Students protest white supremacy

Holly Shively and Holly Shively

Roughly 75 people gathered on the steps of the education building Wednesday with signs to “love more, hate less” and “celebrate differences, protect humanity,” in order to protest recent white supremacy propaganda on campus.

The first wave of such propaganda came during spring break, when fliers advocating for white supremacy and Identity Evropa stickers were posted around campus. The stickers reappeared Tuesday.

One of the three organizers, Junior AYA language arts student Mallie Grimm, said the protest was an “immediate response” to the stickers.

“It’s just more of a call to action in general for our culture and our school to take a more active stance,” Grimm said. “We need to be more physically representative here.”

To be more representative, Grimm said the University needs to hire more women of color, become a sanctuary campus and be more intersectional.

“I’d like to see BGSU fulfill the creed that we supposedly have for ourselves as being intersectional and caring about marginalized people,” she said.

In addition to being pleased with the turnout, Grimm was excited about how many people were willing to speak. One speaker was second-year graduate student Aju James.

“My name is Aju and I’m a communist,” he announced and was answered with cheers.

“This thing called white supremacy has been around us for more than 200 years…all throughout history hate has done pretty well,” James said. “People like to say that love defeated the Nazis, but it was communists who defeated Nazis.”

Sophomore Ryan Elliot also took hold of the megaphone to speak on white supremacy.

“I just want to talk to you about something that’s been bothering me for a really long time, and that’s patriotism,” Elliot said. “How do you call yourself a patriot when you can’t look to your left and your right and just assume that you can respect someone?”

Instead, Elliot called for the protestors to focus on what the gathering was all about.

“We should relish in what I think is true patriotism, which is right here right now – which is people caring about each other,” he said.

Organizer Ashley Philipps said the event wasn’t a political issue or stance-it was a human stance. After letting anyone speak to the crowd about supremacy, the group started chants including: “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA;” “What is our enemy. It’s white supremacy;” “Black lives matter;” “Every nation, every race, punch a Nazi in the face.”

“We have to keep fighting. We have to keep struggling,” James said.