Drastic times call for drastic measures. You know, like when you a display of 2,977 U.S. flags planted on your university’s quad as a solemn memorial to those who died on Sept. 11, 2001.
If you’re one of today’s social justice warriors attending this particular college, you probably feel microaggressed by the sight of the flags. And so you uproot every last one of them and toss it in the trash. (Yelling “Allahu Akbar” as you proceed is optional.)
This is what some students at Occidental College (one of the universities attended by Barack Obama) decided to do when they saw the tribute, according to The College Fix. The vandals even went so far as to snap some of the flag staffs in half to make sure their message took.
Sophomore Alan Bliss, a math and economics major who helped lead the effort to plant the flags, told The College Fix in a telephone interview Sunday that when he and a friend came across the destroyed memorial, three students confronted him and said they found the display “triggering.” He said the students also accused him of white privilege and ignorance.
The “ignorance” label certainly cuts both ways.
Bliss, who belongs to a club affilaited with the College Republican National Committee and Young Americans for Freedom, replanted the flags along with fellow patriots, but the vandalism was repeated.
Erica O’Neal Howard, acting dean of students, sent out an email late Sunday advising:
Freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment. The right and freedom to debate complex, contentious issues and disagree with each other is fundamental to what we do at Oxy. At the same time, we may not express ourselves in ways that prevent others from engaging in protected speech…. Vandalism or other acts that substantially interfere with the rights of others to engage in protected speech violate the College’s Student Code of Conduct and the spirit of this institution. Let us work together to find ways to express ourselves and build a community founded on respect.
For the record, the memorial display at Occidental was not the only trashed. A similar phenomenon occurred overnight at a high school in Los Angeles.