By Owen Lanier
Separating and belittling groups of people based on race should be a thing of the past, yet it seems to be all the rage. This past week, a now famous Peace and Justices Studies senior project degrading white heterosexual men set off a firestorm. You may debate the seriousness of the reaction or if it was worth coverage at all, but you cannot deny its moral evil. Defenders of this egregious poster (see “‘Tired of White Cis Men?’ Poster Is Not All That Controversial”) have pointed toward intersectionality as justification for racism; this is wrong and prevents the future we should work towards.
One may point to historic power imbalances between races in this country, but ask yourself, does that justify the same malicious actions in the present? No. If you wish to have a future to be proud of, where you love your neighbor, do not point to the past to justify evil in the present. Such discourse speaks volumes to the mentality many students display on this campus: bourgeois and out-of-touch with the worries and beliefs of everyday Americans. There is a reason that the progressive movement regularly polls its popularity at around thirty percent; many of the tactics it uses to destroy a historical injustice resemble its target. Thankfully, most Americans see the long-lasting harm and balkanization racial demagoguery leads to. Changing minds requires empathy, unity, and a clear message, not theories of power that only lead to further marginalization. Do not fear; the activists may seem like they are steering the cultural mindset on campuses, but reality says they fail everywhere else.
It is embarrassing that a portion of the student body of a twenty-first-century institution that prides itself on tolerance is having such a hard time admitting its fault. Not only should we say this form of “activism” is wrong, but there is a moral imperative to call it out every time we see it. Ideological dogma, with no origin in reason, is not a sound argument for racism displayed in public student areas.
I should not have to live on a campus where a student can hang a poster that dehumanizes me or anyone else. Anything other than complete agreement with that statement is, at best, insulting and distractionary and, at worst, evil — no theory of power or historical justification reconciles that fact.