There is an intense controversy at Tulane University (where I began my teaching career) in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Kappa Alpha fraternity members built a wall made of sandbags with the message “Make America Great Again” and “Trump” plastered across it on their off-campus house. What is astonishing is that university groups and members have rallied to support alleged members of the football team who tore down the wall in a denial of free speech and an act of trespass.
It appears that the building of a wall is the local chapter’s annual tradition before its “Old South” formal ball. This time the students added the language as either a joke or implied support but student groups denounced the language as “filled with connotations of hate and ignorance.” Even if this were serious support for Trump, that is not hate speech. It would be pure political speech — just as students are free to support Bernie Sanders, as many do.
On the video below, student appear to be tearing down the wall and tossing the sandbags into the street as frat members object that “this is private property.” Students like Ana De Santiago seemed to miss the point of violently preventing the speech of other students because you disagree with them. She insisted that “By writing Trump in large, red letters across the ‘wall,’ . . . KA changed what was a tradition of building a wall into a tradition of constructing a border, symbolizing separation and xenophobia.” Or they could simply be supporting Trump and his view of immigration reform. I doubt seriously that De Santiago would take kindly to the frat tearing down signs in support of her presidential candidate or immigration policies.
The hypocritical position of these students reflects the growing intolerance for free speech on our campuses. These students believe that they have a right, even an obligation, to silence students with opposing views.
University spokesman Mike Strecker said frat members used Trump’s name and slogan as satire. But it really does not matter. The University should be investigating the students who engaged in a violent act to stop the speech of other students . . . whether satire or serious. Moreover, the University seemed to blame the students for engaging in free speech, saying that while it encourages the “free exchange of ideas and opinions”, the local chapter’s actions “sparked a visceral reaction in the context of a very heated and divisive political season.” That does not appear very supportive of free speech to blame the victims of an attack on free speech. Students and faculty are allowed to “spark a visceral reaction in the context of a very heated and divisive political season.” Indeed, we should want passionate debate on the candidates and their ideas. It was the students tearing down the wall who were bringing violence and intolerance to the debate. They should be the focus of the ire of the university.
By the way, Trump won Louisiana.
What do you think?
49 thoughts on “Tulane Frat Constructs Wall With “Trump” and “Make America Great Again” Written On It . . . Other Students Tear Down Wall And University Criticizes Fraternity”
PhillyT ~> You just hide and watch. Trump will be elected, not a soon to be convicted female felon or an old socialist. You must be so proud of the Democrats choices.
Carry on . . .
Lisa N. That was just so perfect. As I suspected, you are one of those regressives who loves your own free speech but can’t stand anyone else’s.
But rave on, because Donnie boy will never ever be president. If he makes it to the end of the campaign without quitting in the middle of a giant tantrum I’ll be surprised, but even if he does make it to the convention and take the nomination, the American people won’t elect him.
In 20 years, statements (or messages) such as this will be prosecuted. Politics follows culture, not the other way around. There are serious academics already discussing exceptions to the First Amendment. It’s coming folks…and most will not care as long as there is cold beer and football season.
St. Ronnie said “Tear down that wall.”
Bernie said “Tear down that Wall Street. ”
I say “Build it and they won’t come. ”
Was it Ted Cruz’s college roommate who said “Build it and Ted will come?”
Tresspass means nothing to the police. I have a nine room home…two of which were taken over by my dead mother in law’s possessions. Yet i’ll be diagnosed the “hoarder” and denied my second amenment rights …. cuz of someone elses tresspass…by an estate. At least they got to toss the shit into the street without charges. If i tossed all this shit out i’d get charged. Never mind its making me crazy.
“People at Drumpf rallies beating up protesters? ”
Such creative a comment I might add. I was proud of that 78 year old man having the kahones to punch a young protestor/ disrupter with his filthy mouthed diatribe and flipping people off.
Even though we all know the same protester was outside doing the same thing to Pro-Trump people, but as usual, you adopt black lies matter mantra. You pick and choose the lies you believe and want to force them on people.
Trump is going to put you back to work! Haha
Check out the lyrics for Rednecks by Randy Newman. Google: Lyrics- Rednecks, Randy Newman.
Good ol boys from LSU..
Went in dumb … come out dumb too.
Hustlin round Atlanta in their alligator shoes.
We’re keepin the ……..
The Drumpf is not a racist and xenophobe. He’s a racist, xenophobe AND misogynist. Let;s keep this properly sorted.
Clashing of free speech? People at Drumpf rallies beating up protesters? Dragging them outside?
Is there a river in Crimea? Cause that’s where this ends up. Poor babies.
Actually, I made an error, from what I can tell the University owns and leases the land. Not sure where that puts things…
Tearing down private property on private land is not free speech
Both the building and tear-down were acts of free speech…. so it got messy. So what?
Next time just paint a swastika linked to a hammer and sickle. Maybe nobody will object (except sane people) since it attacks Jews and glorifies Fascism and Communism at the same time–should be perfect for the people running the university and some of the totalitarian students. As Europe is beginning to learn, once you shut down civil dissent you begin to get uncivil dissent.
Are you trying to limit Professors free speech? I bet you support ‘The Bern’ !!!
Just a piece of information for you Dave, my idol, Professor Turley is a fair and balanced Constitutional Liberal . . . and that’s what makes him so unique. We all on both sides love him. 🙂
…the University seemed to blame the students for engaging in free speech, saying that while it encourages the “free exchange of ideas and opinions”, the local chapter’s actions “sparked a visceral reaction in the context of a very heated and divisive political season.”
It’s hard not to agree with Professor Turley that the University’s position here is blame-the-victim and it’s more than a little ridiculous. If a female student were sexually harassed (or worse) while wearing enticing clothing at a party, would the University’s position be “While the University supports students’ expression of their fashion sense, dressing like that sparks a visceral reaction in the context of a very hormone-driven and inebriated party environment”?
And, these brittle students need to understand that their actions only seem reasonable within their like-minded circles. They are presenting themselves as whiny children, rather than adults ready to engage the responsibilities of careers and life outside of a college campus. Why would an employer want to hire someone who thinks it’s okay to fly off the handle whenever they encounter someone expressing an opposing opinion? Sounds like an HR nightmare to me. Would you want to hire someone who thinks it’s okay to throw a tantrum the next time the office clown says something that can be taken as inappropriate?
“The grey alien thing is a lie cooked up by socialists to garner support from the liberals who love ILLEGAL ALIENS.
Cut off their genitals!”
Build Up That Wall!
Didn’t you leave something out there Joshzzzz? I thought Obama was morphing gray alien, but that just may be my perception. I think it would be interesting to see what would happen if the house decked-out in Clinton-mania the next week… followed by Cruz… followed by whoever else is on the take. It would make fun video.
I agree with Jill, except there seems to be no common root for ethics in our society anymore. Somewhere along the way it became the goal not just respect other’s cultures and beliefs, but to reject our own. Without a common thread of common historical ethical understanding, what are we?
“This is what you get when atheist/Muslim, liberal, fascist, secretly gay Obama is in charge. When will you learn America?”
That was my first thought. Why didn’t they call the police right away?
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