On Tuesday, Campus Reform reported that Gregory Ochiagha, a student senator at Pitzer College, was so upset about a picture of a gun that he sent out an email, claiming that it does harm to his black “mental and emotional health.”
“It’s truly in bad taste to have a large depiction of a gun in a dorm space—especially when students of color also reside there,” Ochiagha said. “Now let’s imagine there were countless videos of white teenagers, white teenagers that look like you, or your brother or your sister, get shot to death by police officers. Imagine scrolling down Facebook everyday and seeing a new video of the same thing, over and over again. Really put yourself in that headspace. Then ask yourself whether it’s the brightest idea to have white teenagers, who have a very real fear of getting shot, see a large gun every time they want to get food from the dinning [sic] hall.”
“My Black Mental and Emotional Health Matters,” he added. “I shouldn’t be reminded every time I leave my dorm room of how easy my life can be taken away, or how many Black lives have been taken away because of police brutality. This is emotionally triggering for very obvious reasons. And if you want to belittle or invalidate by [sic] black experience, I live in Atherton, come thru, let’s have that idiotic conversation.”
According to Campus Reform, the mural depicted a handgun with flowers coming out the end:
Campus Reform added:
Jessica Folsom responded by providing additional background on the mural. “Just to preface this, I am not trying to dismiss how you feel or belittle your experience as a student of color,” she states. “This mural is actually representative of a nonviolence movement to protest the Vietnam War in the 60s. There’s a famous photo of a protester putting flowers in the barrel of a National Guardsman’s rifle and everything.” Folsom continues, “I thought it might be an important distinction to make between what the mural actually represents and perhaps the romanticized aesthetic of a gun which someone (maybe you?) could potentially mistake this for. I hope this helps.”
Not all students felt that Ochiagha’s reaction was warranted. “I actually love the mural and thought it was obvious that it was about the flower power movement/a message of anti-violence,” wrote Jennifer McNamara. “It was approved by the aesthetics committee and the artist has freedom of speech within her design. I’m excited to see it finished.”
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“I love our radical liberalism. However, I’m not in love with the trend of shutting down voices that don’t align with liberal ideologies,” added Alessandra Elliot.
But Elliot fails to understand that shutting down dissenting opinion is EXACTLY what “radical liberalism” is all about.
Spier now plans to modify the mural after meeting with Ochiagha, Campus Reform said. The crybullies win again…
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