PantherNOW Editorial Board
PantherNOW wholeheartedly condemns the behavior of Dalton Clodfelter, Tyler Russell and the rest of the YEisRIGHT group, who came to FIU’s Modesto Maidique Campus on Friday, Feb. 10 to provoke arguments about Kanye West’s antisemitic views.
Their behavior is disgusting, disruptive and not representative of the culture of diversity and tolerance at FIU.
Further, we commend the students who counter-protested, demonstrating the values that should be celebrated here at FIU.
Though we understand the rules that exist at FIU regarding free speech and police asking counter-protesters to stop playing music, we encourage administration to examine policies on campus to do everything to discourage hate and make room for students to counterprotest when individuals come on campus to spew hateful ideologies.
YEisRIGHT is a live-streamed podcast on Cozy.tv, led by hosts Clodfelter and Russell, dedicated to supporting West’s xenophobic and antisemitic statements, as well as his attempt at presidency next year that is, luckily, not doing so well.
FIU is just one stop from their tour, as they previously visited the University of Florida in Gainesville last week, Feb. 2. with an earlier appearance at Florida Atlantic University in January.
The rapper, also known as Ye, is notoriously known for spewing outlandish opinions that attack the Jewish community, like praising Adolf Hitler and admitting that Nazis were bad, but they “did a lot of good things too,” on his appearance on The Alex Jones Show last year.
“We’ve got to stop dissing the Nazis all of the time,” he said.
Clodfelter and Russell prove just how powerful speech and fame can be. While it can start as trolling online, it can later take a grave turn – going as far as visiting school grounds to support and share Ye’s statements and incite arguments with any passerby that notices them.
We recognize a desperate need for attention when we see it. But instead of complying with what they want, FIU’s student body responds differently, even smarter.
The Young Democratic Socialists of America FIU responded to Clodfelter, Russell and their camera crew later that day by playing Disney music through large speakers, which would render their footage unusable due to copyright laws. In their petition, they write on condemning the actions of the group and are “demanding answers from administration.”
Hillel at FIU also responded, talking to students and promoting their #RoarywasRight campaign against antisemitism.
Though FIUPD eventually shut down counter-protesters because they didn’t have a permit to play music, we respect the heart and efforts of students to curtail the efforts of a group whose aim is to attack members of the Jewish and FIU community.
As students of FIU, we want people who associate themselves with antisemitism and any form of hate far from our campus. These views are not who we are as students, and are a stain on the reputation of our university.
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