Richard Railey is definitely not an idiotic, racist troll. Nope, he's just your average 56-year-old community college student, pursuing an associates degree in IT security while trying to form a White Student Union at Tarrant County College. Burnt Orange Report wrote about Railey's quest this morning, and also referred to Railey as a former GOP precinct chair in Tarrant County.
That's not quite correct, as it turns out. Railey is a current GOP precinct chair, in district 1056. That's according to Shelly Pritchard, the Tarrant County GOP's executive director.
"His name's so familiar to me," she said thoughtfully. "I know he's real active."
"He's trying to form a white student union at the community college right now," I told her.
There was a long pause.
"He's doing whaaaaat?" Pritchard replied, finally. "No comment with me," she added. And then, "Wow."
Railey -- who also, as BOR points out, refers to himself as "Mstr Rick," for some reason -- has already set up a Facebook page and a Wordpress blog for his proposed White Student Union. He calls it an "an ethnocentric campus club open to all current or former students, employee's [sic], staff, and administrators from any of five TCC campuses located throughout the Fort Worth Metro area."
It's slightly more toned down than "Mstr Rick's" personal blog, where he waxes on about his support for White Nationalism and what he terms the "White Ethno-Centrist Movement." (Side note: Rick, are you by any chance an Unfair Park commenter? This is beginning to sound a bit familiar.)
The seat of Railey's gripe with Tarrant County College and its perceived racism is laid out in this post, titled "Equality of Ends," from August 2011.
"Last summer, on June 14th of 2010 I was arrested for DWI and spent two months in the Tarrant County Jail awaiting trial," Railey writes. "In the ensuing time I lost my job, car, was evicted in absentia from my apartment, personal belongings thrown into the street, and other possessions in storage sold at auction."
Railey adds that he was found guilty of misdemeanor DWI and released with time served: "Fifty-five years old, no money, no job, no place to live, no family or close friends to call on, and no possessions save the clothes on my back; I wander aimlessly down to East Lancaster Street, Fort Worth's notorious 'Homeless Quarter' and land at the PNS (Presbyterian Night Shelter)."
To speed up the story: Railey finds out that as veteran (he says he served in Panama in the mid-'70s), he qualifies for supportive housing at Fort Worth's Liberty House, where he still lives, and some educational opportunities. He applies for and receives a Pell Grant, and starts studying IT security at TCC.
But Railey says he found he needed more money to finish his degree, so he applied for a TCC Foundation Scholarship. A financial aid officer tells him that scholarship is reserved for "diversity applicants." Later, he was told by TCC and Texas Board of Ed higher ups that the scholarships were need-based. Cue the white guy outrage.
"No room at the Inn for White Guys at Tarrant County College," Railey writes. "I seem to be getting that a lot lately. 'you don't count.' What? Why do so many in Fort Worth disgorge such disdain for white guys?" (Fort Worth is 63 percent white, according to the last American Community Survey).
During roughly the same time period, Railey also filed a complaint with the Tarrant County Elections Office, according to Fort Worth Weekly, in which he claimed to have been intimidated by a copy of Ebony magazine he spied a poll staffer reading as he was on his way into the booth.
""It is EXTREMELY inappropriate and probably a federal election law violation to have this magazine displayed by a polling official," Railey wrote, according to FWW. "[A]nd I believe it was an attempt to intimidate, bully, and threaten white voters." He sent the complaint to the secretary of state as well.
The flames of Riley's apparently unquenchable outrage were fanned yet again last year, when he discovered TCC has a "Men of Color" mentoring event, aimed at lowering the school's attrition rate among black and Latino male students. Railey writes that he applied for a mentor through the program and was rejected (although I'm sure that would have been fun for both of them).
Railey filed a racial discrimination complaint against TCC with the Dallas-based regional headquarters for the federal Office of Civil Rights. According to his own blogging, he alleges that the president and the chancellor of the school:
colluded, conspired, and schemed to purposefully, willfully, and with malice to have separately and jointly exercised conduct directed against my person based on race for the purposes of debasement, intimidation, bullying, and harassment, at a level of severity that has affected my ability to participate and/or benefit from my educational program at Tarrant County College.
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All of this seems to be the back-story of Railey's desire for a White Student Union. The real question, though, is not, "Why is this racist guy so frothingly racist?" but, "What will TCCD do with his request?" We've sent an email to see if they have any plans to approve the group, and will update if we hear back. At least now TCC students know where to go if they want to emulate a 56-year-old community college student.
Update, March 29: Rita Parson, the public information officer at TCC, emailed last night to let us know that Railey has refused offers to take part in mentorship programs, and hasn't done any of the paperwork to make his "White Student Union" a recognized student organization. From her email:
Thank you for your inquiry. Richard Railey is a student at Tarrant County College. TCC administrators have met with him to discuss his concerns and have offered to provide him the opportunity to participate in mentorship programs, but he has declined to take advantage of the student support program and services that are open to all Tarrant County students. The organization referenced should not have a TCC or Tarrant County College reference since it has not gone through the process to be a recognized organization.
Parson also adds on a section from the student handbook, which says "No organization will be established or allowed to operate which discriminates against staff members or student in violation of state or federal law." The school also has recently written a new segment of the handbook, titled, "Speech, Assembly and Expression." It says, in part, that students and faculty are free to express their views "subject only to rules necessary to preserve the equal rights of others and the other functions of the College District." Make of that what you will.