‘White pride’ chalkings don’t take history into account
As an alumnus of Towson (class of 2007), I was shocked, appalled and deeply saddened to read the story regarding Youth for Western Civilization and their chalked slogans across campus.
It is very depressing to see my alma mater in the news for something as hateful and ignorant as students claiming that phrases such as “white power” and “white pride” are a “celebration of conservative principles.”
First and most importantly, phrases like “white pride” and “white power” mean much more than this group claims. They are the same things chanted at supremacist rallies and written on the lawns and homes of minority families as a means to intimidate and frighten, not to respectfully celebrate any group’s heritage.
Not considering the implications of their slogans before scribbling them across a diverse campus is incredibly shortsighted at best if, indeed, the implications were not intended.
The outlandish claim that we need a “White History Month” ignores the fact that most of our American history classes celebrate nothing but white achievement, from the founding of the United States, to the signing of the Declaration, through the first 43 presidents. This is the same history that includes the legacy of oppression and segregation of people of color. Feeling “left out” because there is not a specific month dedicated to “white history” ignores the realities of American history. Think for a moment what such a class might include – where does that now go untaught?
I am a white male, and I do not assume to know what it is like to be any other race or gender. But I cannot imagine that a student of color who sees phrases like “white power” written under their feet does not feel a twinge of pain, anger or sadness. Their feelings must be understood and respected.
I long for a time where our American history will not have to be told in segments of racially focused months, but instead discussed about how our country overcame racial tensions and stereotypes and lived, functioned and achieved as one. This will come one day, but scribbling “white pride” across Towson’s campus in an effort to celebrate “conservative thinking” takes us away from, not moves forward toward, that day.