Students cover free speech wall with vulgar anti-Trump graffiti
- A "Free Speech Wall" erected by the Cal Poly College Republicans to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall was recently defaced with graffiti reading, "please eat my a**, Trump."
- The graffiti, written across the entire wall in bright blue and red spray paint, completely covers other messages that had been written on the wall previously.
- School President Jeffrey Armstrong warned students in advance that the wall might contain "offensive and deeply hurtful" messages, and a spokesperson subsequently confirmed that the graffiti is considered free speech.
A Free Speech Wall erected by the College Republicans at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly-SLO), was defaced last Tuesday morning with a message urging President Donald Trump to “please eat my a**.”
The statement, written across the entire wall in bright blue and red spray paint early in the morning, covers other students’ writing on the wall.
The Free Speech Wall was built at the school to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was set to be taken down on November 9, the same day in history that the real Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989. The wall was designed to be a tool to celebrate free speech in the United States.
While students can write on the wall, they were asked by College Republicans at Cal Poly-SLO to consider others’ right to their own ideas and opinions.
“The Cal Poly College Republican Club welcomes all groups and individuals who wish to express their right to free speech, but ask that everyone be courteous to others’ ideas as diversity of thought is the foundation of our freedom,” reads a statement released by the group. “There will be things written on the wall that people will not agree with, but that is an inevitable outcome in a free society. The point, however, is not to emphasize the differences in thought, but to celebrate the fact that, as Americans, we are allowed to think differently.”
The president of Cal Poly-SLO, Jeffrey D. Armstrong, also sent out a mass email to the community discussing the wall ahead of the event.
“Some people have chosen to exercise their right to free speech by adding comments and drawings on the wall that have been offensive and deeply hurtful to members of the campus community,” Armstrong wrote. “While we support everyone’s right to express a variety of views and opinions on campus, we hope you will consider how your contributions might impact those who have felt marginalized, denigrated, or demeaned.”
“As a public university, Cal Poly embraces its obligation to uphold freedom of speech and fully supports the right of all of its campus community members to express themselves and speak out about their opinions—even those with whom others may disagree,” Media Relations Director Matt Lazier told Campus Reform. “The expression of differing opinions is what allows our students to hone their critical thinking skills by evaluating a spectrum of information and reaching informed and intelligent conclusions.”
The Cal Poly-SLO College Republicans declined to comment for this article.
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