TAKE ACTION: PROTECT STUDENT PROTEST
Two new Wisconsin bills (SB250 & SB303) are attempting to silence UW students who peacefully protest white supremacy on campus. They prioritize the protection of white supremacists speech over students of color whose voices are truly under threat.
SB250 creates new way to suspend or expel students who protest a white supremacist speaker on campus. SB303 redefines any group of 3 or more students and a threat of violence as a riot eligible for felonies for all involved. No UW speaker has ever experienced or been stopped by a protest.
This unconstitutional and unnecessary attack on protesters targets students of color who are reacting to a rise in white supremacist speakers on campus. Freedom of speech is a fundamental American freedom and a human right, and there’s no place that this right should be more appreciated and protected than colleges and universities.
Students across the nation, and in Wisconsin universities and colleges have chosen to exercise their freedom of speech to reject hateful and harmful hate speech on their campus from white supremacists.
These bills are nothing less than a gag order on student’s freedom of speech and expression. Hate has no place on campus, and students should be allowed to peacefully protest without fear of discipline.
The legislature needs to hear more student voice, not less. The real problem to solve is how few black undergraduates are being admitted to UW campuses and why 50% feel unsafe on campus. Stopping these policies is a way to start listening to students of color.
On 9/11, Shaadie Ali was the only Muslim kindergartener in his class.
Kids called him a terrorist and wouldn't play with him. When he got angry in response, Shaadie's Dad explained that as an Arab man, his existence would always be perceived as a threat and his actions held to a double standard. Shaadie could not use the same words, actions, or even objects for fear of upsetting white people predisposed to see him as violent.
With hate speech rising on campus, regents and legislators are treating the protest of UW students of color like Shaadie as the problem. So he's raising his voice even louder.