Hate Speech and the University of Michigan
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, Barbara McQuade, was reported to say in a Mlive.com article that a good response to hateful speech is healthy speech.
Well at least she did not say a good response to hate speech is to shut it down. At least we have that going for us.
In a forum addressing hateful speech at U of M she was quoted in the article stating:
We thought the recent example with the chalked graffiti to 'Stop Islam' was a great opportunity to come here to the campus and convene a dialogue between students and administrators to talk about how you respond to something like that, and how do you make people feel safe when they are naturally threatened or intimidated by something like that, while preserving the free speech rights that are so important on the campus community. We are just concerned, because words on pavement aren't physically threatening in and of themselves, but they're indicative that there's a presence that feels confident enough to write that on the most populated place on campus
By the way that forum at U of M was not open to the media, so much for transparency.
A first-year law student and member of the Muslim Law Students Association was also quoted in that forum saying:
"For students here, I feel like it's not just one incident but a buildup of smaller micro aggressions that show them that within that community or space, they aren't as welcome in some cases, or there are very vocal presences that don't want to hear their voices, but want to drown it out with something hateful.”
Many at this forum and on campus believes that the micro aggressions committed against their “minority group” happened on March 30 when messages of "#StopIslam" and "Trump 2016" appeared on their campus.
Here we go again with the “micro aggression” thought process. A current definition of micro aggression is: subtle but offensive comment or action directed at a minority or other non-dominant group that is often unintentional or unconsciously reinforces a stereotype.
Micro aggression many times is in the eye of the beholder. Many of us in the “majority” group can also be confronted with micro aggressions in our minds every day. It really depends on your outlook on life and were you feel you might have been cheated out of something or you feel you have not been treated fairly. Maybe somethings you were cheated out of something or not treated fairly but that could have nothing to do with your minority status.
It was also reported in the article that words like 'Stop Islam' and others is the kind of “rhetoric that terrorist recruiters use as propaganda to recruit and spread that false narrative that America is at war with Islam.”
There has been no evidence to that statement, at least that I have seen. Do you really think that terrorist groups tell their potential murderers about a chalk writing on the campus of the University of Michigan is a reason they should join their group and kill innocent people and rape children and women?
Just some food for thought.
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.