Hateful graffiti cannot continue

Beacon Staff

Words carry weight. Scrawling “white power” in a bathroom stall or drawing a swastika on the wall takes a toll on every person that sees it or hears about it. These incidents of hate speech are no longer isolated, and as a student body we need to start taking responsibility for the clear signs of bigotry emerging within our community.

Hate speech is significant, and no matter how many times we witness it, its impact is not diminished. In order to properly eliminate hate speech at Wilson, we need to report these incidents and create a welcoming, inclusive environment. The Wilson administration has been focusing more and more on the No Place for Hate initiative, but regardless of how many announcements they make denouncing the actions, without active student participation, no lasting change will occur.

The administration has also worked with student organizations such as the Black Student Union, Arab Student Union, and Jewish Student Union to combat hateful behavior at Wilson. Their efforts will be in vain if we, as a student body, don’t stand by them. All of us need to take the opportunities at hand. We must attend these events, listening to and contributing to the seminars organized by these clubs. 

It is our job as students to take responsibility for ourselves and our peers. It’s not only an act of decency but it is an act of necessity to hold those close to us accountable. This means collectively refusing to find excuses for hateful actions and words. It means rejecting any and every verbal or mental justification for the isms that exist not only in our community but in our relationships.

It’s more than signing a pledge saying that we want to be a No Place For Hate school. It’s more than condemning all forms of hate. It’s correcting and improving ourselves, and engaging with the affected groups to understand the long lasting impacts of hate and intolerance.

Opposing the cruelty that has recently become prevalent at our school starts with you. Teachers, students, administration, parents: get involved. It’s time for us to rid ourselves of the group mentality that “if they’re not doing it, I’m not doing it”. We need cohesion now more than ever.

Hate is rooted in ignorance, and educating ourselves on the implications of hate speech is vital in making Wilson a safe space for all students. With such a diverse student body at Wilson, it is only when we focus on the intersectionality of discrimination that we will be able to truly tackle its existence in our school. •