And the University vows to track down the perps.
Professor Jacobson recently wrote about how Donald Trump’s rise is driving countless people into the offices of mental health professionals.
The latest example of Trump induced psychosis is unfolding at Emory University where students were horrified this week to find someone took a piece of chalk and wrote pro-Trump messages on campus sidewalks. The horror!
Rather than simply ignoring this like any normal person would do, certain activists within the student body are demanding that the university president denounce this message of hate.
The Emory Wheel reports:
Emory Students Express Discontent With Administrative Response to Trump Chalkings
Students protested yesterday at the Emory Administration Building following a series of overnight, apparent pro-Donald Trump for president chalkings throughout campus.
Roughly 40 students gathered shortly after 4:30 p.m. in the outdoors space between the Administration Building and Goodrich C. White Hall; many students carried signs featuring slogans such as “Stop Trump” or “Stop Hate” and an antiphonal chant addressed to University administration, led by College sophomore Jonathan Peraza, resounded “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!” throughout the Quad. Peraza opened the door to the Administration Building and students moved forward towards the door, shouting “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
After approximately ten minutes outside from the start of the demonstration, the gathered students were ushered into the Quad-facing entrance to the Administration Building and quickly filled a staircase to continue their demonstration. Pausing in the staircase, a few students shared their initial, personal reactions to the chalkings.
“I’m supposed to feel comfortable and safe [here],” one student said. “But this man is being supported by students on our campus and our administration shows that they, by their silence, support it as well … I don’t deserve to feel afraid at my school,” she added…
— Kmarko (@Kmarkobarstool) March 22, 2016
Barstool Sports website has more of the “chalkings.”
The school’s president initially stood up to student demands:
University President James W. Wagner, who had been standing just inside the threshold of the door, had been called into the board room by students and listened at the head of the table while they described how the appearance of the chalkings made them feel. He addressed several questions throughout the time in the board room, including “Why did the swastikas [on the AEPi house in Fall 2014] receive a quick response while these chalkings did not?” to which Wagner replied that they “represented an outside threat” and clarified that it was a second set of swastikas that received a swift response from the University. “What do we have to do for you to listen to us?” students asked Wagner directly, to which he asked, “What actions should I take?” One student asked if Emory would send out a University-wide email to “decry the support for this fascist, racist candidate” to which Wagner replied, “No, we will not.”
Then he relented and agreed to track down the perpetrators:
The University will review footage “up by the hospital [from] security cameras” to identify those who made the chalkings, Wagner told the protesters. He also added that if they’re students, they will go through the conduct violation process, while if they are from outside of the University, trespassing charges will be pressed.
David Schraub, a law professor who writes at The Debate Link blog compares this story to another recent incident at Emory University:
Two Tales of Free Speech at Emory
A few days ago, Eugene Volokh posted an opinion by Emory University’s “Standing Committee for Open Expression” which gave a broad defense of open expression rights at the University (Volokh’s brother, Sasha, serves on the committee). The opinion was in reference to an incident where Emory’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter put up a mock wall in front of a campus building as a means of protesting against Israeli policy. Two Emory community members proceeded to vandalize the wall.
The opinion concludes that such vandalism conflicted with the principles oi open expression that govern an academic institution. It expressly rejected the notion that any subjective feeling of “offense” caused by the display, or its alleged “incivility”, or the acknowledge commitment of Emory to creating a diverse and inclusive academic space, could justify the attempt to suppress the SJP’s expressive activity. All of this seems exactly right in my view — had I seen the display, I may well have been offended (the SJP hardly has a spotless track record), but that is simply no excuse for vandalism or other thuggery aimed at suppressing their speech. Free expression requires that we sometimes must endure even deeply offensive, uncivil, or anti-pluralistic speech…
Assuming, as seems plausible, that Emory does not have a general (or at least generally-enforced) policy of prohibiting chalking in support of political or social causes, the pro-Trump messages are no different in form than the SJP wall display. In both cases, many will find one or both forms of expression threatening and emblematic of deeply hostile and oppressive social norms. It is absolutely reasonable to be upset that people hold such beliefs. But in an academic community, this cannot result in any official censorship — as one would have hoped the Standing Committee’s opinion would have made clear.
Here’s the funniest part. Even the far left site Gawker is making fun of these students:
Word “Trump” Written in Chalk Terrifies, Harms Emory Students
First, it was offensively inauthentic sushi at the Oberlin dining halls. Now, a new—and somehow worse—wickedness torments America’s students: Someone drew the word “Trump” on the ground at a college.
Thanks to a new report in the Emory Wheel, I’ve learned two things: the student paper at Emory is named the Wheel, and a bunch of these kids are extreme weenie babies, so sensitive and unprepared for the mild psychic hurdles of our shared reality that they are literally crying out in pain because of a letters they saw when they turned their heads in certain directions.
Note to students everywhere: When even Gawker thinks you’re pathetic, you’re doing it wrong.
]Featured image via Barstool Sports]