This is the most heinous example of "fuck our marginalized students" in the name of "free speech" I've ever seen. Biggest "your safety means nothing compared to people's freedom to harass you" yet.
Seriously, this is HORRIBLE. Huge trigger warning for encouraging suicide, image of a person hanging by a noose, and extreme transphobia and homophobia.
A University President Defended Posters That Encouraged LGBT Students To Kill Themselves
In response to the fliers, Cleveland State president Ronald Berkman said in a statement Monday that while the university respected all individuals, it would protect free speech and uphold the First Amendment "even with regard to controversial issues where opinion is divided."
Since when is Hate Speech and suggesting people commit suicide protected by the 1st Amendment? @CLE_State pic.twitter.com/QjGpXvslmT— Cameron Fisher (@Cameron__Fisher) October 17, 2017
Since fucking 2017, I guess, Cameron.
The fliers were taken down, according to a university spokesperson, because whoever put them up "did not get prior approval" to put them on a billboard. Not because they literally encourage students prone to suicidal ideation (due to this being an LGBT-hostile country/world) to kill themselves. But because they didn't get permission to do that.
And Ronald's response? Guess what fucko, you can't both have your highest priority as "maintaining a welcoming environment" and "a campus community that respects all individuals" AND tacitly defend fliers that tell LGBT kids to kill themselves. This is not just hate speech. Committing suicide is literally a felony. Encouraging someone to commit a felony? Also a fucking crime. Ronald shouldn't be blathering about the First Amendment, which he apparently hasn't even read. He should be launching an investigation into who committed the crime of posting those fliers on University property.
I have seen action taken by state universities against much less egregiously offensive shit. Like, I have seen events get shut down because they might have been offensive to somebody. I have no doubt that shut has been shut down on campuses because they might have hurt the feelings of men or white people. Colleges are allowed to do that because their primary priority is supposed to be the safety of students.
Encouraging fucking suicide? Are you kidding me?
If that poster had told nazis to kill themselves I can guarantee this would have played out a lot differently. But LGBT+ kids? Let 'em die, right, Ronald?
His follow up was no better.
Dear CSU community, please join me for an open meeting tomorrow to discuss a recent incident involving an anti-LGBTQ+ poster on campus. pic.twitter.com/ae1u7wBty3— Ronald M. Berkman (@PresBerkman) October 17, 2017
What the fuck are you talking about? No one expects you to magically be able to stop assholes from putting up terrible fliers. What we expected was for you to release a statement strongly condemning encouraging homophobia and transphobia and encouraging kids to KILL THEMSELVES. This is a no-brainer, should be a slam dunk for you. Just repeat "this is horrible" five times in different ways, statement over. Don't be like "yeah discrimination isn't great but free speech is most important." Then don't be like "Oops I mean yeah, posters bad, but I can't do anything about it because free speech!"
Bullshit. You can do something about it. You're obligated to do something about it. These fliers were fucking criminal. Just admit you hate gay and trans people and then resign in disgrace, you pancake-faced waste of our brain space.