Violence and hate speech should not be tolerated



“There is no place for the bigotry, racism and violence we witnessed in Charlottesville.” These were the words of President Nathan O. Hatch, in a statement shared with the Wake Forest community on Monday, Aug. 14.

The Editorial Board of the Old Gold & Black echoes these sentiments and stands firm in denouncing the actions by neo-Nazis and other white nationalists at the University of Virginia earlier this month.

Inciting and celebrating violence is intolerable. We should learn from the mistakes of the past and evolve together, as a country, to better embrace our differences as they are attributes that make us stronger. 

No one should feel inferior or unsafe in this country, or anywhere at all. It is important that we all treat everyone with justice and equality. Each person is entitled to his or her own opinion, but there is a right way and a wrong way to share these opinions. When doing so takes the form of violence or discrimination — whether it be physical, verbal or psychological — toward any person or group of people, it is detrimental to us all. The bond of humanity and the spirit of living and working “for humanity,” for which our university stands, is broken when even one of us is treated as less human than another. Thus, we must stand together in the spirit of “Pro Humanitate.”

“Pro Humanitate” is gathering together on Manchester Plaza with candles raised high, spreading light to the darkness cast by the events in Charlottesville. “Pro Humanitate” is participating in discussions with those whose opinions differ from your own and listening with open hearts. “Pro Humanitate” is continuing to fight alongside peers, faculty, staff and community members for the justice that every human being innately deserves.

As a campus community that consists of students and faculty from all around the world, we each bring unique backgrounds and experiences to a new academic year.

Despite the divisive political climate that exists in our world, the Editorial Board is optimistic that the 2017-2018 academic year can be one of conversation and understanding. We invite our Wake Forest community to share their diverse perspectives with our publication each week in the Opinion section, while also encouraging this campus to seek articles with headlines that may suggest a viewpoint different from one’s own. As members of our student newspaper, we believe that written words are often the best form of expression.

As a publication we promise to give you — our peers and classmates — every opportunity to have a platform to share your thoughts and concerns with one another. Moreover, we commit to report on events that directly affect our country, city and campus to keep our community informed, while continuing conversations that encourage thoughtful discourse.