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The Trumpening & The Chalkening

San Diego college students traumatized by political speech

A group of UC San Diego students said they were deeply disturbed after anti-Mexican/pro-Donald Trump sayings were found on campus in front of a Latino community center.

The messages, some of which said “build the wall,” “deport them all,” and “Mexico will pay,” were written in chalk on a sidewalk close to theRaza Resource Centro.

According to the UCSD College Democrats Facebook page, the sentiments were written by three to five men wearing hooded sweatshirts on Friday, the night before the university’s annual Triton Day, when new students are welcomed to campus.

Hoods! There were hoods! Was it … Sataaaan the Klaaaaaan?

A Latino PhD student writes:

“If it is found that these individuals are students, we request their immediate expulsion for inciting racist hostilities on campus in violation of UCSD “Principles of Community,” wrote Aguilar. “We demand that the mental health of Latin and Black students be prioritized in the wake of persistent racist hostilities on campus.”

Because the mental health of Latin and Black students is so fragile that they cannot endure someone writing chalk messages in support of a political candidate on the sidewalk at a university. Agreed, “Deport them all, Mexico will pay” is provocative, but come on, this is a college campus. A college provost felt compelled to issue a statement that included these lines, making it into a federal case:

Students have every right to protest against this latest attempt to roil the campus, but it is also well to recall that we have learned from similarly repugnant incidents before. ERC therefore urges the campus at large to reframe this incident as an occasion to acknowledge the persistence of gross insensitivity in American society and insist on greater multicultural understanding on campus.

UCSD has long had a problem dealing with speech its student leaders dislike. Late last year, when The Koala, apparently a historically obnoxious student publication, came out with offensive content, the Student Government responded by cutting all funding of campus media rather than risk a lawsuit for targeting that particular publication. Excerpt:

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education intervened, as it has in other Koala controversies, and funding was restored to all 33 student-funded media organizations by the following month. Greg Lukianoff, president and CEO of FIRE, said the student government’s new attempt to cut funding will likely end in a similar fashion.

“It’s become something of a pattern that has repeated over the years at UCSD,” he said. “And it’s almost certainly unconstitutional. It’s difficult to claim your decision to cut funding was content neutral when it’s really clearly about a particular magazine and its viewpoint. It’s wrong and foolish to cut all media funding, and ironic because by cutting funding to all publications, you’re getting rid of the funding that allows for some of the best counterspeech.”

One of the affected publications is the Muir Quarterly, the Koala’s rival humor publication. Over the years, the Muir Quarterly has used some of its funds to produce issues parodying and critiquing the Koala and its questionable attempts at humor. The publication and its staff received no advance notice about the decision to cut its funding.

Clearly the answer is to ban chalk at UCSD.