Our Sunday morning Sept. 15 began with a text message, telling our staff a story we’ve heard far too many times this semester: white-supremacists are on our campus.
It’s our fourth issue this semester and despite it being 2019, despite most sane people knowing that white supremacy and its practices are morally compromised, every single one of our issues thus far has had at least one story revolving around the prominence of white-supremacist groups on campus or within Orange County.
On the first day of class, there were posters advertising Patriot Front and videos of high school students doing the Nazi salute circulating around Twitter. Week after week, this issue has remained a dominant source of news. The posters we found over campus Sunday morning exemplified a trend we’re scared and nervous to see coming. We’re asking ourselves, will this be our semester? Is this our new normal?
Last semester, there were isolated incidents of white supremacist activity, but never anything unnerving enough to sound off our journalistic and personal alarms. Last semester, we never sat around our newsroom table and fretted over the troublesome pattern we’re now seeing. Last semester, we never rushed out our safe newsroom in order to track down the white supremacist stickers decorating campus.
We feel as if we’re treading in unprecedented territory. We’re balancing the fine line between reporting the events occurring on our campus and giving this ideology the spotlight it craves. We feel like all we can really do is call out the hatred we see occurring, and we are still grappling with how to address this problem week after week.
It’s an extremely difficult and sensitive position. As we forge ahead uncomfortably, we feel as if it’s our duty to cover this as best as we can, despite the fact that these kinds of things have never happened this frequently on our campus before. We’re unsure where to go from here.
This is our campus, our place, our home. We are supposed to feel comfortable here. Yet a trend of fear is occurring and all we can do is call it out. It’s happening outside our classrooms, in front of our gyms, right before our eyes. These people are walking among us. And we believe it’s our duty to ensure that our community stays informed about what’s occurring under their noses.
This isn’t an individual and contained incident. This has been a four-week-long attack on our campus. Even if we’re unsure how to address it and even if we feel frustrated with how little coverage these types of events are receiving, we will continue to do our job and keep Chapman and its surrounding vicinities informed and knowledgeable about the current climate of our community.