The last thing NCC would expect April 3rd were two men who preached homophobic, racist, and sexist speeches.
They did not explain their reason as to why they were at NCC but someone had passed around flyers to students encouraging students to not approach or argue with these men because they were being paid to stand and rile up students in hopes to sue the school. The paper could not be lead back to a specific person as a faculty member had not passed around these papers.
Faculty and securities were at the protest to ensure the safety of the students as well as control the situation. They tried to assure that students did not get too close to the demonstrators and had barricaded the demonstrators in. They would try to calm any students down that may have gotten too heated. They had also passed around papers with the title, ‘How can I respond to demonstrators conveying offensive content?’
The list includes what hate speech is when hate speech becomes a crime and the rights we have and do not have. Below is a shorter content of what was on the paper.
Your rights include:
- Feeling offended and even angry (we all have a right to our feelings).
- Making your voice heard through peaceful protest.
- Educating others who use hate speech
- Ignoring the person(s) expressing the offensive views, to help limit the audience.
Your rights do not include:
- Making threats of violence towards others.
- Acting violently towards others.
- Crossing barriers set up by campus security or police, or otherwise disobeying them.
- Drowning out the demonstrators’ speech with music or created noise.
Students were yelling, arguing, recording, or excessively asking what’s an ankle biter. A veteran student, a professor, and another student tried to lead students to sit down with their backs against the demonstrators or to leave as to not encourage the demonstrators. Some students had sat and ignored the protestors. Faculty had offered free ice cream and food in hopes to have more students leave the premises and to not continue arguing with the demonstrators. There was a small dance party within students to help lead the focus away from demonstrators and towards the dancing before students disperse.
Stefanie Jaramillo, the first year in NCC majoring in Special Education Paraeducator, said, “Everyone can agree to disagree. Doesn’t mean to cuss or yell when something affects you emotionally. You have a right to your emotion but you can not flip a lid. People have their own opinion.”
The demonstrators at NCC preached messages that were sexist, homophobic, and filled with offensive slurs towards students who spoke up or approached them. Students were filling the arc where the demonstrators were barricaded.
When asking the question if it was possible to agree to disagree, the demonstrator said, “Yeah we can agree to disagree but I’d still be right and you’ll still be wrong. I want you all to agree with me and be right with me.”
When also asked if this was a social experiment, he had answered, “Not really. Kind of.”
The demonstrators were recording throughout their speech. They would not disclose what church they are from and continued to explain that he, himself was once a sinner but has turned his life around. When asked to read from the bible, he would only say, “Don’t be a hoe.”
Campuses have experienced these kinds of demonstration, although it isn’t mentioned if other local campuses were also targeted. Many articles have covered the rise of these kinds of group, as well as how the students deal with them. Many students have tried to drown these demonstrators out.
The First Amendment is a right and a privilege to have in the United States, even if the speech is hurtful, it is not dangerous.
Articles have spoken about how students can’t accept free speech if it is not something they do not like. The Washington Post’s article, ‘College students support free speech- unless it offends them’ by Jeffrey J. Selingo had stated, “The poll of 3,000 U.S. college students found that they generally endorse the ideals of free speech and campuses that encourage the discussion of a variety of ideas. But once that speech begins to infringe on their values, they’re likely to support policies that place limits on speech. Those include free-speech zones, speech codes and prohibitions on hate speech.”
Although his article was more focused that students can not accept others’ ideas, whether it is hateful or not, it is clear that college students to take their values and beliefs to heart. Whether it be the fault of social media or the anti-bullying campaign that has caused students to become against these kinds of free speech. Selingo believes students should protest with just as much passion for ideas that directly affect them. This article was posted on March 12, 2018.