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Everyone's a loser when black radical confronts white conservative at UM-Duluth[VIDEO]

Blair Moses joined Phil Cleary as one of two losers in the debate.
Blair Moses joined Phil Cleary as one of two losers in the debate.

Phil Cleary is a young conservative activist, who decided he wanted to push literature for an anti-immigration group called "Youth for Western Civilization." Blair Moses is a young radical who decided he wanted to wear a shirt bearing the face of Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panthers.

This will not end well. In fact, it didn't, and there's video to prove it.

As Cleary was handing out constitutions as part of "Constitution Day" and manning a booth, he was approached by Moses and a couple other students who'd just left the student multicultural center. Cleary's tape of the run-in begins with Moses pointing to the Second Amendment.

"Can I just say something?" Moses says. "I exercise this right here."

What followed was a predictably useless dialogue, which proved nothing except that neither of these fellows is very good at making a point.

Cleary initially affirmed that he, too, was a "permit to carry holder as well."

Moses decided his suggestion wasn't made well enough, so he elaborated.

"That's fine," he said. "I just want to let you know that if you ever threaten the multicultural center, I will exercise it."

"If I threaten the multicultural center," Clearly said, "you'll shoot me?"

Moses backs off a bit, with a little help from his friends, to say that he only means to "defend" the multicultural center.

Then the two get into a particularly inane discussion -- "Have you memorized the Constitution?" "Have you?" -- which makes the casual observer want to take neither side, and instead start a third side that argues, "Oh both of you shut up already and get to class."

Phil Cleary, Susana Pelayo-Woodward: These two will not be grabbing dinner together anytime soon.
Phil Cleary, Susana Pelayo-Woodward: These two will not be grabbing dinner together anytime soon.

After the video -- which is now soaring in pageviews on Youtube, where it's attracting some of America's most respected racist internet commenters -- hit the web, City Pages reached Cleary by phone. Cleary says he's a field representative for the Leadership Institute, a conservative group that deploys conservative activists nationwide.

Cleary was on assignment to pass out constitutions that day, and had chosen to do so on behalf of the "Youth for Western Civilization" group. On its website, that group explains its mission as striving for "the survival of our own culuture and civilization," meaning white Christians.

"Western Civilization," the site explains, "has also given priceless gifts to the rest of mankind, including advances in medicine, the arts, and scientific exploration."

It's probably sentiments like that which led Susana Pelayo-Woodward, director of UMD's office of cultural diversity, to approach Cleary that day and ask if YWC is a white supremacist group. Cleary told her that it wasn't.

"No?" Pelayo-Woodward said. "It looks like one."

It also looks like one to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which recently did an extensive study on the YWC and its background. That report unveiled, among other things, that a former vice president of the YWC named Marcus Epstein once pleaded guilty to a drunken attack on a black woman in Washington, D.C., whom he'd referred to as -- you guessed it! -- a "nigger."

Does this look like a white supremacist group to you?--Okay, maybe a little.
Does this look like a white supremacist group to you?--Okay, maybe a little.

Though SPLC writes otherwise, Cleary tried to make a distinction between the Leadership Institute and Youth for Western Civilization -- a curious effort, given that he'd alternately stated to City Pages that he was working for the Leadership Insitute and manning a booth for YWC. When asked why it was he wanted to hand out pamphlets for the YWC, Cleary said he doesn't have an "official relationship" with the group. Beyond that, his answer was a bit thin.

"I have a few friends up there that wanted to meet me at the table," Cleary said. "It was just kind of a decision that we wanted to use Youth for Western Civilization for handing out constitutions. The story isn't so much about YWC -- it's about this Black Panther that came up and threatened us."

No, Phil, it's about both. The Constitution is a broad, 220 year old document that's changed a bit over time, and really come into its own, especially in the last few decades. It shouldn't be used to threaten, or insulted. Nor should whites-only groups be the only ones proud of it.

The great Cleary-Moses debate can be watched below. City Pages is not responsible for any viewers who pull out their hair as a result of this tape.


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