Last Thursday, any false sense of security on the campus quad was rescinded when racist business cards from a white supremacist group appeared scattered along the walkways.
Events like these are anything but new. Texas State has been targeted by white supremacist groups for roughly two years in the form of fliers, a banner dropped from the Alkek library and now, business card.
The common denominator every time is anoymous cowardice. Those responsible never take advantage of the free speech area by the Stallions, nor the public forums provided by Student Government meetings and The University Star‘s letter to the editor policy. White supremacists in this community always advocate for their agenda under the cover of night and from the shadows. These business cards are no different.
The difference this time is the university’s response. In the past, reactions to racist fliers and the banner were lackluster, delayed and ineffective at reassuring students they were safe at school. Last Thursday, President Trauth released a statement on her announcement channel that was not only timely but more pointed than previous statements.
Effectively stamping out this problem from Texas State requires an absolute, no-punches-pulled policy from the administration and student body. Bobcats have already rallied together to denounce these instances since the very beginning but the administration’s response was slower. Last week’s announcement is a reassuring instance that admins may be learning.
Students, staff and faculty have made their feelings known. The tone of the announcement suggests the administration has made progress in listening and lending legitimacy to these complaints. Outside of racist literature, it’s always important for the people to have a clear channel of communication with the university. Maintaining one will make solutions easier when problems like this arise.
UPD investigations into this activity are necessary and although they leave a lot to be desired, prompt responses from the campus police are also reassuring that student safety is prioritized when racist literature appears in our community.
Previous UPD investigations have found success but have kept results private from the student body on the grounds of legal discretion. Admitting certain individuals have taken advantage of the school environment to spread hate is certainly a PR blunder, but remaining silent on what the university is doing in response is arguably worse for the school’s reputation. If ongoing investigations bear fruit, the university should remain transparent so students can hold them to their word.
The occurrence of racist fliers, cards and banners should not be normalized. This is not something a healthy society should have to endure. This is not an acceptable price to pay for an education. Bobcats deserve better. San Martians deserve better.
If you see something, report incidents to UPD at 512.245.2805. Concerns about campus climate and hate speech can be expressed to Chief Diversity Officer and Title IX Coordinator Ameerah McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org.