‘Change is kool’?

Today walking down Green Street, I noticed a large and chilling sticker out of the corner of my eye. A photograph of a smiling Barack Obama along with a blood-red shape, which while not distinct, clearly was a handgun. It was “aimed” at Obama’s head. Underneath was the text “Change is Kool!”

Apart from the tremendously upsetting idea that someone is placing stickers on this campus suggesting that the assassination of the first black U.S. president would be “kool,” another only slightly less upsetting thought popped into my head. Why hadn’t anyone else removed this?

While the Monday morning following spring break is likely less busy than most on Green Street, I passed dozens of students and as others as I headed to the Quad. Surely I was not the only person to see this sticker.

What does this suggest about the atmosphere on this campus?

Putting aside the issue of partisan politics, the notion that a sticker advocating the assassination of a U.S. president as “change” could go be ignored or perhaps misunderstood speaks to the utter failure of this university and the various local institutions (media, government, etc.) to inculcate a sense of histories, values and responsibilities amongst our “community.”

Without trotting out tired fantasies of a “liberal arts education” and the supposed mission of universities to “prepare the next generation,” instances like this should cause us to pause and reflect; what exactly is going on here and now?

How does such utter hatred, racism and anger (not to mention anti-national and anti-patriotic sentiment) occur and why do some not notice or not care?

Does our university or our local media play some roll in this and if so, what does that mean for how we go about negotiating with power in our daily lives?

Sasha Cuerda

Graduate student