The Indiana Daily Student recently reported that white supremacist messages reading “#WhiteGenocide” were found on campus.
For those not in the know, “white genocide” is a term used by contemporary racists to explain their opposition to immigration.
They believe that the growing non-white population of America and Europe constitutes a threat to the very existence of white people.
Rather than recognizing the continuing economic marginalization of non-white populations, these racists prefer to froth at the mouth over the loss of an illusory all-white past, as if America hadn’t been built on the backs of slaves and the graves of Native Americans.
I knew about the messages that had been left on campus before the IDS article was released, because I had been tearing down the fliers whenever I saw them.
I don’t think this was an overreaction. In the United States, we’re raised to view freedom of speech as sacred, but we only need to glance at the world around us to see how dangerous it is to tolerate white supremacy.
Greece is facing an economic situation far worse than that we face in the U.S. More than one in four Greeks is currently unemployed.
This situation has allowed the neo-nazi Golden Dawn Party to force its way into the Greek mainstream. The Golden Dawn blames the economic situation in Greece on immigration and has been blamed for numerous assaults on immigrants and leftists.
Despite brandishing flags which resemble Nazi swastikas and frequently giving Nazi-like salutes, the Golden Dawn was able to capture nearly 7 percent of the vote in the last Greek election.
It would be easy to discount the Golden Dawn as a uniquely Greek phenomenon, but they have already begun campaigning in the U.S., targeting historically Greek neighborhoods in New York.
If we return to IU, we might recall that last year a neo-Confederate preacher, Douglas Wilson, was allowed to give a well-publicized speech on campus despite his well-publicized antipathy for women, queers and blacks.
To paraphrase Sinclair Lewis, when fascism comes to IU, it will come wrapped in a free-speech policy.
I was one of many people who did our best to disrupt Wilson’s speech and to make clear that racists, homophobes and bigots are not welcome on IU’s campus.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that a few slips of paper and some chalk scrawled on a wall are a threat on the level of the Golden Dawn.
I am, however, suggesting that dangerous movements grow from small seeds. As the U.S. economy continues to stagnate, there will be an ever-increasing number of racist demagogues ready to harness people’s anger.
We have a responsibility to stop racism and white nationalism whenever they rear their ugly heads. Free speech does not include hate speech.
If you see a “#WhiteGenocide” flier, tear it down. If you see a chalking, smudge it or write over it.
If you see someone leaving this filth on our campus, make sure they understand that their racist fear mongering isn’t needed or wanted here.