Responding to two images painted on a popular graffiti wall on Tuesday — one definitely offensive, the other quite questionable — students and student groups at Ohio University got together to develop a “plan of action” to prevent such occurrences in the future.
The paintings included a person being hanged, and the phrase “BUILD THE WALL” (with the anarchy symbol replacing the “A” in “WALL”).
According to The Post, shortly thereafter students painted over most of the wall with black paint, adding “#blacklivesmatter” and “racism will not be tolerated here.”
But some of the suggestions by students at the meeting regarding what to do about instances like the graffiti certainly raise a few eyebrows.
Proposed items included an anti-hate speech clause in the student code of conduct, disciplinary measures, a “culture of inclusion” task force, diversity training and cultural competency courses at the university. …
“I’ve been to so many of these meetings because these situations constantly happen, (so) I was happy they had an agenda and a plan of action of what they wanted to do, so we could come together and do these things as a team,” [senior Morgan] Benson said. “There’s power in numbers.”
OU President Roderick McDavis addressed racism on campus regarding a previous graffiti wall matter in December 2015, but Ryant Taylor, an OU alumnus, said he is skeptical of the university’s willingness to make a change. Taylor said students need to take matters into their own hands.
“We need to do more of being in the streets and going out in large numbers because a lot of the reforms that were presented are good, but what are students going to do when the university says no?” Taylor said.
This sounds dangerously like “rule of the mob.” Ohio University is a public institution, so it may indeed say “no” to some of the proposals, especially when it comes to the ambiguous term “hate speech.” For, while the lynching image clearly is in a derisively disgusting category all its own, phrases like “Build the Wall” could be deemed no more “hateful” than “#blacklivesmatter.”
As for the diversity and “cultural competency” training, enough already with that nonsense.
Perhaps if activists didn’t give the time of day to folks like the lynching painter, not to mention stop using examples like his graffiti to claim that our larger society is incorrigibly racist, morons like him will crawl back under their respective rocks. It’s attention they’re after.
IMAGE: Ashley Marinaccio/Flickr