I would like to take the time to address the incident involving the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity house. As we all know by now, the AEPi fraternity house was the target of crude, offensive graffiti, including swastikas, early Sunday morning, Oct. 5.
Since this discovery, the act of vandalism has been called "abhorrent", an "insensitive display of prejudice," "crude," "offensive" "egregious" and "an attack against everything for which Emory stands." I couldn't agree more.
On that note, what I am about to say is absolutely NOT meant to offend anyone, but I am hoping that this incident can open a greater dialogue in the Emory Community.
I am upset, not only about this incident, but because I've seen this before. I've witnessed offensive statements and racial prejudice on Emory's campus, but I've never --in my four years there--seen a university-wide response like this to a incident with any other marginalized community on campus.
For instance, on Monday, April 24, 2012 during a men’s intramural volleyball championship between Beta Theta Pi fraternity and a team made up of predominantly Asian-American students, Beta fans cheered, "“USA! USA! USA!” with their fists pumping in the air as they chanted again and again. How did the university respond? They didn't. Instead, the Asian-American students were told they were too "sensitive" and that "it wouldn't be an issue if you won. stfu." Read the article and the comments here.
Or what about the African American community. President Wagner's racially insensitive 3/5th Compromise comments, the removal of two African American Greek organizations for violations White Greek organizations get slaps on the wrist for, the Dooley Show "lynching" joke, the removal of the Black Student Alliance house, Black students getting turned away from parties or being told "you need to know someone" in order to get in, and the classic "Black male, hooodie, and blue jeans" Emory Alert criminal profiles.
My point? There are SEVERAL cultural, racial, gender, and religious groups on campus that have never received the same call-to-action response from the university administration, and yet have faced blatant displays of prejudice or daily micro aggressions.
Your student body president, Jon Darby, wants "all people and all communities at Emory feel supported and safe on our campus" but several communities on Emory University's campus have not been treated with the same administrative outcry. In fact, some of the students I've already talked to feel (and myself included) that the administration's response confirmed the fact that only "certain people" matter. Is "blatant anti-semitism" more important than blatant racism, sexism, or discrimination against other religions?
Riddle me this.
If you're outraged about a swastika painted on a fraternity house, why weren't you also upset when your peers were alluded to as 3/5th of a person?
Why weren't you upset when another fraternity chanted "USA!" to a group of Asian Americans?
Why do some of our peers continue to hang confederate flags in their rooms?
Why the hell is Beta still on campus after a woman reported she was the victim of a rape by two males at the Beta Theta Pi (Beta) fraternity house?
When the Black Student Alliance asked for the university community to wear Black to support African American students after The Dooley Show incident and Wagner's comments, where was the Emory community's support?
If you call for solidarity with AEPi and the Jewish community at Emory, reciprocate and show solidarity for other marginalized groups on campus that have experienced "abhorrent," "crude," "offensive" "egregious" insensitive displays of prejudice as well.