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!!!
Young Conservatives of Texas - UT Austin
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"
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.