Letter to the Editor: Signs present inaccurate information



I have some information that I want to pass along, and then I have some questions that I would like someone, anyone — maybe some intrepid reporter, or dare I suggest the administrator — to ask and answer.

A university campus is a place where a word has great value. The words “genocide,” “holocaust,” “lynching” and “abortion” are very specific words with real, very specific meanings.

Genocide means the calculated, very specific eradication of a selected group of people — usually due to race, creed or culture — performed by a government.

The Holocaust was the calculated genocide, or removal, of millions of individuals — Jews, homosexuals, mentally disabled and Romani — during World War II by the German government in an attempt to purify a race. Relatives of that atrocity live among us and do not need to see lies spread about it.

Lynchings were performed across the South for nearly a century. The individuals involved did not mean to eradicate all African-Americans. They did mean to spread fear and intimidate people. So lynching is not genocide. Relatives of those awful incidents live among us and do not need to see lies spread about it.

Abortion does not fit the definition either. Abortion is an elective medical procedure that is legal in the United States. No government is trying to eradicate all fetuses. No private group of individuals is trying to eracidate all fetuses.

Therefore, the whole project is premised on a lie; repeating the lie does not make it true. No genocide is being performed upon fetuses. And again, there are individuals who have chosen to have this legal, elective medical procedure in their lifetimes, and they do not need to see lies spread about it.

This information is an attempt to clarify a disturbing abuse of free speech perpetrated upon us over the course of the last few days.

Now, my questions are simple: Why was this patently untruthful display allowed on our campus? And if allowed, why was it not placed in the “free speech” space?

Some students have told me that it was informational and therefore was allowed within our core space. So, I wonder, if the Ku Klux Klan or Neo-Nazis come to campus to distribute their informational material, will they also be given prime real estate in the academic core of our campus?

This precedent seems to establish this placement as new policy.

Can someone get a truthful answer from the administrator who unleashed this ugly, pain-provoking and dishonest display?

Melinda Johnson

History doctoral student