An Open Letter to The Clemson Administration, the Clemson Campaign for Campus Justice, and Dr. Todd May -Alexander Cullen

Dear Clemson Administration, Clemson Campaign for Campus Justice, and Dr. Todd May,

Alt Right flyer discovered outside Fike on Clemson’s Campus.

Last week Clemson University had flyers from two radical organizations appear on its campus. A flyer promoting the “Alt Right” was discovered taped to the door of Clemson’s Fitness center, Fike. Only three day later, several flyers appeared around campus calling for recruitment for a much different organization, Antifa. The University responded the next day with an email from Vice President of University Relations, Mark Land. The email briefly summarized the events, espoused a commitment to free speech, in addition to commitments concerning student safety, and ended abruptly by asking that similar flyers be reported to the police in the future.

Since then, Professor of Philosophy Todd May and the Clemson Campaign for Campus Justice(CCCJ) penned an open letter to Clemson President Clements, Provost Jones, and Dr. Gill chastising the administration for a woefully inadequate response to the appearance the first flyer which linked to websites that disperse racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic literature

I find myself in agreement with Dr. May regarding such a group, the University could not be clearer in its indecisiveness and general desire to avoid making any statement condemning the group or their ideology. I think it is the rightful place of The University to establish that any group participating in racism, the advocating of violence, or discrimination is fundamentally incompatible with the values Clemson claims to hold. The overly reserved criticism that both of these groups had merely violated University posting policies stands as a failure on part of the University to deliver the proper condemnation which students, staff and faculty alike deserve.

The Alt Right on its own, for reasons listed in the Clemson Campaign for Campus Justice’s open letter, warrants condemnation by a University’s whose mission is to establish a “high seminary of learning.” For that reason, I will sign the petition Dr. Tholozany has authored and that the CCCJ has circulated. However, I cannot help but notice that despite Antifa’s mention in said petition, the group has not, in addition to the Alt Right, been called for condemnation by the Administration at Clemson. For a petition claiming to stand against hate I find this to be representative of the Clemson Campaign for Campus Justice’s own “profound moral lapse.”

Article posted by “Upstate ARA,” justifying violence committed at UC Berkeley on Feb 1, 2017 when Milo attempted to speak at the University, many were injured.

Antifa, and by extension its regional chapter “Upstate ARA,” embodies a hate no less destructive than the Alt Right and far more present on our campus. While the appearance of these Alt right flyers is cause for concern, they’re the first to appear and no such Alt Right group has come forward to recruit the targets of the propaganda. Upstate ARA has dispersed propaganda on campus on multiple occasions since last semester alone and runs an operation social media account with over 800 followers. While claiming to be concerned with harming Fascists and Racists, Antifa at both a national and local level has demonstrated an ideological propensity to actively advocate violence against enormous segments of the population by expanding the definition of a Fascist to include not just Trump or Trump voters, but the entirety of the Republican party. I find such broad and unqualified calls for violence abhorrent and concerning.

Clemson Administration, Clemson Campaign for Campus Justice, and Dr. Todd May, today our campus sits between two great evils who have worked tirelessly to convince us that no choice in the middle can exist while a large terror haunts the other side of the political spectrum. I prefer to believe that while such evils exist at those extreme poles we have no choice but collect our commonly held principles in solidarity. The University should condemn both of these vicious hate groups, and make it clear that ideologies which deviate from our core values of Honesty, Integrity, and Respect are not congruent with the purpose of the University. I hope to be able to work with the CCCJ towards this goal; which should, if it truly seeks to Condemn both Racism and Hate, amend its petition to include Antifa.

In eager hope for administrative response, in eager anticipation of better petition, and in true solidarity,

Alexander Cullen

 

 

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