The Southerner

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The elephant in the room: South’s problem with Republicans

Many+South+students+feelings+are+heightened+after+the+recent+election%2C+and+have+been+reacting+in+various+ways%2C+such+as+writing+on+the+walls%2C+and+protesting.+One+things+for+sure%2C+violence+and+harassment+in+this+time+after+the+election+are+not+acceptable+solutions+and+we+have+to+do+better+and+be+more+welcoming+of+everyone+at+our+school.+Otherwise%2C+we+have+to+stop+pretending+that+our+diversity+means+anything.
Many South students feelings are heightened after the recent election, and have been reacting in various ways, such as writing on the walls, and protesting. One things for sure, violence and harassment in this time after the election are not acceptable solutions and we have to do better and be more welcoming of everyone at our school. Otherwise, we have to stop pretending that our diversity means anything.

Many South students feelings are heightened after the recent election, and have been reacting in various ways, such as writing on the walls, and protesting. One things for sure, violence and harassment in this time after the election are not acceptable solutions and we have to do better and be more welcoming of everyone at our school. Otherwise, we have to stop pretending that our diversity means anything.

Tannen Holt

Tannen Holt

Many South students feelings are heightened after the recent election, and have been reacting in various ways, such as writing on the walls, and protesting. One things for sure, violence and harassment in this time after the election are not acceptable solutions and we have to do better and be more welcoming of everyone at our school. Otherwise, we have to stop pretending that our diversity means anything.

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Walking through South’s halls, you may notice seeing almost as much writing on colored paper as you do the cream colored paint students have grown accustomed to. What is written on these posters are a medal of honor for many students and staff alike, representing the pride (punny)and joy of this school. As well as diversity acceptance, understanding, and respect of all races, religions, backgrounds, genders, sexualities, disabilities, mental illnesses, and financial situations.

Unidos, Dare2BReal, SRC, GSA, Gender Equity Club, SUSOSH, etc. South has a club for absolutely anything that could contribute to building a stronger community, so that everyone can feel included as a member of this school, with a voice that can be heard. Especially now.

Right now is a time in America where many minorities are concerned for their safety. With a bigot in office threatening to deport Latinx people and Muslims, bragging about his degrading slurs and treatment of women, a fairly obvious dislike of the LGBTQ+ movement and its people, as well as citizens of color. Quite frankly, I don’t blame people for being afraid.

But here, in the “liberal bubble” of South High, an even smaller minority is scared for their own safety and the well being of themselves right here, in this school. A school whose claim to fame is that we are accepting and diverse on all levels. Someone, just like you, is having their safety threatened and is being ostracized by their community. Except, it’s not for their religion. It’s not for their race, and it’s not for their sexuality or their gender identity.

It is for their beliefs; however not for the kind I’m sure that would jump to mind when on the issue of public bullying.

Conservative students are being bullied and harassed for their political beliefs.

The majority of people who know about this issue are either contributing to it, or simply watching it happen. It is sad to come to the realization that an issue South seemingly is without, is still very much alive.

It is sad to see someone so scared for their own safety, that talking to authority -such as police or school administration- is seemingly as harmful as saying nothing at all. That the more people found out about this issue, the more they would be harassed.

That even anonymity in the school newspaper is not enough to protect them.

We have Republicans at South. More than you’d think. Unfortunately, they endure in a community where they feel pressured not to speak out because of South’s intense Liberalism, where they would be shunned by their peers, because those peers are simply unable to accept oppositions to their own opinions while being able to hear it out.

This is absolutely repulsive. The astounding hypocrisy of the people bullying these students disgusts me.

In To Kill a Mockingbird Scout says: “Jem, how can you hate Hitler so bad and be so ugly about folks right here at home”. Preaching about equity and acceptance, then shaming republicans is a sin against your own sermon.

Harassing someone because of what they believe, let alone something as minor as politics is ridiculous. This the same demeanor that causes the anti semitism that many are fighting against.  Prejudice against Muslims, P.O.C, the LGBTQ+ community, and all the other groups of minority that has experienced prominent discrimination in this country.

Much of said discrimination is being blamed on Republicans. Hence the reason why these students are being targeted.

Which is ironic, considering that the Liberal students bullying these people are doing the same thing to the Republican students, that are the reason why they’re harassing them in the first place.

This goes against everything it means to be a Liberal, and everything it means to be a “Gallant” Tiger. Gallant is defined as being a person of brave or heroic behavior. Picking on the smallest minority at South… how heroic.

Considering yourself politically literate doesn’t mean only exposing yourself to surface level arguments that only serve to reinforce your own personally held beliefs or that of your immediate community. Not even attempting to understand conservative position, and rejecting it as soon as you hear the word “Republican” is ignorant. But assaulting them for their beliefs is far beyond that mark.

If you’re going to be an intellectual, you can’t just be half an intellectual and only hinder yourself to one viewpoint.

If you’re going to try to solve an issue, simply taking it out on who you feel is responsible for it and attempting to do the same thing you believe they’re doing to others, only serves to ruin the credibility of your own beliefs, with overwhelming hypocrisy.

But regardless of beliefs, race, or religion, we have a group of students in this school who do not feel accepted for their beliefs by their community. As a progressive school, it is our responsibility to allow them to feel safe and accepted. Because right now, this is far from the case.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “The elephant in the room: South’s problem with Republicans”

  1. Alex on December 6th, 2016 4:47 pm

    First, comparing a political ideology to race or sexual orientation is a false dichotomy. One cannot choose or change their race or orientation like one is able to change political party. The struggles that real minorities face in the world far eclipses those of conservatives in liberal schools/workplaces. They are incomparable.
    Second, lately I’ve seen this misunderstanding quite frequently. The notion that to be liberal means extending tolerance to intolerance. This is not true. Minnesota likes to think of itself as a place that has always been and always will be a blue state, safe for all. Recent history proves otherwise. If it weren’t for south minneapolis based anti-racism organizations like Anti-Racist-Action and The Baldies, we might have seen a return of horrific racism like the 1920 duluth lynchings. There was a strong neo-nazi presence in 1980s minneapolis and you can thank these organizations for chasing them back to the shadows.

  2. Kirsten Hollister on December 6th, 2016 10:44 pm

    Well written article, Tannen! The above commenter makes valid points, as well. I am encouraged to see the healthy dialogue at South. We miss this great school.

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The elephant in the room: South’s problem with Republicans