#TheChalkening Hits Pitzer College

Yesterday, a student wrote the phrase “Make America” (presumably the beginning of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again”) in faint letters on a mural at Pitzer College. Additionally, the word “Trump” was spray painted on Pitzer’s clock tower.

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In a widely shared Facebook post, one student government representative described the statement as a “hate crime,” and calls for the student who painted it to be prosecuted. Pitzer College joins Scripps, Emory, Michigan, and other schools in protesting recent pro-Trump messages.

“A ‘post-racial America’ is far from what we have,” the student writes. “Instead, we face hate crimes like this across the nation and in high frequency. This isn’t simply vandalism. And, in case it’s too difficult to read, the mural with the flag and faces has, ‘Make America’ scrawled on it. This is a clear attempt to intimidate students of color at Pitzer College. I’m honestly in disbelief at how light the response has been.”

“We are a community with a core value of ‘social responsibility,’” the statement continues. “Yet the perpetrators most likely committed these acts in broad daylight? I have seen campuses across the country deal with similar attacks, and felt a great anger, but the proximity of these atrocious acts shake me to the core. This isn’t a lighthearted joke we can simply laugh away, this isn’t a drunken mishap that can be solved with a sheepish apology. Under California law, this is a hate crime and I hope the individual/s responsible are dealt with not only by the institution, but by the law of the state as well.”

The student does not state which California law he thinks defines writing part of the likely Republican nominee’s slogan as a hate crime.

Other Student government representatives expressed opposition to the Trump phrases as well. “Whoever wrote ‘Make America Great Again’ on a permanent Pitzer art piece – you are a f*cking piece of sh*t, lower than filth,” noted a Pitzer Student Senator in an email to the student body.

Some students were more concerned by the outrage in response to the Trump postings than by the actual postings themselves. “Many students today do not want to see their thoughts and opinions challenged by the opposition,” Patricio Aguilar told the Claremont Independent. “In many cases they call out the opposition by saying it is ‘offensive’ and ‘unsafe.’ Instead of embracing the opposition as what it is, students now want to silence others for beliefs that are different from what they agree with and with what is considered PC.”

Update: April 3, 2016 at 2:01pm

An earlier version of the story said the “Make America” slogan was written on Pitzer’s Free Wall. We’ve been informed that it was written on a permanent mural, and updated the story accordingly.

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Image Source: Facebook

16 thoughts on “#TheChalkening Hits Pitzer College”

  1. This is my favorite part of the Pitzer student government representative’s Facebook post: “I’m honestly in disbelief at how light the response has been. When the hate crime was first reported, individuals were told facilities would remove the vandalism on Monday. So, students of color would be forced to walk by this tonight and all of tomorrow?”

    I’m willing to put my money on the fact that the majority of Pitzer’s facilities staff is of Latino descent. If I am correct in my assumption, this student is calling for these workers to come in during the weekend–that is, during their time off–to remove some innocuous graffiti because he *feels* intimidated. Oh, the delicious irony!

    1. Pitzer’s facilities staff shouldn’t remove the graffiti in the first place. It should be those responsible for damaging school property. There is a free wall on Pitzer’s campus for a purpose. Sure there are disagreements on what is put on the wall and most postings are skewed to one side, but vandalism of any kind to school property is against the law. The fact that Pitzer’s facilities staff is going to have to deal with it Monday morning, and that it’s about Trump, adds icing to the cake in regards to the situation. Like you mentioned, you can put money on that the majority of Pitzer’s facilities staff is of Latino descent. Imagine having to clean up after someone else knowing that the people who wrote the graffiti don’t want you. Like I said there is a free wall on Pitzer’s campus specifically for that purpose. There is no need to damage school property.

      1. I don’t disagree with most of what you say. Yes, the spray painting done outside of the free wall is vandalism. Yes, if caught, it seems just that those responsible for damaging school property should be the ones to remove it. In reality, however, because these vandals weren’t caught in the act, it will be Pitzer’s facilities staff removing the graffiti on Monday.

        In case it wasn’t clear, what is ironic: in a Facebook post, a privileged POC seems to demand that less privileged PsOC (i.e., the facilities staff) come to work on their time off to clean up graffiti because he feels uncomfortable on behalf of all PsOC.

  2. I’m not sure I see what the point of this article was. People vandalized Pitzer’s campus. It doesn’t matter what they painted on the clock tower; that’s ****** up. Someone wants to show their support for Trump? Fine, put it on the free wall where it belongs. But chalking the slogan over a mural making a statement about disregard for people of color, something Trump has very much been associated with, is going to be rightfully upsetting to some people. Did some people overreact? Maybe so (see the other comments). But I’m not sure what about this warrants a weak article that seems to vaguely whine about political correctness without making any real points.

  3. This is at least as likely to be perpetrated by one of the folks complaining rather than an actual Trump supporter. Most of these kinds of incidents that have been resolved lately have ended up being hate crimes committed by the perpetually outraged. They feel no compunction about being racist toward the people they claim to care about if it gets them traction for their cause, yet their actions are treated as harmless “conversation starters.”

    It’s as if white supremacy has metastasized and now infects the social justice movement. Just because they think they’re on the “right” side doesn’t mean they aren’t willfully or stupidly racist in what they say or do.

    1. I would guess you are correct. The hoax is a weapon that the perpetually “oppressed victims” have been using for years. But, why not. It works.

      Tawana Brawley with the feces on her chest, with her “advisor” Al Sharpton, who now has tv shows and radio programs and dines at the White House and does not have to pay taxes! UVA student makes up a horrific rape story and Rolling Stone pushes it. All the frats at UVA get new draconian rules as a result of a false charge. The “journalist” and the rag magazine…unscathed.

      So, yes, I believe the vandalism was done by an opponent of Trump. I would start by investigating the most vociferously offended students. Tends to work that way.

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