The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board.
President Bob Davies posted a photo on Instagram the afternoon of March 7 of the Diversity Pledge, which the Emerging Scholars Institute started in Fall 2014.
The pledge states, first and foremost, “Enter this community understanding that you will be changed by having been here.”
This pledge was created as a response and reaction to ignorant, racist and hateful posts made on Yik Yak – a haven for some anonymous, cowardly bigots, evidently. The pledge was promoted heavily again last semester, when more anonymous messages of hate appeared on fliers for the Muslim Student Association’s Hijab Day.
However, just as the petition reached the halfway mark of its goal of 5,000 signatures, the Murray community received a glaring reminder that we have not yet reached the kind of understanding for which the pledge advocates.
If you’re not already aware, someone canvassed Murray neighborhoods with recruitment fliers for the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) last weekend.
The flier, among other things, references Romans 12:4-5 and asks readers questions including, “Tired of rampant crime?” and “Tired of your constitutional rights being taken away?”
It also states that the “Loyal White Knights” stand for God and Nation.
Now here comes the satisfying part: Pointing out all the ways imbeciles like these are wrong.
Romans 12:4-5 includes the following two lines of scripture: “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
This is a very inclusive sentiment for an incredibly exclusive (to say the least) group.
According to History Channel, the KKK was founded in 1866 and was revived in the 20th century in their efforts to denounce “immigrants, Catholics, Jews, blacks and organized labor.”
Apparently, to the KKK, “each member belongs to all the others,” with a few glaring exceptions.
Furthermore, it would seem that burning crosses, bombings, murder, lynching and wide-spread violence, all things the KKK is notorious for, falls into the category of “rampant crime.”
Last but not least, there are several constitutional rights the KKK likely does not approve of – the first and 15th Amendments come to mind. Not to mention they hinder the “pursuit of happiness” of minorities and non-Christians, let alone anyone with basic human decency.
So, before they question these sorts of things on their fliers, maybe they should reassess literally every single thing about their “organization.”
Davies wrote a very thoughtful, well-worded caption under his Instagram post of the Diversity Pledge. He included a very powerful call-to-action in the last three sentences in particular:
“Murray State University will not tolerate any form of racism, intolerance or insensitivity. Our campus community must continue to actively engage in open and respectful discussions based on the merits of one’s intellectual pursuits, not based on stereotypes and discrimination. We will be relentless in our commitment to creating an inclusive and safe learning environment for all.”
So let’s band together and change the conversation once again.
We can’t allow ourselves or anyone else to enter this community and change us for the worse.