Tarrant County College's White Student Union Debuts on National Hate-Group List
Just so there's no confusion, the White Student Union of Tarrant County College never had any official connection to Tarrant County College. The group was founded a little more than a year ago by Richard Railey, a 56-year-old white supremacist who happened taking classes there. There was nothing for the school to do but ask Railey to include a disclaimer "Not an officially chartered or school sanctioned club") and tweak the name to avoid confusion. (it's now simply the White Student Union of Tarrant County).
The Tarrant County GOP also made clear it wanted nothing to do with the organization (in the past it has counted Railey as a precinct chair). Ronald Reagan, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, all of whom Railey claims as ideological allies, would no doubt have the same reaction.
Nor, it seems, did Railey's fellow students thrill to his message, which had a little to do with a specific program aimed at boosting academic achievement among minority students and very much to do with white people being awesome. The registration table he set up on campus last spring apparently garnered little interest.
That's not to say that WSU has accomplished nothing. According to Facebook, it created button designs, which may or may not been turned into actual buttons:
Also, the White Student Union of Tarrant County is now officially a hate group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center's annual roundup of (mostly) right-wing extremist groups.
What purpose it serves to lump what appears to be the more or less defunct pet project of one middle-aged dude at a mid-sized community college together with neo-Nazis and violent separatists isn't quite clear. Perhaps the hate-group designation will be enough to spur interest in the group.
If so, WSU will have to harness it without its charismatic founder, according to his personal Facebook page, he graduated from Tarrant County College in December with an associate's in IT security.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.