Students React to Hate Speech Group on Campus

ESU Students React Hate Speech Group ESU Students React Hate Speech Group on Campus / Photo Courtesy of Emily Egan

Emily Egan 

Student Life Editor

A beautiful, peaceful day was interrupted by hate speech on campus at ESU. 

Protestors spewing racism, homophobia, and misogynistic speech hurled unkind words and signs toward students and staff as they lined up outside Sycamore Suites around 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23. 

The protestors held signs such as “women belong in the kitchen” and “homos can’t be saved” to antagonize students. 

“I genuinely feel sick to my stomach… this is not what Christianity is; Christianity is not about hate, it is love,” said freshman Adria McGarry.

“It’s honestly very upsetting that people feel this way, and I think they need to do better,” health and physical education student Cole Streisl added.

However, the students did not let this get to them. As a community, we came together to disregard the hate and created another fun way to be inclusive.

The Student Government Association held a unity rally at the same time as the hate speech group gathering. They brought speakers to drone out the hate speech, danced and brought flags to combat the offensive signs.

“It is absolutely amazing that they’re hosting a unity rally; I couldn’t be more proud to have a school that actually cares and feels for its students going through this,” stressed McGarry.

“The Unity Rally is a way for SGA to get students to basically ignore what’s happening over there,” said SGA Senator Amir White-Showell, while pointing over at the hate speech group.

ESU sent students an email reminding students not to engage with the hate speech group, and that since it is a public campus, they cannot be forcibly removed due to the First Amendment. They also urged people that this hate group does not reflect the views of ESU as a campus and are not sponsored by the university.

ESU’s statement told people that as a university, they must be content-neutral

“Government entities, like ESU, cannot impose limitations on speech because some people do not like it. The content, or point of view, cannot matter,” the statement read.

However, students did agree that ESU did everything it could to protect faculty, students, and staff. McGarry encouraged students to realize that since ESU is a public campus, you can’t just kick the hate speech groups off. 

“Even though it is hate speech, getting the cops involved is probably a lot more difficult than we think,” they added.

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