People are dying in Ukraine but Mike Pence is a threat to lives at the University of Virginia. Give me a break.
My goodness. If I majored in journalism like my dad wanted me to I might still be a socialist.
The Cavalier Daily‘s editorial board, the student newspaper at The University of Virginia, doesn’t want “dangerous rhetoric” to have a platform.
Tell me, all-knowing kids at Virginia, what is dangerous rhetoric? The sub-headline says, “Speech that threatens the lives of those on Grounds is unjustifiable.”
Did someone invite members of the Manson Family to speak? Literal members of the KKK? ISIS? Vladimir Putin?
Nope. Mike Pence:
A student organization recently announced its plans to host former vice president Mike Pence this April to speak in Old Cabell Hall. For Pence, gay couples signify a “societal collapse,” Black lives do not matter, transgender individuals and immigrants do not deserve protection and the pandemic should not be taken seriously. Nevertheless, the University has accepted Pence’s visit as an “opportunity to hear from, and engage with, leaders and experts from a wide variety of fields and perspectives.” So-called “perspectives” should not be welcomed when they spread rhetoric that directly threatens the presence and lives of our community members. The LGBTQ+ individuals Pence has attacked, the Black lives he refuses to value and the successful stories of immigration he and the former president hope to prevent — these very people are our peers, our neighbors and our community members. We refuse to condone platforming Pence.
The University’s silence is deafening. Do not mistake this for neutrality, however. To be silent in the face of those like Pence is a choice — in this case, a choice to fail to protect the lives of those on Grounds who Pence blatantly threatens through his rhetoric and policies. To hide behind a sentiment that celebrates engaging with “leaders and experts from a wide variety of fields and perspectives” is to actively undermine the values of diversity, honor, integrity, trust and respect that the University purports to celebrate. Silence in the face of a homophobic, racist and transphobic politician only makes room for such “perspectives” at our University.
The board spews out the lie that Trump called the Charlottesville white supremacists “very fine people,” which has been proven false so many times.
Facts don’t matter, though. It’s all about narrative:
Let us be clear — we must seriously consider the environment we wish to tolerate. Let us not forget that for four years, Pence served alongside the man who called those same white supremacists “very fine people.” Pence’s presence on Grounds signifies a tolerance of rhetoric that has already harmed our community — in fact, the very building that Pence will speak in was constructed to hide Black citizens so as not to disrupt the landscape of Grounds. Though Pence’s language may not be as overt as the white supremacy expressed during the events of Aug. 11 and 12, we must all be concerned about the message his rhetoric could imply we accept.
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