In the wake of of Mike Ditka’s recently postponed lecture, many of us have taken to EC’s student group page to voice our opinions, some voicing their discontent and others expressing relief. Regardless, many have contributed to a cesspool of personal attacks toward those who simply wish to express their views.
As an uncensored publication who operates under the first amendment, we view these polarizing behaviors as a problem.
Let’s be honest, Ditka’s recent commenting on racial oppression as being nonexistent in our recent history was a blatant disregard to those who have suffered the wrongs of our country. It only makes sense that many people are unhappy with the college’s chosen speaker.
Though the postponement of the anticipated lecture was a decision made on Ditka’s part, we can all acknowledge that prior attempts to stop this lecture from happening have arised. Still, there are more progressive ways to protest ignorance. Refusing to let an invited guest speaker to come to our campus is not one of them.
As a liberal arts college, part of our role in society is to provide an environment open to diverse trains of thought with room for dialogue and conversations amongst community members.
Sadly, in this day and age, our interactions with one another are becoming more volatile and, according to Pew Research, we are living in the most polarized and divided time in history.
The predominant usage of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have made it so easy to hide behind a screen and make jabbing personal attacks toward people we don’t even personally know through the most impersonal means.
With our eyes constantly plastered to our phones, it’s easy to piece together this inherent lack of conversational competence especially when technology has only made an artificial room for socializing.
How many of us have resorted to deleting, reporting, or blocking Facebook friends due to differences in political and religious thought?
Truthfully, this isn’t how the “real world” works. We can’t simply plug our ears and press “delete” on other human beings, despite how strongly we disagree with them.
Beyond this miniscule suburban bubble we deem Elmhurst College, there is a world run by individuals of different colors, languages, religions, and ideologies and within this wonderful diverse world, there will certainly be differences in thought.
Much like a team of physicians that specialize in different disciplines and are collectively seeking to cure a disease, we ourselves must learn to work together to solve the cancers of society. The end goal is not to prove which side is right. Rather, it is to seek change and tackle our flawed societal structures.
Whether it is a debate between pro-life versus pro-choice, immigration, health care, or gun control, we all know that these topics are not black and white and no one stance is superior to the other.
Despite how ardently we disagree with someone’s opinions, there is still room for valid and enriching conversations without us being so quick to offend one another.
The easiest way to do this is if we set our differences aside, expect that we have something to learn out of these conversations, and to simply listen.
In light of this, perhaps it is time we abandon our intolerance of challenging views and kill our need to be the only ones heard. Commenting on social media posts is really only a mere stepping stone into bringing awareness to a certain issue. Yet, like all social media quarrels, it will someday be a topic of yesteryear and we’ll have ultimately solved nothing in the process.
Nature often follows the path of least resistance. Typing out an emotionally charged status is insurmountably more convenient than playing an active part in these issues. Yet, while these topics remain relevant in our current lives, the momentum that often sparks these charged discussions will soon fizzle out into the depths of internet junk.
There are outlets and platforms beyond a mere Facebook group that allow us to be heard. Seek individuals who have an influence in making change happen. Student Government Association (SGA) meetings are held every Thursday in the Blume Board room. We encourage students to submit letters to the editor to voice their concerns.
There are members within our community that are willing to hear your voice. Be present in opportunities that actually allow you to make a difference and to take part in meaningful discussions.