‘All Lives Matter’ sign sparks debate outside Leatherby Libraries

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Facilities Management took down the sign Thursday morning. Photo courtesy of Regina Bryant

An “All Lives Matter” sign was posted Feb. 9 in front of the Leatherby Libraries next to the “Black Lives Matter” sign and Pan-African flag posted for Black History Month, said Chief of Public Safety Randy Burba.

The sign was removed by Facilities Management after Public Safety received two calls, Burba said.

“I was the one who posted, who put it up there,” said Alec Harrington, a sophomore political science major. “Because I want to see two different opinions being shared on campus. I would like to see the left’s idea of what they should have, and also the right, the conservative idea. I would like those two ideas to be shared freely without being shut down.”

Sophomore screen acting major Arianna Ngomire was on the steps of the Leatherby Libraries holding a sign that read “But will you say it to my face?” when sophomore political science major Alec Harrington, who posted the “All Lives Matter” sign, approached her for a conversation. Photo by Jackie Cohen

Around noon, in response to the “All Lives Matter” sign, sophomore screen acting major Arianna Ngnomire sat outside the Leatherby Libraries holding a sign that said, “But will you say it to my face?” when she was approached by Harrington, Ngnomire said.

“It was very profound, because me sitting here, there were a lot of people looking at me, but then the person who actually put the flag up decided to sit next to me and have a conversation,” Ngnomire said.

A crowd of people started to gather around Ngnomire and Harrington, Ngonomire said.

The crowd eventually grew to about 50 people.

“I felt like I was a part of a community, because I was really only talking to him one-on-one for a few minutes and then other people came in and supported not only myself but also the Black Lives Matter movement, and it wasn’t only black people here either,” Ngnomire said. “Everyone really did come out as a community to support my community.”

During the conversation, a man ran up with a trash can and attempted to dump trash or hit Harrington with the trash can, said Nikki Thompson, a senior theatre performance major who came to meet Ngnomire.

“He did not succeed in doing that, because Arianna stepped in and put herself in between the young man who put up the ‘All Lives Matter’ sign and the young man who was attempting to throw trash on him out of anger,” Thompson said.

Students discuss the “All Lives Matter” sign that was posted over the Pan-African flag outside of the Leatherby Libraries. Photo by Jackie Cohen

Ngnomire said that she prevented Harrington from getting hit because she didn’t want him to get beat up.

“I just want him to be educated,” Ngnomire said. “That way he can tell his family and his friends why black lives do matter. I don’t know if that will ever happen with him but maybe, I don’t know.”

The crowd dissipated around 1 p.m.

Burba said that the posting of the sign is a policy violation because Civic Engagement didn’t authorize it.

In an open letter to the Black Student Union Feb. 9, Dean of Students Jerry Price wrote that the sign was taken down because it was put up without authorization and covered the “Black Lives Matter” banner, which had been approved by the Leatherby Libraries for Black History Month.

“I also want to take this opportunity to clarify that – as an institution that highly values and encourages free expression – we removed the banner as a response to the students proceeding without authorization and in a matter inconsistent with university policy because it covered your
existing banner,” Price wrote. “We are not censoring their message; indeed, part of our discussion with the students involved will be to educate them on the proper avenues to communicate a message.”

Price told The Panther that there is sufficient reason to suspect that Student Code of Conduct policies may have been violated by posting the sign, and that he plans to meet with Harrington soon.

According to the Chapman website, postings that cover up or obscure a previous posting can be considered a violation of the Student Conduct Code.
“We encourage students communicating whatever message they want to get out there, but you can’t do so in such a way that diminishes somebody else’s message,” Price said.

Jackie Cohen contributed to the reporting of this story.

16 Comments

  • It was outrageous to see the young man threatened by a Left Wing activist bent on violence! Was he arrested or suspended ? Where are you Chapman College administrators ? Is this acceptable behavior ? Mr Struppa , will you denounce these type of threats of violence ? Will you make it clear that free speech is for all and not just the Left ?

    What a horrible stain on a great University to allow the threat of violence to go unpunished. There has been a tone set by the campus to allow Leftist extremists to stifle free speech and threaten bodily harm to those who disagree. And then I watched the Black Lives Matter girl refer to the victim as trash. And all the LeftWing activists sat there, like bumps on a log while the white guy was berated and threatened. Is this the new Chapman ? Are we the next Berkeley where free speech is only for the Left and violence is threatened to those who dissent ?

    This was shameful and despicable to watch! I will be waiting for faculty and administration to condemn this behavior. President Struppa , we are watching !

    • Every month is white history month. Name a month of the year when you aren’t hearing about great achievements of white people. American history has had a way of leaving out the many milestones reached by African Americans like the carbon filament in lightbulbs, the modern day design for gas masks, traffic signal. In an ideal world, we don’t need Black history month because there is equal awareness and there’s attention brought to everyone’s achievements and struggles. But this is most definitely not the case, so Black history month serves to highlight these achievements of the black community and is greatly needed.

  • U got Latino music awards what about white music awards the white scholarship award white lives matter

  • Intolerance is very much alive and well on the Chapman campus. The idea that a promoter of a different viewpoint is threatened on a college campus is outrageous ! Of course Black Lives Matter but all lives also matter. And BLM undermines their cause when they get hysterical and threaten a student who dares to say that All Lives Matter too, and then almost gets assaulted with a trash can. The black activist , then insults the white student by calling him trash !

