“Tired of White Cis Men?” Event Flier Has Garnered Backlash in National News and Social Media
By Katie Oglesby, Editor-in-Chief
A Peace and Justice Studies senior student originally had an event planned for Saturday in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC). The posters hung for this event said, “Tired of white cis men? Come paint and write about it.” The poster also noted that the art created will be displayed in the College Union Building (CUB) Junction.
Spokesperson for the College Jamie Yates explained that the flyer was for a student project and was not endorsed by the College or Peace and Justice Studies. Yates said that while the GSRC was listed as the location, the Center was not hosting or sponsoring the event. Students can reserve the space on 25Live.
Yates said, “The faculty leaders of Peace and Justice Studies have asked the student to reflect on their objectives and restructure their project accordingly. The event is no longer taking place as scheduled or as originally constructed and the flyers have been removed. The faculty have also directed the student to our Freedom of Expression Philosophy and to the guidelines for posting flyers advertising events on campus.”
Quickly after the flyers turned up, students began not only talking about it on local social media like YikYak, but in the comment section of a viral Instagram post on an account called “oldrowofficial.” This account has over two million followers. They posted a picture of the poster with the caption “Sent in from Gettysburg College. Imagine the outrage if this was about any other group.”
The account did not blur or remove the email of the student holding the event. The post received over 11,000 likes. Some comments on the post even advocate for spamming the student with emails and signing them up for mailing lists.
The national Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) organization and Fox News have now both published articles about the event.
A student originally involved in the project, who wishes to remain anonymous, said, “Another member created the title [for the project] and since then, I’ve decided not to be a part of the project anymore because I do not agree with it at all. It is creating a greater division between people and forming an ‘us’ against ‘them’ mindset.”
The student explained that the project was originally planned with the intent to reflect on events on campus this semester.
“The goal of the project was for students who were directly or indirectly affected by events on campus this semester such as the car driving by making…noises targeted towards Black students, the invitation of a transphobic and homophobic speaker to campus by YAF, and most recently, the nonconsensual recording in SAE’s bathroom, to somewhat heal and express how they’ve felt,” the student said.
The student explained that there was going to be a showing in Junction of the works at the end of the month so that people could understand “that there were people deeply hurt and affected by these instances.”
“We wanted to create a safe space for people to discuss, paint, and write about their own personal experiences and how these tragic events have made them feel. Afterwards, we wanted to have a debriefing for students to discuss how to move forward after these issues and prevent them from happening in the future through educating others,” the student said. “This event was supposed to be welcoming to all members of the college community because we knew everyone had some type of opinion about it.”
Yates said, “In any community of our size, there will be a wide range of views. That creates a fertile educational environment, but it also means that there will be occasions where views expressed are controversial. That is inherent in the freedom we give to our students to find themselves and to express themselves.”
The student organizer for the project has not yet responded to a request for comment.
The Interim Program Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Program declined to comment.
November 14, 2022
One of my happiest childhood memories was at Gettysburg College. Our presbyterian group had a summer retreat there. I was probably 9 or 10. At the final event, student counselors helped all the kids dress up as clowns and we did a clown car skit. I was so happy! I’d never been a clown before…or since. I still remember seeing the white-face paint and a little bee one of the girls put on my cheek. It was so fun. Now I’m over fifty and am one of the white men the students of Gettysburg College is tired of. I’ve tried to live a good life. I’ve tried to support good causes. But through no fault of my own, YOU hate ME. And YOU hate my only son – who is also a good person. It’s devastating to see colleges allow students to put out plainly racist material and statements. It’s gross. It’s sickening. It’s heart-breaking. I will never support your racist projects.
December 10, 2022
How is this racist? Being tired of something in no way constitute racism. I get tired of my job or ignorant people; am I racist because of this?
Racial resentment is real and that doesn’t mean racism. Blacks have resentment with just-cause. No where can that be said to be racist or we resent what a race has done to us because of the color of our skin and no other reason. Resentment is real, and privileged (with a history that involves an all out display of racism)people tend to gaslight and use micro-aggressive rhetoric to counter balance this. Not racism, realism, the kind of real that the ones that say they are nice white people can’t deal in or with. Part of the solution is not crying wolf, but going to see and hear the discussion with an open heart and mind. History says what you hate and best and yet the ability to hear that very history from the people that it has been done to is something that you want to keep away from your white world and kids, while we the ones it has all been done to… the unwanted sons, daughters, inlaws, and rejected babies…..yeah! That’s the one! I’m a very nice black man and some of my best friends are White, but I will not allow them to dismiss the truth for the sake of their comfort. Everything that I am comes with a friendship with me as I expect with them. Tough conversations and all.
November 14, 2022
Sick and tired of people crying about reverse racism in response to this. It doesn’t exist and never will. If you were offended by the title of this event, you need to read up on privilege and power dynamics. some of the people who will criticize this event also likely wail over free speech…ya know, unless it’s someone else who doesn’t have the same privileges doing the speaking. Kudos to the person who organized this event, it sounds like a great idea to create a safe space for people who actually need it. I hope you’re doing okay.
November 14, 2022
You cannot condemn, vilify or discriminate against people because of their immutable traits. You’re on the wrong side of history.
November 15, 2022
No such thing as “reverse racism”. Racism is racism regardless who it’s targeting.