I was disconcerted and appalled by the revelation early this week that a so-called “White Student Union” had formed on Auburn University’s campus with the intent of promoting racist, anti-Semitic and white nationalist ideology.
This is obviously nothing new to the average American, who has been privy to such postures for much of the last year-and-a-half, as they gained traction and became a frequent centerpiece of the presidential election and its media coverage.
For many individuals, though — myself included — the presence of such reprehensible veins of thought on our own campus frames this concern in an entirely new light.
Let me preface my statements here by admitting that I am a progressive white male — I voted for Hillary Clinton — but I would not reckon myself a bleeding heart liberal by any means (though I am fully prepared for the onslaught of “libtard” and “snowflake” monikers in the comments section below), but naturally, I’m offended by racist, xenophobic, and other derogatory language.
That being said, white nationalism and supremacy should not be any type of partisan matter, but an issue that should concern any individual with a sufficient moral compass.
Such hatred has no place in our society and especially not on a college campus like Auburn’s in which we benefit from a wonderful amalgamation of race, culture, religion and, perhaps most importantly, thought.
Those who adhere to the convictions of white nationalistic thought suffer from some of the most deeply rooted ignorance and cowardice found in our society today.
They want us to believe that because “history” illustrates the reign of those with white skin over those with, well, any other skin color, that the white race is superior and must be protected from the evils of the African-American, or the Mexican or the Syrian refugee.
The history, that dark, dark history, is a story of suppression, suffering, and abuse levied against nonwhites.
White supremacy, on a biological and intellectual level, doesn’t exist, but rather, stems from centuries of unjust maltreatment that allowed those who were white to consolidate power and influence.
Skin color, at its foundation, has nothing to do with it, as we know now that the only reason we have different shades of skin is based on where our ancient ancestors were located relative to the equator and its adaptation to accommodate for sunlight and other natural factors.
Now that we live in a world where civil liberties and rights, equal opportunity and other protections exist for persons of color and other marginalized groups, these champions of white supremacy strive for the homogenously white days of old.
They hide behind their whiteness, claiming they are the victims of a conspiracy to eradicate the white race from the planet and case blame on anyone who doesn’t look like them for their problems.
As someone who is white, they sicken and embarrass me for their irrational, unfounded and cowardly actions and beliefs.
In our society today, though, we have reason to celebrate — our differences, our innovations, our triumphs — because we’re all people, the same people, with dreams and loved ones and passions and interests.
We are not distinguished by our skin color, our religion or our ethnicity — we are distinguished by our capacity for human decency and our contributions to society, regardless of what you look like, what language you speak or whom you pray to.
That is what we are going to stand for at Auburn because that is what every member of the Auburn Family should subscribe to – loving and celebrating the entirety of our being.
So, we’ll leave the primitive and archaic views of the world to those who hide behind their “informational” fliers and their keyboards because Auburn is here to celebrate and protect every member of our family.
Trey Fields is a senior majoring in political science.