Inside Higher ED: “Blogs Aim to Bring Light to Hateful Speech Online”
“…broadcasting offensive posts to remind students that tweeting hateful things is no better than saying hateful things and that the web is not a private place. The blogs are meant to be a wake-up call to students, but they are also a startling look into the stereotypes that persist on campus.”
“The OSU Haters blog states simply, “Ohio State is no place for hate!” The blog is a collection of tweets and posts from Ohio State students that mock or degrade different groups on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation. The posters’ names (from their Twitter pages) are clearly visible. UNL Haters, inspired by OSU haters, adds, “Not everyone featured are haters, many are simply ignorant.” The creators of the sites at both universities have insisted on remaining anonymous, and did not respond to Inside Higher Ed’srequest for comment. Students whose tweets were posted on the sites also did not respond to requests for comment.”
“The blogs have brought to light the surprising willingness of students to mock and make negative comments about various groups, especially Asian students, who have notoriously been the subject of cruel jokes and racist comments on campuses in recent years. The sites have also inspired action by students and discussion among administrators.
It’s been really exciting to see the student engagement around this,” said Rebecca Nelson, senior special assistant to the vice president of student life at Ohio State and the convener of the Bias Assessment Response Team (BART). BART monitors the campus climate and makes recommendations about how to provide support for different groups on campus. It also monitors and responds to complaints of hateful actions or speech.”
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/10/01/blogs-aim-bring-light-hateful-speech-online#ixzz283w7lSOV
Inside Higher Ed
Reading stories like this strengthen my commitment and resolve to work to build communities that are respectful and inclusive of all people both on college campuses and in the surrounding communities.
A few years ago while speaking with parents at a college orientation I was asked if there were racial tensions on campus. I responded by saying that Universities are extensions of the broader society, and that all the issues that exist outside of the borders of college campuses exist on the inside as well.
Some might believe that these issues are absent within universities. Sometimes, the degree to which we might believe this depends on our level of privilege, as it’s something that is so intoxicating to the point where it can make us believe that we don’t even have it.
“Of course these problems don’t exist because I haven’t experienced them.”
The reality is, it takes hard work to create and maintain communities that are inclusive and respectful of others. Working on ourselves by critically examining our own thoughts and beliefs about others can be a crucial part of that process.
Hopefully these sites will start some conversations that lead to meaningful action.
Grace & Peace,
From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW