El Elefante En El Cuarto

“Do you prefer hugging babies vs. killing them?” Oh. And Anchor Babies.

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Hey guys! I hope everyone has been doing well. Sorry I haven’t posted on here in a while I wanted to enjoy the rest of my summer and actually settle into school.

A lot of good things have been going on. And there are a lot of bad things that have been going on. But I don’t want to dedicate this blog post to talk about things that everyone hears about everyday. I don’t want to be a broken record. What I want to talk about today is something a little more personal.

For those of you reading this, you either go to college with me or have gone to school with me at one point or another. For those of you who do attend Gettysburg, you already know about Young Americans for Freedom. And for those of you who don’t – you don’t really need to know much other than the fact that we are a conservative group that is brand new to the Gettysburg College campus. I am the Vice President.

Sunday night we put up our posters. Approximately 80. By Monday afternoon we had posters removed, dismantled, and destroyed. Someone even drew a Swastika on one. Someone even stole one and thought it would be funny to vandalize it, place it on her wall, and put it on her snap story. We were ridiculed, labeled, insulted, and attacked all over Yik Yak. There was even a personal Yik Yak for ME, and there was approximately a 60 comment long discussion about my personal life and why I have the views that I have. The President and I (Who yes. Is my boyfriend. So the hell what people?) put up even more posters. By this afternoon, all of our “controversial” and supposedly “insulting” posters, were torn down. Tonight we had our first meeting. And let me tell you, I am back in my apartment in utter shock and complete dissapointment with the people on this campus that I am surrounded by.

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People came in who wanted to debate laughed at us. They screamed over people. Had horrible attitudes. Spoke to us as if we had no brains, no logic behind the things we believe. Interrogated us with questions we genuinely could not give a full answer to. I am not hurt by this behavior, it is everything that I expected. I am disgusted. You would think that as adults if someone didn’t agree with another person, a reasonable discussion would be able to take place. No screaming. No insulting. No snarky attitude. No eye rolling. It’s disrespectful behavior.

Although the one poster got everyone going offended some people, unfortunately (for you) we’re allowed to say it. It’s our Constitutional Right which liberals and college’s have tried to dismantle and limit for years.

God forbid we offend you, even if it’s not a direct personal attack. Everything Conservatives do is supposedly offensive. I should wear my YAF shirt tomorrow and see how many people say I’m being offensive just by wearing it. What’s funny is that you, liberals, don’t want to be offended. Even though YAF did not call women murders, pro-choicer’s murders, we still somehow managed to offend you. But in your minds, it’s okay to laugh in our faces when we try to make a statement, or when we say we would keep a child at this age. Call us close- minded. Aggressive individuals. If anything every supporter of YAF kept very calm tonight. Let people speak. Did not raise their voices at people. They remained very calm, cool and collected. I, at some point, had to sit down and keep my mouth shut because I couldn’t handle the hostility and hate towards our club from the opposing side. My face turned bright red because I was so furious.

Apart from YAF, as an individual, this meeting tonight made me realize the kind of people that I am surrounded by on this campus. How far people will go to shut a person up. To attack them. To hurt them. To embarrass them and make them look stupid. To push them to their limit, get them angry.

Sadly this atmosphere doesn’t only exist here at Gettysburg. It’s everywhere. Our generation has become so insanely intolerant of other views that I don’t even think “open-minded” exists anymore. I have lost friends because they decided they can’t associate with someone who has opposing political views. I have been personally attacked. I have been threatened. You know liberals pride themselves on being open-minded and accepting, but when someone disagrees with a view of theirs its just attack, attack, attack. “You’re racist. You’re unintelligent. You’re so arrogant.”

What has happened to this world?

The intolerance is unnecessary and cruel. The hate for conservatives is unjust. I spoke to a girl who attended the YAF meeting tonight who I don’t think is a supporter, but approached me afterwards and genuinely felt sorry for how awful people were towards us.

We knew that we would trigger this type of behavior. If it wasn’t now it would have been later. YAF clubs that are present on “liberal” campuses always gets so much push-back from their communities. But it’s honestly so different when it’s actually happening. Hearing about it is no big deal and doesn’t usually sound so terrible.  It’s kind of hard not to laugh at it now that I’m sitting here writing this approximately two hours after this meeting. Because the intolerance is kind of funny. The anger and hate is kinda funny. They judge and assume immediately. Twist our words immediately. And they don’t give us a chance to speak. It’s funny because they try to take our voices away from us and shut us out. But the more they try to close the lid on this little box we’re all in the harder we push back to keep the lid open.

Some girl tonight said that we have only been successful in becoming “the most hated group on campus”, sounds like alienated a group to me. But hey, so what? YAF isn’t popular anywhere they go by their opposers. Will and I did not bring this club to campus in hopes of being the most popular clubs, and being the most loved individuals. The point of YAF, regardless of what so many people think (and a lot of you probably didn’t bother to even come by the meeting to give us a chance) is to speak up for conservative values and to stand up for our beliefs that have been slandered for so long. Regardless of how we go about getting that attention and getting people to listen to us, that is what the point of the club is. We have to stand out in order to get people to pay attention to us. To start talking about our club, and our beliefs. Therefore sparking a political debate. If we didn’t do any of the things we did we would have ended up being another poster on the wall that no one bothers looking at. We are not sorry for the posters.

But of course. I should know this by now shouldn’t I? My opinions don’t matter! I’m dumb and racist!

“If I only had a brain….”

Anyway. Just a random thought too. The President actually complimented someone who had attended the meeting and instead of receiving a polite “thank you” he got an eye roll and a “ugh, okay cool whatever.”

But there is hope for this. YAF will not be silenced. We have strong supporters. People, Soldiers, who are ready to fight this battle ahead. As hard as people will try, we will never go away. But we will be louder than ever. More passionate than ever. More present than ever. You can’t shut us up anymore and make us sit in a corner and keep our views and opinions to ourselves because enough is enough.  We have had it.

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Author: Alissa López

Junior at Gettysburg College studying Political Science.

4 thoughts on ““Do you prefer hugging babies vs. killing them?” Oh. And Anchor Babies.

  1. Hi,
    While I personally hated those posters (I thought they just as offensive and unthinking as those who attacked them) it obviously isn’t right for you to have been personally attacked for having your beliefs. Even if I think they are 100% wrong, our country is build upon freedom. Taking away that freedom, even if we think it’s from radicals, can’t happen. Know that we will keep fighting you on it, but as much as I despise your beliefs, I know tlyou should not stop expressing them. On behalf of those who went for the personal attack, sorry. It was ridiculous both as an argument and for the sake of being a good person.

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  2. While I don’t necessarily agree with what the club’s ideals are, I wanted to attend to possibly gain some insight into what YAF is all about and what their general tenants are. That being said, I was taken aback when Alissa stated at the beginning of the meeting that

    “We wanted to make a point [speaking about the posters and the backlash they received]. We wanted to spark political debate. As of right now YAF, most powerful on campus and the impact that we could have is insane.”

    Although this may be true, the YAF executives repeatedly stated that the club is not a political club, rather an ideological one. If YAF members are going to advertise their club as a non-political one, maybe get it out of the “political clubs” page in the Gettysburg College website. They even had a representative from YAF’s D.C. headquarters who stated:

    “We foster an environment where people can debate issues and talk about issues even if we don’t necessarily agree.”

    False. Not only were President William Stechschulte and Vice President Alissa Lopez not in control of the club conversation, they were downright offensive in some cases. They dismissed an international student with a “nice accent,” about halfway through, and seemed to suspiciously not notice her raised hand throughout the rest of the meeting. The posters that were hung were simply appalling, talking about killing infants and ‘anchor babies.’ If YAF wants to see mature, real debating happening in their meetings, I suggest YAF not try the ‘shock and awe’ approach to recruiting. VP Lopez repeatedly stated at the beginning of the meeting that she “is not sorry” for displaying her offensive views for the campus community to see and abhor. Here at Gettysburg, we are an open community where all opinions should be brought forth and appreciated for what they are. The only exception to this rule is when one’s opinions are so offensive that students file formal complaints with the school because of them. She’s entitled to her opinion, but she is not entitled to insult and threaten others. Also, maybe update the mission statement, which was drafted in 1960. The reasoning for not doing so is because “the values of the conservative agenda haven’t changed much.” Well, the world has changed around them. Catch up or drop out or the race.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So complementing someone on their accent isn’t allowed now? Then again nothing is in colleges anymore apparently. If you’re looking for something to be offended by you’re going to find it. Even if any liberals were offended by anything that was said, tough shit really, no one made you go to ruin a meeting meant for people interested in joining the only conservative group at Gettysburg willing to speak out against the disgustingly hate filled culture that’s taking over American colleges. People who want to be constantly coddled and not exposed to anything they find disagreeable are the reason liberal arts colleges are becoming a joke to the average American who has more important issues to deal with than a few rich kids getting triggered. If you can’t deal with ideas and people you don’t agree with then good luck in life. The real world is a bit different from a college campus.

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      • This comment is so contradictory. First off, YAF’s posters invited people who disagreed to come and debate, so don’t act like people who disagreed attending your meeting is somehow an act of aggression. Second, if these people don’t want to “be exposed to anything they find disagreeable”, then why would they show up to the meeting of a group they disagree with? No one’s asking to be coddled, they’re just calling you out on your bigoted, hypocritical bullshit. If you can’t accept reactions to your words and actions, I think its you that’s not ready for the real world.

        “the disgustingly hate filled culture that’s taking over American colleges” says the racist homophobe.

        “more important issues to deal with than a few rich kids getting triggered.” I know your experiences affiliating with conservatives might not make this apparent, but not everyone who goes here is actually rich. And if the concerns of rich kids are irrelevant, it is YAF (and the college Republicans) that’s a joke.

        Liked by 2 people

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