I was excited to hear that BAM-N is being confronted for their confrontational and counter-productive tactics. Apparently BAM-N relied on an old tried and true tactic – hijack another meeting to use it as a platform to try to provoke conflict and strife. When I was on MSA we got pretty good at shutting them out.
Although there’s a lot of talk about “revealing” and “stopping” them now, let’s not forget they were struck a blow in 2001 when a broad coalition of student leaders orchestrated a major hearing of our own about BAM-N causing them to write not just one but two op-eds in the Daily in response. The journalistic attacks of 2001 played an important role in clearing the stage for the highly successful Students Supporting Affirmative Action which was the ONLY group speaking to reporters the day the U.S. Supreme Court announced their decision in the Michigan Affirmative Action cases. Although it’s frustrating that career Trotskyites don’t go away, current leaders should remember the past and exactly how easy it is to put them in their place on campus and in politics more generally.
What is missing from the 2001 story is an account of moving testimony at the meeting by MSA Vice President Jim Secreto who spoke of how he (a liberal) was attacked and called “the white devil,” by BAM-N, and by a Residential College student who had been a member who recounted the group’s extreme indoctrination methods which included dictating his personal schedule and forced study groups in Detroit. I also spoke to the group’s leadership and history, much of which is on www.nobamn.com.
Also, Dumi has more information about what’s going on now on campus on his blog.
> THEN: Michigan Daily, Sept. 21, 2001: “BAMN blasted for dominating racial issues”
> NOW: Michgian Daily, Nov. 2, 2005: “Groups clash at student gov’t meeting at MSA meeting“