Chalk Writings on University of Michigan’s Campus
Are the words "Stop Islam," "Build the Wall," "Stop the Rape of Europe," and "Trump 2016" hateful bigoted words?
Well some students and administrators at the University of Michigan believe so, do you?
The Detroit Free Press as well as some national news sites are reporting on those phrases being written on a central plaza on U of M’s campus.
Some Muslim students were not happy with those phrases, and the fact that U of M did not wash the phrases out immediately, that they took matters in their own hands and removed them.
They washed some of them away but left the Trump chalking’s because they did not want to “infringe” on political speech. At least they were a bit more thoughtful about free speech than many other college students at other campuses, Emory University I am looking at you.
One U of M student was quoted in the Detroit Free Press article stating”
We specifically made it a point to not remove the chalk that was simply pro-Trump (even though we do not agree with his hateful ideas. We wanted to ensure that we weren't infringing on anybody's political free speech.
A spokesman for the University of Michigan, said in a statement on Wednesday:
Someone used chalk to write a #stopislam message on the main square in the heart of our campus known as the Diag. Attacks directed toward any member or group within the University of Michigan community, based on a belief or characteristic, are inconsistent with our values of respect, civility and equality. We all understand that where speech is free it will sometimes wound. But our message is this: We are fully committed to fostering an environment that is welcoming and inclusive of everyone. Tonight we are reminded there is much work yet to be done.
The executive director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a statement:
We are concerned that these recent anti-Islam and anti-immigrant messages are creating an environment in which some students, teachers and other university faculty members feel unsafe on campus. We encourage anyone who has information about these messages to immediately contact the university's Department of Public Safety.
Interesting that they want people to report any messages like this to the authorities but I cannot remember them asking for Muslims to report any radical extremist Muslims in their mosques to report that to authorities.
The University of Michigan’s policy on chalking reads is as follows: “Chalking with water soluble chalk is allowed on University sidewalks and plazas. Chalking is prohibited on other University property including, but not limited to, buildings, columns, seating walls, steps, and other surfaces, structures and fixtures. The University has no responsibility for maintaining or removing chalk placed on sidewalks or plazas.”
Free speech is supposed to be free whether you agree with them or not. We all see and hear statements that offend us each day but most of us do not get upset enough about them that we want to “wash” them away.
Let’s talk about this today on The Live with Renk Show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.
Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section