As a fellow student of color, as well as of different orientation, I think it needs to be stated that we do not have all the evidence, nor the intent, nor the individual’s actions at play to assume that the damage, though illegally done, was meant with evil intentions. Though this might sound redundant, it is a possibility that this was meant as a heinous hate crime. It is a possibility that the vandalism was done not by a student here, but from another place (like from another high school, or college/university). It is a possibility that it was an idiotic and illegal action committed by a teen from a local high school as well, or from an adult within the outside community (Pitzer is well-known to be liberal across the nation, I mean, who wouldn’t try to entice and make a statement here? We do live in an affluent area according to demographics). It is a possibility that it was one of our peers, who may or may not have been upset with himself/herself with the entire political scheme here on campus. Again, the possibilities are endless. And every possibility is very real, and very scary. It can also be incredibly hurtful and incredibly demeaning, not just for the perpetrator, but for those who have been marginalized/victimized as well in history past.
To some people, the college has not done enough to protect us, those who deviate from the norm; for those who are of different color, class, and orientation. However, to some (to each their own), the college has done enough to protect us. We may be seen as progressive, but because of the backlash as well, it can also be stated we are not a progressive community here at Pitzer college. What I do know however, after spending my time here of 2-3 years, is that we have a strong community here on campus, with similar beliefs, of different beliefs, of radically different hurts that are immensely important to each individual to one’s own that needs to be address (that of which we are fighting for every day, and every minute of our lives), and a strong network of professors, adults, and administration who work tirelessly to help with every individual/students’ needs because of the damage this has caused.
Please, I urge everyone to commit the same respect that we have for each other as peers, as family, and most importantly the same respect that we would have to fight for the injustice this has caused– to the school, to the community, even to the perpetrator him/herself so that they would know that it has caused harm. Let us not silence our voices, but let us also share the love that we have at Pitzer for each other, to build each other up instead of tearing each other down. Please, I urge everyone just to take a step backwards, and to observe and listen to your own voices, and to observe the other voices that have spoken. To think about the opinions, the arguments, and to think for yourself. To adhere and show an equal respect to everyone’s opinions.
To everyone above, and to the Pitzer community, some of whom are my closest friends here on campus and in life– I just want to say that I love you all, and I love this campus immensely so. I hope to share a brighter future for us from my two cents worth, to show that the love we have for each other is a thousand time’s stronger than the words spray painted on the murals. From out of the fire, we shall rise like a phoenix. I want to extend a hand out to everyone, to try to build each other up.