A few weeks ago, a racist picture was sent by now-former ASG Senator Maxwell Hessling.
The Miami Student, while doing good work with the original story and editorial they published, failed to note that the offensive meme that was posted by a member of the College Republicans.
It is important that things like this are stated and put to the forefront, and that groups on campus condemn this type of behavior in their own groups and to their friends exhibiting harmful behavior.
When the article was published in The Student, I contacted a member of the College Republicans' executive board to ask if they were aware of this and whether they would be doing anything about it.
Even after I tried providing screenshots of the incident, the member I talked to seemed to not know what I was talking about, not to know who Hessling was and failed to follow up afterward.
I was hoping that a member of their own executive board would be willing to look into this and condemn this type of behavior.
I was sadly mistaken.
The problem is not only that my inquiries were essentially ignored, but that their response to this was not to condemn what their own member was saying. Instead of handling the incident, members pretended it didn’t exist.
The College Republicans, specifically members of their executive board, need to condemn intolerance within their community.
This certainly isn’t the first incident of something hateful happening on campus. White supremacists with Patriot Front spread posters of their hateful rhetoric. We’ve seen students on our campus send anti-Semitic Venmo requests which perpetuate hateful rhetoric that marginalizes Miami’s Jewish community. The Turning Point USA organization, known for spreading racist, harmful and false ideals, has made a recent insurgence on campus.
Incidents like this should not be ignored as they have been thus far. It makes marginalized groups feel unwelcome on this campus, and the things said by members of the College Republicans, along with other groups on campus, contribute to the toxic environment at Miami today.
Ignoring this behavior helps foster an environment of ignorance, hatred and intolerance on campus.
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It’s the responsibility of leaders on campus to call out these things and condemn them publicly. President Crawford and other members of the administration must speak out. The Student needs to make sure to call out these actions, as does ASG (which it has done a good job of doing, considering the circumstances).
More needs to be done to hold groups accountable for the hateful environment they foster on campus and condemn hateful actions that happen at the hand of their members.
It’s time that we stop walking on eggshells, and call out bigotry for what it is.
Omar Elghazawi, student
Editor’s Note: If our reporters had evidence Hessling was a member of the College Republicans, we would have said so.