Those that have read or seen the publications of Washburn Student Media over the past couple months should by now, hope- fully, know that the Washburn Review, as an organization, does not support the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
That said, while The Review has recently been trying to refrain from giving attention to Trump – specifically in editorials or opinion pieces – it has come to the attention of The Review’s editorial staff that Trump’s influence has greatly and detrimentally impacted students of the Washburn community.
Recently, there have been messages written in chalk on pavement around campus supporting Trump, such as “Trump 2016” and phrases supporting statements Trump has made, such as “Build the wall.”
But while the endorsement and propagation of Trump’s ideas, like building a wall on the southern border, are emphatically not endorsed by The Washburn Review, those statements echoed in chalk writings are not what is most concerning to The Review’s editorial staff.
What is really concerning is some of the Washburn students’ responses to these chalkings.
On social media, multiple Washburn students have not just criticized – which would be completely fair – but called for the removal of these chalk writings.
Before this editorial moves into into its main point, it must be reiterated that the people responsible for writing this editorial do not support Trump or any of the messages written in chalk around campus.
With that clarified, the real concern can be addressed.
Donald Trump has said whatever (and wherever) what he wanted to.
What Trump has said over the past 10 months or so has been very bigoted, racist, discriminatory, “not politically correct,” conceited, and, in some cases – if not many – hateful.
To describe Trump’s general message in a word – for the majority of America – it would be fair to say that word is “unpopular.”
Trump has rallied what supporters he has, in a few instances, by telling them that people are trying to suppress their, and his, free speech.
And that’s honestly true, with all the protesters that go to his rallies.
Trump told his people that there were people out there wanting to hold them down, and just as he told his people, that originally fictional enemy became real.
And that is the concern of The Review.
Those students calling for the removal of the chalk writings supporting Trump and what he says, no matter how much the editorial staff disagrees with them, are advocating for the suppression of free speech and creating the evil cause that draws so many people to rally to fight against – the cause Trump has exploited to draw so much support.
In other words, those Washburn students advocating for the removal of the Trump chalkings are not only advocating for the suppression of free speech, but are part of the reason Trump has such a large following.
The Washburn Review editorial staff implores students to express dissent for candidates without discouraging free speech.