What We Stand For

We are a cascade of colors, languages, religions, and ethnicities here at UC.

We know that a heart of gold isn’t found in a person’s wallet, but in their actions and words. 

A known Nazi and white supremacist is coming to speak at UC. And I have decided I don’t care. 

I don’t care because I know we’re better than that. Rather than isolating groups of people, we gather together to learn from our differences and use those differences as strengths. 

Richard Spencer speaking here is an opportunity. Because we can now show the nation what the University of Cincinnati is made of.   

Spencer can use the first amendment to give a speech about hate all he wants. But we don’t have to give him an audience. Instead, we can use our minds, hearts, and words to show where we stand stronger and more influential than any one person could ever be, because we stand together. This opportunity is giving us an opportunity to counteract his hate with love. We can gather our own speakers, people who know what it truly means to make a positive impact on this worn down world. Our identities are not defined by any one characteristic. And they especially are not defined by any one person. We are not just blacks or whites or browns or beiges or yellows. We are not just lesbians or gays or homosexuals or transsexuals or heterosexuals. We are humans. Mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, girlfriends, boyfriends, best friends. 

And we are students, learning how to make this world a better place. 

One spark of hate can’t compete with the fire of love we have for each other. 

People may respond to this by saying I’m too idealistic; that I need a dose of reality in my life. 

Here’s what I say to you; could you be happy living in a world devoid of color? 

If so, sit in a room without light for a week and see if you like it. 

I’m sure you won’t because no one can thrive in the dark. You might be able to live in it, but it’s a lot more work than necessary; how would you even find the toilet? It seems like a crappy way of living, pun intended. 

This darkness is ignorance, and it does favors for no one. Only when people let the light of knowledge in, are they able to live fully and fearlessly, thriving on the colors of the world rather than the shadows that hide within it. 

As members of the Cincinnati community, we have a decision to make. We can either attend the speech and give Spencer an audience to argue with, or we can occupy ourselves with better things. We can have our own event, separate but unifying, made up of speakers we chose; people who will motivate us to do good and inspire us to be brave. 

What better way to show someone we don’t stand for their message, than by not standing for them at all? 

We have a different message to spread, and we are not going to waste it on one person. 

 

 

Thumbnail Image Source