If you were one of the few students not in class at nine in the morning and visiting the student center, you may have been witness to an act of vandalism on campus.
Though graffiti is nothing new, it’s usually innocent and expression of art, but the crude writings written on a caution sign near lair entrance of the student entrance were not innocent nor artistic.
The words were not curse or swear words, but they didn’t need to be in order to show the fear of the author. The words on the sign were “Homosexuals spread aids.”
As a victim of hatred and bigotry myself, I took great offense at seeing something like this on campus, not only because of the homosexual community that attends SLCC, and among them many personal friends, but because a sanctity had been broken.
I had always considered SLCC a rather special place mostly in part to the hugely diverse student body which includes groups like foreign exchange students and clubs like Latinos in Action and Coloring Outside of the Lines.
These groups are able to freely express who they are and what they want to be in life, but messages like this can cause these groups to become silent, something I highly discourage.
In current times when the message of equality and peace are very prominent, I think that it’s best to remain loud and present, to show bigots and cowards that we are all equal and we’re not afraid to stand up for our beliefs, freely as intended by the founding fathers.
I also belief that it’s best to follow the examples set before us by Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to stay strong and peaceful; to forgive and turn the other cheek.
The sign was quickly cleaned and signs of vandalism were gone within two hours of when I’d first seen it, but the image of it still remains in my thoughts.
One of the things that helps me remain strong is the image of marches and rallies, because it takes more courage to stand proudly in front of the world than it does to hide and write some words.