As an avid reader and supporter of your publication, I am writing in dismay at a couple of issues that I had with the 10/26 and 10/27 editions. On Wednesday, I was disappointed to see the photo reprinted on the front page of this issue that caused so much controversy on this campus over the summer. Then on Thursday there was an article printed in viewpoint which I disagreed with wholeheartedly.
While the Technician has pledged to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, I cannot find a legitimate reasoning as to why the photo was republished. It doesn’t make a statement, and it doesn’t enhance the story. If anything, I believe that it actually overshadowed what was a well written story. It seems at this point that this photo is continuously published with the intent to stir up controversy.
On Thursday, there was an editorial published in the Technician entitled “All Speech is Free Speech.” There were several issues that I had with this particular story. I believe that this particular article was full of contradiction.
I would like to say that I don’t believe that student organizations and campus organizations are trying to change people overnight. Even though we all have the right to say whatever it is that we want to say, there must come a point when we realize that that there are certain things that are unacceptable. Everything that is legal isn’t ethical. The Technician claims that students and faculty are censoring students who write hate speech, but I believe the publication does the same when it discourages students and faculty from protesting against hate speech, because it makes the campus feel uncomfortable and it makes the problem “bigger than it really is.”
It’s ironic that in the same week you published an article about the Freedom Riders who were discouraged from fighting an unwinnable battle just as you are discouraging those who choose to speak out against hate speech. Imagine what this world would be like if the Freedom Riders listened to all the critics who believed that their fight served no purpose. Imagine what this world would be like if every person backed down because they couldn’t change the whole world. I believe if you can change the mindset of one person, you have made a big difference. If these people were so proud of their opinions, they would write their name beside it.
There is also a point when you must realize that these are not just words. Words turn into action. Every law is written down before it takes effect. Why would you encourage the hate of people based on characteristics that they can’t physically change?
Here is a small history lesson when words turned into actual violence. In February 1992, then African American Student Body President Brian Nixon was attacked near his residence hall after receiving numerous hate messages and death threats throughout the year much like those that were written towards the GLBT community. Why would you encourage people to freely write threatening messages to particular groups? So I guess if the person who wrote those messages on the GLBT center door actually were to go on a killing spree around campus, the Technician would agree with that as well. I also guess you would agree with the comments that were directed towards breast cancer victims last week as well? After all, it is free speech right? In your article it appears that you agree with hate speech because it’s free speech, but at the same time you discourage those people who choose to speak out against it.
While it is true that the words written occasionally in the tunnel don’t always reflect the feelings of most students at NC State, it is also true that these occasional actions shed a negative light on this university. The negative actions of one person can bring down a business, just like their actions can bring down a university. Are we going to let a few people speak for this university, or are we going to stand up and continue to fight to prove that this is not what we stand for as a university. What side are you on?
- Cordera J. Guion