Here at Duke, there is an immediate need for an important conversation about hate speech, censorship, and respect for each and every member of our community. Now more than ever, as we emerge from a heavy and drawn-out campaign season, the time to reflect on the words this election has normalized is long overdue.
In 2013, Think Before You Talk and Blue Devils United developed the “You Don’t Say” project at Duke University. In light of the recent political season, You Don’t Say is making a return to Duke’s campus. Our poster installment will highlight the inclusive standards we should hold our speech accountable to.
Throughout the presidential campaigns, political rhetoric has been conflated with prejudiced language. As a community of lifelong learners, we must come together once again in response to the words that are marginalizing to people’s varying and diverse identities. From death threats on white boards to slurs on tunnel walls, hateful language is inexcusably present here, and silence is complacency in the face of hateful language.
While Hillary Clinton has characterized half of Trump supporters as “a basket of deplorables,” Trump has called undocumented immigrants “rapists.” Even after the election, hateful, vindictive and painfully intolerant incidents of speech and its successor, violent action, have been incredibly pervasive. These words echo loudly in the hearts and minds of Duke students against whom these words are targeted.
It is time to revive our efforts to model more inclusive language on Duke’s campus and beyond, and band together, in proving how commonplace phrases affect issues of personal identity. Igniting such a campus-wide conversation about the meaning behind and repercussions of our words is the first step in attaining the inclusive and vibrant community ideals our university espouses.
Join the team: http://tinyurl.com/YDScampaign
Steve Hassey, Trinity ‘19
Sabriyya Pate, Trinity ‘19
Steven Soto, Trinity ‘17
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