In a time where the country should be uniting to support our newly elected president, it seems that the results have brought out the worst in some of our student body. This morning in the Free Expression Tunnel, painted with black spray paint were several threatening and racist comments. Statements against African-Americans as a group, use of the “N” word causing an uneasy feeling in any student who may have seen it and promoting a racial divide.
In a bold and inspiring statement from the university, the tunnel was painted white, blotting out the negative, derogatory and hurtful remarks and replacing them with the <a href=’http://students.ncsu.edu/sgims/documents/files/499/SL_Resp_to_Hate_Speech.htm’>Student Leaders’ Response to Hate Speech</a> . The document was originally drafted by the student body President’s Roundtable in light of the chalking of a KKK meeting in the brickyard last month, as a means to denounce hate speech.
The document states that though hate speech is still in some instances protected as free speech under the United States Constitution, it must not go uncontested calling for students to remember that our campus should be one where all students can feel welcome. It also stated “Any speech that is intended to harass, intimidate, or degrade others is unacceptable and together we must confront and denounce it in every corner of our university.” The letter was printed on large sheets and posted in the tunnel allowing students to not only read the response, but sign their name to unite our student body against hate speech.
Chancellor Oblinger also released a <a href=’http://www.ncsu.edu/about-nc-state/chancellor/speeches-and-writings/free-expression/index.php’>statement</a> concerning the comments in the tunnel, telling those people who feel the need to utilize hate speech to “cease and desist.” He also acknowledged how we shouldn’t let our differences divide us.
No matter how you feel about the results of yesterday’s election, remember this; we are one country, and the president-elect will be our president for the next four years.
Thursday, November 6, there will be a unity rally in the Brickyard at 12:15 p.m. The rally will serve a chance for students to get together on campus and unite against hate speech.
United we stand, divided we fall.