EDITORIAL: Student groups must condemn bias
New recruitment posters on campus should ignite unity against hate
The College Avenue, Douglass and Livingston campuses were found plastered with a series of recruitment posters for a white supremacist group known as Identity Evropa. These flyers, the same ones that led to a passionate protest at New York University last month, highlighted the slogan “Our Generation, Our Future, Our Last Chance.”
The group itself is a newer “alt-right” organization that was mostly brought to light during the “Unite the Right” rally this summer in Charlottesville, Virgina, which ended in violence.
Seeing a flyer that promotes the ideals of white supremacy on your college campus can be extremely disconcerting in the least. And unfortunately, that was not the end of the hateful agendas that were being pushed on campus. Hours after this poster was found and reported, a video was recorded showing a hand-written “Black Lives Don’t Matter” sign glued to the inside of an EE bus. Someone had then crossed out the word “don’t,” making the poster read “Black Lives Matter,” to which someone responded to it by adding on “Black Lives Matter Only to Blood and Crip thugs.” Representatives from the white supremacist group claimed that the incidents were not related and that they were not responsible for the second bout of posters. But does this make them any less guilty of spreading hateful messages?
Rutgers has been seeing an equally interesting and upsetting uptick of posters suggesting that certain groups are not welcome. Just last spring, a different white nationalist group was associated with a poster that had appeared on the Paul Robeson Cultural Center with the slogan “Imagine a Muslim Free America.”
The trend here is disturbing.
It is frightening that this University, which promotes diversity, is being plastered with so many hateful ideas. But the fact of the matter is that these posters are not just hurting the groups that they are targeting. These posters are giving bad reputations to groups that may not even have anything to do with their production and circulation.
After the 2016 presidential election where President Donald J. Trump was voted into office after leading a campaign that fueled discriminatory values, people may have begun to associate the Republican Party with the same ideals. In this same way, people may begin to associate these white supremacist ideals with those who identify with conservative values, even though there are many peoplewho identify as conservative that do not agree with the recent hateful rhetoric.
The University has released a statement condemning these flyers as well as “all acts and statements of bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism,” but it is time that others condemn them, as well.
Rutgers is a melting pot for many students of different backgrounds, faiths and political affiliations. There should be open conversation between the different groups and the values of all should be respected. But everyone must come together, despite the differences regarding their stances on economic ideas, politics, military issues and health, and stand up against ideals that make others feel unwelcome simply because of the color of their skin or their religious identity. It is fine to have different ideas about politics, but this should never include the treatment of human beings. It is important for people on both sides of the political spectrum to ensure that they distance themselves from any hateful speech that may threaten anyone within our University.