Discriminating with chalk

Posted on April 29, 2016

Earlier this month the University of California San Diego (UCSD) was home to some pro-Trump chalkings on a sidewalk near the Raza Resource Centro, a community center for Latino student groups.
Since then, the university has issued a statement carefully condemning this act with the usual sugarcoated speech of how much they appreciate their diverse community.
When messages such as “Trump 2016,” “deport them all,” and “build a wall” are written conveniently next to a Latino student community center, it is not enough to simply release a statement about “valuing the diversity and respect for all cultures.”
These messages signify more than just disrespect. They represent racism, sexism, xenophobia, and everything else Trump represents, all of which should not be present in a learning environment.
Latino students must already overcome many barriers in order to reach higher education. This is evident in the fact that they only make up about three percent of the student population at UCSD, even though Latinos are the largest ethnic population in California.
It is unjust that they must face even more discrimination once they reach higher education.
Schools are supposed to be safe places for people to learn and grow. Of course, like in any other environment, people will say mean things, and people’s feelings will get hurt.
That is life, and it is constitutionally protected in the First Amendment. And as a journalistic publication, we are all for freedom of speech.
But there is a difference between respectfully voicing one’s opinions, no matter how offensive they may be, and vandalizing school property with hate speech.
And in the case of Trump rallies, that hate speech tends to turn into violence. Learning tends to be difficult with the fear of harassment and violence looming over one’s head.
The university’s lack of action is even more disheartening because UCSD will soon be home to many of our peers, many of whom come from families of immigrants Trump’s worst enemies.
Until the university decides to be more proactive, we can only hope that our peers will be safe.

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