As any reasonably sentient person agrees, the fourth-grade-level rhetoric spouted by 45 has emphasized, rather than minimized, the tension-crack divisions between minority groups and the heteronormative mythos of a straight/white/man-mainstream, middle class America.
I do not like Donald Trump. I am not a member of the College Democrats, but I consider myself a Democrat for pragmatic’s sake; the two-party system (again, as any reasonably sentient person agrees) oversimplifies multi-faceted, nuanced conversation points into––usually––bad catchphrases.
With those cards on the table, and asserting myself with the belief that those within the same(ish) ideology are the people responsible for its maintenance, I am appalled by the College Democrats’ decision to mesh 45’s face with the KKK’s hood.
As Shah and Morse’s article quotes, communications director Alexander Seifert explains the organization’s decision: The banner was posted because it’s, apparently, “difficult to get students involved.” Thus, “more aggressive” tactics were necessary.
I am appalled by this decision because it uses the very same hyperbolic fear tactics of 45’s repulsive presidential campaign—rather than, in the words of Michelle Obama, watching the Republicans “go low” while “we go high.”
Mud-slinging isn’t my primary concern, though. To use the KKK just to startle, just to “get students involved,” is to demonstrate the peak of white privilege.
Maybe the KKK is just a footnote in a history class to some of us, some kind of symbol to haphazardly throw onto banners as an attention-getter, but I think it’s likely that students directly affected by the terror group endure visceral repulsion when they see that hood.
It’s not something to throw around because your organization happened to have a bad recruitment season.
Because the College Democrats were so careless and crass in their botched communication-attempt, now Republicans have the moral authority to say things about the Democrats, like, “They put up walls instead of bridges.” Astonishing, given the three-syllable chant that rang through Trump rallies all fall.
The point is, if I have to be part of a political party, I want to be part of one with the few remaining level-headed folks in this country, on this campus.
In navigating the Republican wasteland left by Donald Trump, the College Democrats had the opportunity to be that level-headed voice. And, congrats team, y’all blew it.
—Teresa Northcraft, third-year English major
Follow this link to read another letter on this topic.