This letter is directed toward the student I caught writing “FUCK DONALD TRUMP” outside the Telecom building this afternoon.
I understand your pain, but graffiti is not the solution to this complicated and controversial conflict. I was walking to class listening to pop-rock to energize myself before sitting down for back-to-back classes. Walking up the stairs to the entrance of the telecom building, I noticed you writing “FUCK” on the window pane. I thought, “What is this kid’s problem?”
This was followed with a “D,” and I immediately knew the slogan of your message. I know you heard my voice because you turned your head and made eye contact with me. You seemed distressed, angry and upset. I can relate. Last Wednesday morning was uncomfortable for me, as it was for many of my peers. But a week later, the anger had dissipated, and you were very much still enraged.
I told you to stop, imploring you to erase your message. You didn’t listen. Your handwriting got messier as you continued to finish the slogan. I immediately took out my phone hoping to capture you in the act. You quickly finished “Trump” and sprinted away from the building. I caught you, and I had a picture of you with full view of your face. I deleted it.
People act irrationally in times of distress. Clearly, you were angry, and this was no normal act of graffiti or vandalism. As a media student, I respect your viewpoint towards the election which has many — including me to a certain extent — up in arms. Your act of vandalism goes against the IU Code of Conduct. It may be free speech, but this kind of speech isn’t tolerated at IU. President Michael McRobbie wrote a great letter yesterday. I hope you take the time to read it.
Writing “FUCK DONALD TRUMP” won’t change the situation. It will only make people more passionate and angrier. The damage is done. Hillary Clinton unfortunately lost the election.
I hope you find solace. I hope the anger inside of you goes away. Like you, I didn’t vote for Donald Trump. It’s time to move on to more productive ways of protest. Your act isn’t productive to any reasonable conversation.
As Michelle Obama said during the Democratic National Convention, “They go low, we go high.”
Corey Gary, Bloomington