This election has led to a divisiveness not previously seen in this nation. Protests are still underway in major cities across the U.S., African-Americans have been threatened online, Muslim women are being assaulted, and vandalism — including a number of swastikas — are being sprayed on bus stops and dorm rooms.
That hate-fueled vandalism has made its way to USF.
“Graffiti was found on the walls with racial undertones that specified various individuals names and that if Hillary Clinton won there would be death,” USF University Police Public Information Officer Renna Reddick told The Oracle. “Similar types of messages were placed under their doors.”
The graffiti was thankfully written in a dry-erase marker, making it easy to remove. However, the issue is not whether the building has lasting damage or not, but rather the fact that individuals filled with so much abhorrent and detestable beliefs are still on the loose and have faced zero repercussions for their hate thus far.
This is an institution of higher learning. Everyone here has different beliefs and different morals. There are Clinton supporters who are against the protests and there are Trump supporters who are not racists. However, those who are radically acting out are stirring up the tension that has been rampant in our nation for years.
“I’m very concerned for the safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff at USF,” Viki Peer, a graduate student with Women’s and Gender Studies told The Oracle. “These explicit and public displays of racism and bigotry demonstrate the hostile environment on USF’s campus.”
Best-case scenario: the person responsible for the vandalism thought the incident would be humorous. But racism isn’t a joke.
People are being persecuted in this country because of how they look. You would have to be utterly blind to think institutional racism doesn’t exist. Making threatening statements toward your fellow students is not only inappropriate, it’s just sickening.
USF President Judy Genshaft sent an email to students Thursday reiterating that this campus was built on diversity and to not cave to the chaos created by this election.
“Whether or not you agreed with the outcome, the University of South Florida System remains a special place where respectful expression of one’s beliefs is encouraged,” Genshaft wrote. “Public universities, and particularly USF, play an integral role in moving our nation forward as a united — yet diverse — community.”
Students need to rely on unity and not animosity to get us through the next four years.
Take a moment today and do something kind for a stranger. If you see someone in need take time out of your day to help. Flood this campus with love and the few students who are a physical embodiment of slime will quickly learn to repress their loathing or be isolated for it.