    Whether it’s UC Berkeley or Chapman, radical leftists are on the march. .. Their behavior is often violent and extremely belligerent . This is unAmerican and so totalitarian and this comes from the so called ( tolerant crowd ) . It’s time for President Struppa to use his authority and denounce the use of violence by these self righteous thugs bent on intimidation. It’s also time for the Chapman newspaper to denounce these bully’s on the left and push for civility ! Chapmans credibility is on the line ! You’re reputation for fairness and for protecting all of your students , even conservative ones ,as well as free speech , is being tested and you have failed miserably !

  • I was really proud of the woman when she stepped up–until I hear her call the young man “trash, he’s already trash.” That was unnecessary and undermines her message.

  • All lives matter. As a Chapman Alum, I’m very disturbed and disappointed that you encourage the victim mentality and are a vocal supporter of all things that undermine our government. I will no longer give money to you and my old campus doesn’t represent the majority of our alums. I will take this up at the alumni association and not let it go without a legal challenge. So, I guess you don’t need the old man “white money” anymore, huh Chapman? See where you are when we all pull out our money. The NAACP and all the other organizations will not compare.

  • I am a Chapman Alum. We will fight the leftist BS and liars and freeloaders on our campus. You don’t want our money anymore (white Alums who pay your salary) then we will get you in the courts. Do you really want our university taken over by black and foreign thugs? No more contributions from me.

    • Wait, did you really just say “university taken over by black and foreign thugs”? As a Chapman alum, I’d think you would be much more tolerant, accepting, and even excited about the increased diversity our campus has seen, especially given this university’s emphasis on becoming global citizens. I don’t know if this was the case when you were a student here, but we currently have a program in place that was implemented specifically to allow for growth and understanding of perspectives besides our own, and we even have a fountain dedicated to this mission of Chapman.

      Chapman’s BSU went through the proper networks of gaining university approval to put their flags up in front of the libraries. Harrington did not, and therefore the university is taking its stance on the basis of it being an issue of conduct, not an issue of his message (which although personally I disagree with, he does have the right to display from his first amendment, but as a private institution we are subject to going through the appropriate networks to get signs displayed). If he had gone through the same process BSU had, perhaps his message would have been allowed.

      Ever since stepping into his position, President Struppa has made it clear that every student here is welcome and wanted, no matter our nationality or race, as we all worked hard to earn our place here. I am a minority here on nearly a full scholarship thanks to the contributions of alum such as yourself, which I greatly appreciate and I make a point of writing thank you letters when we are given that opportunity.

      However, if you disagree with this campus moving in the direction of tolerance, acceptance, and equality, and if you don’t want this Chapman taken over by “foreigns” I would suggest that you do take your money elsewhere.

  • Wow, the racists of Chapman, past and present, are really exposing themselves in the comments here. Yikes.

  • I’m proud of Arianna for so many reasons. She has every right to call someone doing something trashy, well, trash! It’s Black History Month. Period. White people shouldn’t be derailing her or any black person on the subject of race, and Harrington was way out of line here.
    Small victory: a lot of the staff and faculty who I’ve discussed this with (because this has indeed created campus-wide discussion) are in complete support of the black students and are shocked that Harrington took it upon himself to do such a tactless thing.

  • Cries of VIOLENCE from those with white privilege.

    I didn’t hear claims of violence when Trump supports yelled, screamed, threatened, spat at students after the elections who didn’t agree with the results.

    We claim freedom speech, but you are pissed because she vocalized her freedom of speech and called him trash, yet this young brave girl made sure this young man did not get hurt.

    I didn’t hear claims of violence when he incited by stated that if a black man is sagging his pants, he deserve to be shot.

    I don’t hear claims of motivated violence when students of color are called racial slurs, when our queer students are called faggot, when our Muslim students are told they shouldn’t be at Chapman because of their faith, when out Jewish students have to see swastikas spread through the dorm doors.

    Lets talk about violence and how it is really takes a toll on our students daily.

    • There is no defending a person that claims someone should be shot for sagging their pants. However, there is one critical difference between what you are calling violence and real violence.

      Saying what you think, calling someone a name, or posting swastikas on a door are not violence.

      It is for this reason, that neo-liberals and their agenda are not taken seriously by any realist over the age of 35. The neo-liberal (dare I say regressive) agenda focuses on feelings and subjective experience, all while demonizing anyone that has the gall to display dissent to this childish way of looking at the world.

      Physical violence is never an appropriate response to an idea or opinion. Anyone that engages in physical violence against someone for expressing themselves is the literal definition of a fascist. This is why the hypocrisy of the students at UC Berkley using violence to shut down Milo, who they believe is a fascist, is laughable if it wasn’t so scary.

      “I don’t hear claims of motivated violence when students of color are called racial slurs, when our queer students are called faggot, when our Muslim students are told they shouldn’t be at Chapman because of their faith, when out Jewish students have to see swastikas spread through the dorm doors.” — This is not violence; let the record be clear.

  • All of these old white men, with at least one degree, seem to have enough time on your hands to repeatedly type paragraph responses about your whack white opinion (Yes, Dan Jones I’m talking to you) and yet you could be spending that precious time applying a heavy SPF and getting your cholesterol in check. Pour yourselves a nice bowl of heart healthy Cheerios, add in a gallon of your white tears and accept the fact that you are on the wrong side of history, bud.

    • It is interesting that the right side of history would exhibit extreme agism, sexism, and racism, all laced with insults and irrational stereotypes. If it’s wrong for one group to do, then it is wrong for all groups to do. Wound’t you agree snk?

  • I, for one, would like to congratulate Mr. Harrington on his bravery. I didn’t see him spewing hate in the video. I saw a young man calmly discussing his views, until the true colors of his opposition reared their heads with violence and hate speech.

    Mr. Harrington, if you’re reading this, please contact me. I’d like to buy you a drink and pay for next semester’s text books: conservativeheroes@protonmail.com

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