes was a thing of beauty. As the leaders of the protest had mentioned in their emails and at the protest itself, peace is the focus of our prescence. Sure the YCTer's were going to deny that they never had an immigrant hunt planned for that fateful day but they can deny all they want because myself and every other person who participated in that protest know it was going to happen eventually. As I was reflecting on the days events, I could not help but see all the positive aspects of the protest. When push comes to shove, we are united. We showed tremendous solidarity and a renewed pride in opposing the machine. Giving a voice to those that many times go voiceless. And this goes to the YCTer's, this is not North Texas and the will and resolve of all those that oppose hate and ignorance will overcome. With that being said, you differ in opinion from me but anytime you want to talk about this issue then go right ahead and walk into the Multi-Cultural Information Center and ask around and you will be enlightened with respectful conversation.

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