Texas State woke up Oct. 30 to a white supremacist banner hung on the eastern wall of the Alkek library with the words “America Is a White Nation,” along with the Nazi slogan “blood and soil,” sprawled across white cloth.
The banner, hung by the same group that has been posting white nationalist flyers across campus for the past year, is a reminder of the on-going barbarism that people of color have endured for centuries. The university’s response is also in line with history, with seemingly little being done to put an end to these incidents.
This anonymous hatred has plagued campus for over a year. It is difficult to fathom that a school with surveillance cameras and patrolling officers has used sufficient resources to deal with racial violence only to come up empty-handed and lacking any explanation that makes its students of color feel like their school cares about their safety.
University administrators’ reluctance to actively suppress white nationalism on campus fuels the normalization of this murderous ideology and reassures perpetrators that no action will be taken against them.
Although their lack of action is disappointing, to look toward school administrators to suppress hateful ideologies is to alienate ourselves from our own power as a collective group of students who will not allow abhorrent ideas of racism and anti-Semitism to flourish on our campus.
Instead of trusting the university or the police to take action against these acts of violence, students need to step up and re-appropriate the spaces that have been perverted by a neo-Nazi presence in order to build dialogue and solidarity. Likewise, The University Star and other student journalists must stop only reporting on these events after the fact, and instead use the tools at our disposal to issue our own investigations and understand why the issue has been allowed to live on for over a year.
Students must not forget that this is our university. We have the power to create a sense of solidarity that celebrates America’s true and diverse beauty, rather than the historical distortion that it is a “white nation.” America was not discovered or built by the white man. Despite white nationalist’s wishes, people of color have persevered and excelled, bringing out the best in this country, this community and this school.
Those allotted the privilege to not constantly worry about racial violence have mistakenly stopped talking about the horrific white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville and the attacks that have always existed against black, brown and Jewish Americans. That is unacceptable. We must work harder to question why these events occur and how we can disrupt them. Let us reiterate: Nazis have no place at Texas State, and we will act on that statement even if our administration will not.