Hostile actions

By Gail Schnitzer

When I first heard Raymond Morales speak, I thought he was very passionate and articulate; however, when passions run amuck, our fine democracy finds itself abused.

Of course, Morales has a First Amendment protection of freedom of speech. However, the Supreme Court ruled in Schenck v. United States that this is not an absolute right. Famously, Justice Holmes wrote that “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.”

This year has been fraught with high stress moments, especially when it came to racial issues. “Racism, Power, and Privilege,” a program put on by STOP drew overflowing crowds, a rock was thrown through a window at Zeta Beta Tau, and exchange themes brought controversy and hasty generalizations. Illinois is a proverbial crowded theater when it comes to race issues.

Therefore, when I saw “KKK EST. 1906 AT UIUC” spray chalked around the Quad, I immediately began carrying pepper spray. As a Jewish student on campus, I felt that UIUC was now a hostile environment for me, something I am protected from in the Student Code according to STOP during the “Tacos and Tequilas” controversy discussion.

The chalking was coupled in many cases by “APOLOGIZE FOR THE CHIEF” in close temporal proximity to his retirement. Therefore, I assumed the chalker was angry about the ruling, not the Chief himself. I, and doubtlessly other students, thought this was the work of the KKK warning us of their return.

So excuse me if I do not except Morales’ apology (“In my own words” April 13). What he thought was “the most effective means of accomplishing that goal” of education, instead created a hostile environment on this campus despite his intent. What worries me is that the University has not addressed this fact to the appropriate extent.

Gail Schnitzer

sophomore in LAS