The Editorial Staff
Last Wednesday, social media was lit on fire. The culprit, of course, was a flier posted by the UNCG College Republicans.
Simply put, the upper-half of the flier showcased a number of racially insensitive quotations from Democratic politicians — some of whom are long deceased — while the bottom-half of the flier contained a Republican party elephant, the party’s mascot, with the phrase, “You deserve better,” emboldened a dark red font.
Clearly, this flier was designed to generate controversy. A stupid controversy, but a controversy nonetheless.
Now, before we begin, we must point out that our office reached out to the College Republicans multiple times; unfortunately, they refused our request to comment.
It is evident to anyone with a reasonable level of common sense that the College Republicans are targeting minority students. After all, the group is, essentially, charging their ideological opponents with racism against some of their most valuable voting blocs.
But, more than that, this flier flies in the face of decency. By including quotes that contain utterly abhorrent language—so abhorrent that this paper refuses to print those words—the College Republicans are utilizing a version of hardball politics that pretends to be like Machiavelli, when it’s really like Joe McCarthy.
And on top of that, two of the politicians quoted on the flier — Lyndon Johnson and Harry Truman — represent the views of the Democratic Party during a completely different time in history.
Yet, if the College Republicans want to use that type of faulty logic in order to score political points, then we suppose that every racist quote attributable to historically great republicans, like Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower are fair game, too — except, we reject that kind of logic, because it wreaks of intellectual dishonesty.
With that being said, we would like to make one thing abundantly clear to students at UNCG: the College Republicans have every right to post this flier. In fact, they have every right to post these kinds of fliers every single week.
After all, freedom of expression is, perhaps, the most integral part of higher education. Without rigorous debate, problems will continue to be looked at in rather elementary ways and discount the many fresh perspectives that could be gained through a more open and understanding dialogue.
We contend that the College Republicans pass this most simple of tests; hence, it is unreasonable for any student on campus to call for the group’s dissolution.
However, we must note, the College Republicans are not using their right to free speech effectively; instead, they have taken advantage of minority students by appealing to the worst prejudices of humanity.
In other words, this was a premeditated, feckless public relations stunt, designed to engender controversy and divide the student population along ideological and racial lines.
And, more than that, any blowback that the College Republicans receive will be met with cries of victimization.
And, in the interest of objectivity, any attempt to dissolve the group would constitute bullying.
So, our university must fall behind one standard message: yes, the College Republicans can post insensitive fliers, but it’s stupid.