December 7, 2016

Letter to the Editor: Flyers break anti-harrassment policy, endanger writer of opinion piece

By Kate Wylie

We are Webster. We are vocal. We are passionate. Especially when it involves injustice in our own community. That is why the Black Lives Matter movement is alive and well within Webster Groves (and St. Louis as a whole) more than a year after the Michael Brown shooting.

But that means that there are going to be people vocal on all sides of the issue. Black lives matter. Police lives matter. All lives matter. Fine. Good. Yes. But guess what? Not all lives are being threatened on a daily basis.

I disagree with the writer of the “All Lives Matter” piece from the last issue of The Journal. Many others do, too.

But whoever posted the raucous and disgusting flyers around campus promoting my beloved Black Lives Matter movement should be investigated by Webster University for going against our anti-harassment policy, and potentially be expelled.

You are doing more than just promoting your own agenda; you are putting the writer in danger. This is the kind of vicious embarrassment and harassment that puts people at risk, whether it is self-inflicted or from an outside source.

The writer is speaking her mind. You can speak your mind, too. But you are a coward for disagreeing by putting someone else in potential jeopardy—all the while, keeping your own identity anonymous. If you feel the intense, unstoppable need to defecate on the piece, at least take the author’s name off your flyers and take her picture down.

There are plenty of tactful and productive ways to disagree with someone. Send a letter to the editor. Send a letter to the writer. Post your feelings on a blog. On Facebook. Twitter. Write a book about it. Bottle it up and throw it out into Lake St. Louis.

This is not tactful. This is not productive. This is malicious and hateful and repulsive. It makes me embarrassed for the movement and for my community. That is on you.

Freedom of speech means everyone. Not just you, not just the people who agree with you, not just the group that gets the most attention in the media. Everyone. Those are the rules; if you don’t like it, get out of the game.

You do not have to agree with the other side. But that does not give you the right to spinelessly and anonymously post propaganda promoting your ideals if it hurts someone else, no matter how much I, or anyone else, agrees with your message.

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