By Madison Morris – [email protected]

First and foremost, I would like to say that chanting “build that wall” on the Link was inappropriate. Although I am a supporter of the right to say what you want (protected speech that does not threaten harm to another person), there is a time and a place for everything, and this was not the best time or place.

I chose to respond to the video because I thought it was inappropriate for someone to post it, only showing five seconds of what happened with no context. I was not expecting such a negative response from my comment; I received comments and private messages calling me racist, xenophobic, ignorant, stupid and privileged.

I was horrified and very hurt that out of everyone commenting on the video who claimed to be hurt by language on the bus, not a single one of them stood up for me when the public comments against me turned very hateful.

For the “Bennie Johnnie Solidarity” community to claim that they stand for all students, there was no support for me or my ideas. Diversity does not just mean skin color, sexuality and religion; diversity includes diversity of thought, and I fear that diversity of thought is very much at risk on these campuses.

The comments and messages I received calling me racist are not only false, but it is also a last resort effort often used against me to try and make my argument invalid.

When someone has to defend their outrage over something like this, they resort to name calling because of an inability to engage in debate.

If someone is able to label me as racist or privileged, then anything I say is “hate speech” which means they can ignore and attack me. This tactic is immature, and it concerns me that so many people are quick to label others on social media as racists when they have never met that person.

Ninety-nine percent of the students that I have met on campus that voted for Trump are far from being racists. In fact they are some of the most open-minded people I have ever met.

The narrative that Trump voters and Republicans on campus need to check their “white privilege” is one of the most harmful narratives pushed at CSB/SJU and across the country.

One student told me that I need to check my white, straight privilege. Are you telling me that because I am a white, straight woman that somehow means my opinion no longer matters because it is a conservative one?

This kind of dialogue and labeling is disgusting and only further polarizes us.

We all have a unique human story, so every person is valuable to the conversation. We are all very privileged to attend these amazing institutions, where we have the opportunity to engage in discourse with people from all walks of life.

We owe it to ourselves to not discount our peers’ opinions even when we don’t agree with them or find them offensive. We owe it to ourselves to not engage in this harmful name calling, and to push away from this “us versus them” victimization and mentality.

This is the opinion of Madison Morris, CSB senior.