Like many of you, I received the email for SGA regarding their stance on the posters, or lack thereof on campus. I was startled that this topic was brought up, especially given that there has not been an incident of that caliber that has happened on campus since last Halloween. I found that rather than attempting to move on from what I personally considered a minor nuisance, SGA instead decided to bring back an old wound that many on campus were content to forget. In this circumstance, I believe that SGA failed to properly serve the many students of Concordia and their stance was more inflaming to the masses rather than the “stand of solidarity” they may have intended.
For those who were not here on campus last year, there was a wave of posters that said “It’s ok to be white.” There was public outcry by the students, faculty, and the whole school. Meetings where held, conversations had, and valiant stands of solidarity to make sure everyone knew they belonged. I, as a minority, did not care that greatly about the posters. Certainly they were in bad taste, but I never saw them as the “white supremacy” attack so many believed them to be. Rather, I saw it as a plea to feel like a person mattered again. As a Latino in this day and age, I recognize that I have a good amount of support that benefits me simply for the color of my skin. There is legislation, school policies, corporate ideals, and other things that work simply to ensure I have the same rights as any other person. In that regard, I am grateful. But in this age of “enlightened diversity,” we have begun to forget a very important demographic: the middle-lower class white man. I often call them the “forgotten demographic,” a term I once heard my mother say. There is so much boast of diversity and acceptance that I have begun to see a wave of anti-caucasian sentiments. I find this just as disturbing as those who are racist towards people of color. I felt that while the posters were worded quite poorly, there was an urgent plea to not be forgotten as this demographic has become. It is for this reason I believe that President Trump won the 2016 election. Too often has the “working white man” been forgotten by policies, and when a president, however disturbing his thoughts may be, comes in and promises to help those people, it is no wonder that President Trump won in the first place.
My issue then comes to Concordia’s own SGA. While I hold the group itself in high regards, I cannot agree with the actions of that have happened. The email was a prime example of an action that did not need to be taken. There was no purpose in the email besides reminding the school of an issue that happened in the past. Rather, it caused more dissonance in creating a circumstance that simply did not exist in the moment. Had the posters reappeared on campus, I would agree with the action, albeit begrudgingly. But to remind people of an incident that took place last year simply gives power to people who wish to cause strife at the school. It is more harmful that SGA felt it necessary to reopen a closed wound than to simply let it be. There are fights that should be fought, but the issue of last year’s posters was not one of them.