TO THE EDITOR:
Is preemptive violence against hate speech justified?
Last night I was walking to Franklin Street, and heard someone yell, “White Power!” from Silent Sam. I finished my trip, and then walked over to talk to the small group of people around the statue. I found a cohort of people surrounding two young men sitting siting on the base of the statue. The two young men asked how I felt about the statue, so I proceeded to draw parallels between the monument and HBCUs. Namely, that not everyone who supported HBCUs were explicitly racist, but we have to recognize that it is mired in racism.
While we were discussing the merit of my argument, a group of students arrived and began to accost the young men with homophobic slurs, vulgar language, and physically violent stances; namely, standing over them in an aggressive manner. I asked them to refrain from aggressive behavior.
They then began to yell at me saying, “Shut up and leave. No one wants to hear what you have to say. You’re just a white male who can’t understand racism.”