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The Daily Tar Heel

Rotten at the core: Duke students and N.C. Republicans must show that bigotry and prejudice in Duke College Republicans aren’t acceptable

The Duke College Republicans mess goes beyond Justin Robinette, their former president some consider discriminated against.

During a Duke Senate open meeting last week, e-mails were presented which bring shame to all those who have respected Duke CRs.

The information contained is appalling, and stretches back almost the whole year.

Some have argued that the forum was unusual, and even that those accusing Duke CRs were equally implicated.
It makes little difference.

Senior leadership in Duke CRs wrote racial slurs and mocked students at North Carolina’s historically black colleges, suggested that students who expressed racial prejudice should gain roles with the group and e-mailed other racial, gender-based, anti-semitic and homophobic slurs.

One might sympathize with those who never expected private e-mails to become public.

But that doesn’t excuse the content, much of which related to work within Duke CRs.

So we reach the conclusion that in a group funded by Duke Student Government, there was an appalling culture which allowed prejudice and bigotry.

Little wonder that the Duke Senate voted to de-fund them and remove their charter.

We have some sympathy for Duke’s Student Body President Michael Lefevre, who vetoed their attempts because he sees the need for a conservative voice on campus. He thinks the organization can be fixed by removing bad apples and adding student government oversight.

Political balance is important, especially at a university.

But as it stands, the group’s recent history is a stain on all Republican efforts at Duke.

Members of the N.C. Federation of College Republicans think the discussion is overkill — it’s no surprise they want this mess gone.

But their silence doesn’t help the Republican movement. If the Federation of College Republicans really cares, it should get involved and show that it too is appalled.

Racism and bigotry aren’t Republican values. They’re not Duke University values.

And nothing less than removing the charter of this group and isolating this from the statewide movement will demonstrate that.

Then efforts to rebuild the group to standards everyone respects can begin.

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