According to several tweets from Identity Evropa and professors on campus white supremacist flyers have been posted in Minard, West Dining Center and Quentin Burdick Building this week on Wednesday.
“Education is uncomfortable,” Emily Wicktor, assistant professor of English at NDSU, said on Thursday. “You need to confront things.”
I met with Wicktor as well as Mary McCall, an assistant professor in the English department, to discuss the University’s response and their thoughts on the current state of free speech regarding these white supremacist organizations.
The group is posting these on college campuses as a pro-white, anti-minority group that preaches a certain brand of “professional racism.” They will claim they are champions for free speech, and that the mainstream media is bigoted for not allowing them to voice their opinions. However, the problem lies in their argument. How can a group that discriminates minorities, claim discrimination of their own group? How does that even make sense?
The posters feature phrases like “Our Future” or “Our Heritage.” The people featured will look nice — clean cut with trendy hairstyles. Nothing about these posters scream racism. Even their website looks clean and professional.
That is until you find the recommended readings, which include a book stating that white humans are biologically better than minorities.
At North Dakota State we treat each other as a family though. We strive to support and build our community for all members of our herd. We here at NDSU will not stoop to the level of hatred and self-entitlement that this group uses.
They can hide under SAT-level vocabulary words, business suits and the label of the “alt-right.” But make no mistake, this group is her to indoctrinate young Bison into their hateful way of thinking.
For the white people on campus, it may be easy to simply ignore something like this. However, for those of us who are not white, it can be hard to ignore a group that displays outward hatred of us.
“Because that acknowledgment isn’t there, they don’t feel supported,” McCall told me, saying that a no response does nothing for those who are most affected. To the people who are scared of violence, the need for a response from the community is vital.
Last year, I saw my first sign of white supremacy here in Fargo. At Bison Arms apartment I saw, on multiple occasions, the flying of a World War I German Imperial flag. After research I learned that this was a stand-in flag for neo-Nazis.
“The line between free speech and hate speech is the impact it has on others,” McCall said. She also told me that these people feel marginalized by this groups “free speech.” We in the community need to see this as what it is — hate speech.
The people of this great university hold the power to silence a group who, legally, has every right to speak. Ethically though, we cannot allow these people to come to our home and make the thousands of minorities that inhabit and are active in this community to feel unsafe or inferior.
We will not let you do this heinous act. We will demonstrate loving acts of kindness and support to our fellow Bison, and we will win this battle.
For those of you who may consider joining this group, I offer a warning. You don’t want to find yourself as the bad guy in the history books.
What makes us special here at NDSU? The strength of the whole university, the reason many of us came here, was the community that we have built. A community that can rise to the occasion of any situation. When hate is present, we react by changing our ways. We react with love towards our fellow human race. We will live up to our standards. We will not stoop to their level.