Witch burning from the Picture Cautio (Bilder-Cautio), 1632, UB Bonn Source: Katalog friedrich Spee, Stadtbibliothek Trier 1991 Wikicommons

Controversy

Witch Joins Fight to Banish UNT Young Conservatives of Texas from Campus

This latest campus squabble is perfectly 2020

An effort to ban a conservative group from the University of North Texas has reached for the heavy artillery: magic.

According to social media posts picked up by the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative online news outlet, witches have joined the fight to push-out UNT’s chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas by casting spells intended to inflict misfortune (if not physical harm) on the leader of a group of what they call “Hex racists.”

Follow that? Me neither. Here’s a quick breakdown of this perfectly 2020 controversy:

Throughout the 2019-2020 school year, the UNT chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas held a few events and engaged in social media squabbles that upset a number of people on campus. These included holding an “affirmative action” bake sale, which charged different rates for cupcakes based on students’ race, and asking students to “come out” as conservatives during National Coming Out Day.

The group also engaged in language that some saw as “homophobic, transphobic, and racist,” and a change.org petition was launched to pressure the university to remove the YCT from campus.

This is not a new fight. UNT’s YCT group was reinstated in 2019 after being banned back in 2005 for a stunt that awarded “candy bars to students who ‘captured’ people posing as undocumented immigrants.” Obviously, the students who joined the group in 2019 weren’t around in 2005 (at least, I hope), but still.

This controversy had all the ingredients of a solid culture warrior feather ruffling before a coven stepped into the mix to really stir the, er, cauldron. According to the Free Beacon:

A former UNT student posted a picture [on Instagram] of items for a “hex” with “intentions of misfortune” against YCT leader Kelly Neidert. Anna Katz, a recent graduate of UNT, tweeted a picture of a drawing of a goat captioned “the devil” and a cauldron. Katz, who later removed the Tweet, could not be reached for comment.

You can probably write the rest of this story. The head of the UNT YCT called the post “a demonstration of pure evil,” and resolved to not “bow down to the leftist mob.” UNT’s College Democrats had “no comment” on the alleged hex, and a spokesperson for GLAAD said they are going to stick with a more traditional letter writing campaign. Some Republican Texas lawmakers have weighed in to defend the YCT’s right to free speech, because of course. Meanwhile, the change.org petition has crested 2,500 signatures, half of its 5,000-signature goal.

No word yet on how Neidert’s week has been going post hex.

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