Multicultural Center displays Hate Wall to give a voice to those who feel unheard
“Race and discrimination is a difficult conversation that a lot of people ignore on this campus,” senior Taylor Gentry said. “I know it’s difficult, but it's time to have that conversation, too many things have been going on and that’s why (the Hate Wall)
Oct. 23, 2015
“If you want a bid for this fraternity, you’re going to have to act less gay”
“Stop being such a Jew”
“Those black people”
“She didn’t say no”
These are just some of the racial slurs and hate speech that students have heard or experienced while at MU. These words and phrases, along with many others, were displayed in Speaker’s Circle from noon to 5 p.m. on Thursday at the annual Hate Wall event.
Hate Wall is a way of bringing awareness about hurtful language used on campus. It is co-hosted by Four Front, the Multicultural Center and the Missouri Students Association’s Social Justice committee.
Senior Alice Lo, the student coordinator at the Multicultural Center, believes that the Hate Wall helps give a voice to students who feel unheard.
“Hate Wall gives students the ability to voice their opinions and experiences on campus,” Lo said. “I’ve heard a lot of stories from my friends about what they’ve gone through, and it’s heartbreaking to hear that they’ve gone through that and that they didn’t have an avenue to talk about it and get their feelings out there.”
With the sudden rise of blatant acts of racism, marginalized students have felt far from being welcome at MU. It was not too long ago that MSA President Payton Head was walking with a friend when a group of people in a red pickup truck shouted a racial slur at him. It was only a few weeks ago that the Legion of Black Collegians homecoming court were also called the same racial slur while practicing for their play in Traditions Plaza.
Senior Taylor Gentry, a volunteer with the Association of Latino American Students, said it's time to stop sweeping the university’s issues concerning racism under the rug.
“Race and discrimination is a difficult conversation that a lot of people ignore on this campus,” Gentry said. “I know it’s difficult, but it's time to have that conversation, too many things have been going on and that’s why (the Hate Wall) is important.”
On Oct. 8, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin sent an email addressing the racially sparked incidents that have occurred on campus. In the e-mail, he described the mandatory training program on racism at MU for incoming freshman being implemented in January 2016.
“The school doesn’t do enough to fix the racial climate on campus, but the fact that we are having conversations like this is a start,” Gentry said.
Graduate student Alex Ayala found the tension regarding the racial climate on campus to not be surprising at all but still disappointing.
“A lot of people are trying to be color-blind, which is a temporary Band-Aid to the overall problem of racial issues,” Ayala said. “So when you mix in alcohol, people’s true feelings come out. Obviously with our MSA president being called racist and homophobic slurs to the LBC incident, to me it’s not surprising, but it’s still just as disappointing and just shows how much work we have to get done.”