Stand against hate on campus

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Stand against hate on campus

Staff Editorial

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The fight against hate speech on our campus is never over.

Last week Patriot Front, a white supremacist group, stuck multiple stickers reading “Keep America American” around campus.

Last year in February, a rumor was spread about a Patriot Front protest taking place at the Staples Plaza. In reaction, 250 protestors gathered there on Feb. 10, 2018.

The crowd, consisting of UVM students and Burlington residents, held signs that read “No hate in our state.” In unison, the 250 protestors chanted sayings like “No Nazis, no KKK, no fascist USA!”

Patriot Front did not show where they were rumored to.

Instead, about 10 masked Patriot Front demonstrators walked into City Hall Park, holding a sign reading “Reclaim America,” and chanting things like “Blood and Soil,” according to a Feb. 10 2018 Burlington Free Press article.

Patriot Front found out about the counter-protest and avoided confrontation by demonstrating somewhere else “leaving the counter protesters at South Burlington’s Staples Plaza with no protest to counter,” read a Feb. 16 2018 Cynic article.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, Patriot Front is a white supremacist group that believes their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it solely to them.

“America is our nation, passed down to us by our fathers, and so long as we live, the enemies of our people will not stand unopposed,” stated a tweet from the Patriot Front Twitter in November of 2017.

Patriot Front likes to disguise their views as patriotism through heavy use of symbols like the American flag and the bald eagle. However, who they are and what they stand for is the exact opposite of patriotism.

“This nation is property of the founding stock and no one else,” stated another tweet from October 2017.

The bottom line: these views do not belong on any campus anywhere, but they do exist and they exist on our campus.

We students here at UVM sometimes feel comfortable believing we are in a bubble, free from any and every dangerous view. Patriot Front is evidence we are not.

As a group, Patriot Front members are cowards looking to incite reactions from the greater public.  They are trolls.

This does not mean we should ignore them. We should continue to remove their signs. We should continue to counter-protest. We should continue to stand against their hateful, oppressive and un-American views.

We at The Vermont Cynic want to promote healthy debate between opposing views. Conservative and liberal views all have a place on our campus and should be respected by all.

However, when someone’s opinion is dangerous hate speech, we need to take a stand.

The Cynic applauds those who have stood against Patriot Front in the past and want to encourage the entirety of our student body to stand against them in the future.