Why the radical protestors are not the problem

The radicals on campus are not the problem — those who congregate around them, post videos on snapchat and openly scream and argue against them are.

ASU students are no strangers to radical protesters on campus. We have all seen the mobs and swarms of students gathered around protesters who call gay people sinners and women whores. Yes, these accusations are offensive and immoral, but the accusations are not all that is wrong with what’s happening at our campus and other campuses around the nation.

The problem is that people are listening.

Yes, there is a problem with people openly criticizing others for their actions that have nothing to do with them. I’m not saying I agree or think that radical protestation is right, I’m just saying they're not going anywhere, so it’s time for us, as students, to do something about it in a peaceful manner.

I once read a George R.R. Martin quote that said, “Power resides only where men believe it resides. ... A shadow on the wall, yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.” Someone or something only has power if they are given that power. By students stopping to listen while these speakers spew hate and profanities, we are giving them exactly what they want: ears.

Think you are making a difference by posting it on Snapchat and making fun of it? No. Think you are making a difference by standing up next to the protesters and making funny faces? Nope. Do you think you are making a difference by crying and screaming your lungs out in opposition? You are not. You are giving them a purpose to be there by acknowledging their prejudice and detest for others.

Listening, laughing, recording and onlooking fuels their hate-fire and brings relevance to their actions.

People could argue that doing nothing is just as bad as doing something, but the only thing that keeps these people coming back is the fact that they are getting attention. It’s as simple as that.

I challenge you: Next time you see a mob of people surrounding these ludicrous protesters, leave them alone. Walk right past those people like they are as insignificant as their abhorrence against others. Hitting them, pouring drinks on them, screaming at them, arguing with them is not solving the problem of slander and hatred — it’s just making everyone involved look foolish. How silly would they look if they came and no one acknowledged their hate? Don’t give them the power they so desperately desire.

Remember: Haters are going to hate no matter what, but if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

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Reach the columnist at morgan.difelice@asu.edu or follow @mcdifelice Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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