Are you familiar with the story of the boy who cried wolf? If not, it’s a story of a boy who, just for kicks, convinced everyone that there was a wolf attacking his sheep. There was no danger, and the townspeople were annoyed. Then he did it again. The townspeople were more annoyed. But then it really happened. A wolf came and attacked his flock. He ran screaming into the town to get help, but no one believed him, and his sheep were eaten.
It’s a familiar tale with a simple message. If you lie, people will struggle to believe you. The same is true for half-truths.
A couple of weeks ago, rainbow-colored doors were put up around campus with hateful words on them, and many students believed the words were a recent addition, some even thought they happened that week.
There is a long history behind those doors. The words were sprayed on years ago, and the Rainbow Union used to put them out every year as a reminder of the hateful words that were said.
The problem with them being displayed this year, after years of storage, is that their story is not included, so many students assume this just happened. I don’t know if this was intentional, or just a drastic oversight on the part of the individuals who are responsible for the display, but the result is that people are believing a half-truth.
Yes, Drake can be better about being accepting of all people, but it’s important to fight for acceptance with integrity, because all it takes is one instance of deceiving people before you become less trustworthy. You can set back your entire cause by being caught in any untrue statement.
I cannot speak for the intent of those who set up the display, but people on campus need to be rational about what we are seeing.
Clearly, comments on Yik Yak have gotten out of hand, and we know from other comments that have been made on Yik Yak that some people just like to cause trouble on the app.
We also know that people have seen the doors knocked down. This is not necessarily a sign of hatred toward those in the LGBTQ community, but it is a sign of disrespect toward other students and the work they do.
Keep in mind that it is a college campus, and not all stupid decisions are made out of hate — many are just made out of stupidity.
Regardless of someone’s views on sexuality, we need to be respectful of those around us, and if we are trying to make a point, our argument needs to be 100 percent clear and truthful, otherwise we are shooting ourselves in the foot when the truth comes out.
My challenge to you, Drake University, is to be classy about how we discuss controversial issues. We don’t just want to be a Top-20 friendly school for LGBTQ individuals, we want to be a Top-20 friendly school for everyone.