After Black History Month posters on UTC’s campus were covered, Chancellor Steve Angle sent the message that racism is not welcome at the university.
Angle’s Thursday morning email that said someone covered the Black History Month posters with ones promoting Adolf Hitler and Nazism.
The university has removed the Hitler/Nazism posters.
“The person or group that did this is disrespecting our celebration of Black History Month and violating campus policy,” Angle said in the email. “The university supports free speech but not by trampling on the rights of others. More importantly, the expression of such racist, hateful views [has] no place on our campus.”
White supremacist groups are targeting college campuses and universities across the country, aiming to promote their beliefs and recruit members, he also said.
“They are coming to our campuses precisely because of our commitment to inclusion, diversity, social justice and our mission to promote free speech,” he said.
Although the Constitution protects offensive speech, it doesn’t mandate silence from others when it occurs. There’s a responsibility to condemn hate speech, he also said.
“Hate is wrong,” he said. “Racism is wrong. Advocating for the exclusion of all but one race is clearly wrong.”
The Student Government Association also released a statement, which Angle said he supports.
The SGA statement said:
Blatant racial hatred across the United States has been highlighted as a result of recent events. Unfortunately, UTC is not immune. We have a responsibility to facilitate conversations about how to deter hatred and embrace the diversity that exists on our campus and in our community. Moving forward, we will continue to push our campus community, particularly the division of student development and our student body, to be leading forces in the change of our campus climate.