Editorial: We cannot legitimize hatred on our campus
Two days after Trump was elected to be our country’s next president, the university community acted as many have across the country — with hate speech. For some, it appears Trump’s victory has legitimized their racist, misogynistic and homophobic views.
The 8th floor of the Christiana West Tower was victim to this unfortunate trend on Nov. 10. A bulletin board meant for residents to write kind messages to one another was invaded by derogatory comments. These are suspected to have been inspired by campaign rhetoric espoused by Trump over the past 17 months.
The comments addressed deportation and called students “Bitch ass Mexicanos” and “taliban members” [sic] as well as using the n-word.
This is unacceptable. The university is supposed to be an inclusive institution where all voices can be heard. However earlier this year, this editorial board felt the need to draw the line at Milo Yiannopoulos’ hate speech. A mere few weeks ago this community woke up to posters of “Trannies are gay” and then witnessed a rant by Yiannopoulos later that night. This hate speech was unacceptable then and it is unacceptable now.
Last year, our community was deeply affected by the September noose scare where broken lanterns were found on The Green after a Black Lives Matter protest and mistaken for nooses. It opened up a renewed dialogue with minority groups on campus, but it also revealed deep chasms in our community. There were several racist comments made anonymously that night and the next day on the anonymous Twitter-like app, Yik-Yak. President Nancy Targett was instrumental in addressing the incident and beginning a still-ongoing campus-wide conversation to address racial concerns on campus.
The year before, the campus was rocked by similarly racist comments made on the same app during the annual football game against Delaware State. Then, President Harker responded with a university-wide email addressing the “yaks” and stating that such behavior “has no place on our campus.”
However, current President Assanis has yet to address this incident at all. The only notice the community received of this terrible action is a Facebook post by the person who discovered the comments, and coverage by The Review. The precedent has been set. We expect, at a bare minimum, for the president of our university to address the community in an email as Harker did. Ideally, we want our president to reach out to students directly and promote a dialogue — and proactive action — to address the problem like Targett did last year.
We must remember that, regardless of race, gender or political ideology, we are all Blue Hens. No matter who the president of our country or the president of our university is, we must never normalize hatred.
Editorials are developed by The Review staff, led by Editorial Editor Jacob Orledge.