Stop Hate Speech on DePaul University's Campus
This petition had 430 supporters
The problematic and xenophobic statements and ideologies promoted by Milo Yiannopoulous are outraging. He perpetuates the dangerous systems of oppression that exist in our world and, as a result, on our campus. From the name of his tour—which includes a homophobic slur—to the violently oppressive commentary he has made in the past, it is our belief that his presence will ultimately bring harm to the students on our campus. He mocks social justice and safe spaces, two qualities that are vital to the Vincentian mission of DePaul University. Why is it that DePaul University, the nation’s largest Catholic university, would host Milo Yiannopoulos as a speaker at an event on campus?
What makes Milo Yiannopoulos’ presence as a speaker on campus particularly violent is the fact that he promotes—and attempts to legitimize—many of the systems of oppression that currently affect marginalized communities, as well as being a vocal proponent of ideologies that constitute as hate speech. Yiannopoulos continuously speaks out in ways that are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, anti-feminist, and Islamaphobic. He denies the existence of statistically proven rape culture on college campuses, allowing the epidemic to continue unaddressed and unresolved. By inviting Yiannopoulos to speak at a campus function, the administration of DePaul University is allowing the rhetoric of hate speech and perpetuating systemic persecutions against people of color, women, Muslims, queer, trans, and gender nonconforming individuals, and other communities on campus.
As a Vincentian institution, DePaul University is responsible for standing against systemic injustices in all forms. Students from communities of all races, sexual and gender identities, and religious affiliations deserve to be able to co-exist on campus without the presence of the virulent hatred Yiannopoulos promotes. The systemic oppression of these communities is not a form of “intellectual thought”, nor is it just “someone’s opinion”. It is not a tool for an entertainer to use and classify as “pop culture” or “sensationalism” to turn a profit.
It is real, it hurts people, and it kills. Yiannopoulos profits off of the oppression of others.
DePaul President Dennis Holtschneider has directly refused a personal request to cancel the event. In his personal refusal to a student he stated, "I do not share the same level of concern as you for the well-being of our students if they are exposed to this spectacle." By failing to cancel the event after having been made aware of the possible consequences that would result from the presence of Yiannopoulos, the administration of DePaul University has taken a stance that is contrary to the intrinsic and fundamental values of what it means to be a Vincentian. They are allowing the perpetuation of both hate speech and systemic oppression on campus, and this is an unpardonable action for an institution which claims to stand for and with members of all communities within the human family.
We call upon the administration of DePaul University to:
1. Cancel the Milo Yiannopoulos event scheduled for May 24th,
2. Agree to issue a more appropriate response to the chalkings on campus and related issues, which can only be realized and decided by the students, staff, and faculty directly affected by these incidents, as well the acknowledgement of the presence, and a course of active action to be taken against, the continuous systemic oppression of marginalized groups on campus.
It is our hope that the Vincentian morals central to the DePaul Mission will guide the administration to make a decision that is inclusive and respectful of all groups that have a presence in the DePaul community, and stand against the rhetoric which threatens the quintessential definition of what it means to be a Vincentian.
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