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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass – No Place For Hate

In recent months, and especially since September 11th, 2001, we have seen an increase in hate speech and hate crimes against members of the Arab/Muslim communities throughout the country. Our campus has not been shielded from this crude form of intolerance, as anti-Arab “hate” graffiti has been discovered in the Wheatley building. It does not matter whether this graffiti is directed at the Arab/Muslim community or any other group or community, it affects us all!

One of the great trademarks of UMass Boston is the diversity of its students and faculty; over one-third of students from this country are persons of color, and foreign students represent over 145 different nations. In such a climate, only tolerance and civility can be the accepted norms in an academic and social setting at our university. Without tolerance and civility, the climate for our national and international communities at UMass Boston will greatly suffer and erode the principles that are founded in higher institutions of learning.

Especially for our foreign students, there must be an example of fairness and equal treatment for all, as these students will someday take their impressions of UMass Boston and the United States back to their own nations, providing what may be the only impressions that many persons in their lands perceive.

It is important that we all stand up together and show our clear support for those persons/groups that are the subject of such hate crimes or hate speech. As for the hate graffiti that was discovered in the Wheatley building, it was reported to the Administration and removed. Any graffiti discovered on the UMass Campus should be reported to Public Safety at 1-617-287-7781 and it will be removed immediately.

Today, students and professors at UMass Boston are reaching out to organizations like the Islamic Society of Boston to raise awareness of issues concerning the Muslim community and to build an understanding between our two groups. It should be remembered that Islam is a religion based on peace and that the Islamic community experienced the same horror that was felt in all American communities though out country after the acts of 9/11.

If even only one person at the UMass Boston campus discovers “hate” graffiti of any kind and ignores it, then they are just as guilty as the person who wrote it, and they also become part of the problem. As members of the UMass Boston community, it is up to us to protect the academic environment for all students and see to it that our campus is safe from any hate crimes that may occur.

I would like to acknowledge the helpful assistance of Chancellor Jo Ann M. Gora in providing insight for this article.

Kenneth F. Walsh

CPCS Student