Friday, June 5, 2020

MSU College Republicans member places racially charged posters on campus

September 17, 2018
<p>Photo courtesy of Max Jones.</p>

Photo courtesy of Max Jones.

On Sunday, Sept. 9, a member of the MSU College Republicans acted independently of the group and put up racially charged posters around campus. 

The poster read "All Lives Matter" after crossing out the word "Black" in "Black Lives Matter."

It also read "Join MSU College Republicans" and "#Equalityforall" at the bottom of the poster, along with the group's social media information and the phone number of the member who placed the posters on bulletin boards around campus.

In a Facebook post, the president of the MSU College Republicans, Aleks Oslapas, said the posters and the message on them are not representative of the MSU College Republicans' thoughts and ideas.

"Unfortunately last night a member of the college republicans executive board decided to act on his own by creating and distributing posters claiming to represent the club despite being told not to," Oslapas said in the post. “An open debate where all opinions are heard is crucial but these purposefully provocative comments are not those of The College Republicans at MSU nor do they contribute to any productive conversation.

"He did however put his personal phone number on these posters as a contact, I would encourage everyone to call that number and voice your opinion."

Oslapas declined to comment further on the situation and expressed that his statement about the incident was already up on his Facebook page.

"I just think the posters are really ill advised, obviously some of them were overtly racist." Eli Pales, president of the MSU College Democrats, said. "Fortunately, it looks like the president of the College Republicans commented that this was done by one member and it doesn't represent the views of the club."

Pales said he thinks there can be a positive element drawn from the posters, as the leadership of the MSU College Republicans was quick to condemn the act.

Adam Green, the president of the James Madison College Conservatives, said he and the James Madison College Conservatives were "quite appalled by the posters" and they immediately contacted the College Republicans and told them to take the posters down.

"It was a large issue for us, especially, and just being conservatives on campus because there's already a microscope, I think, from certain people looking down at conservatives and looking for us to slip up," Green said. "It's a stain for conservatives on campus." 

Green said, with the elections coming up, conservatives need to stick to things that showcase "the worth and merit" of the group's proposed ideas.

"We thought it was absolutely the worst thing possible that they crossed out 'black,' especially, on those posters, and put 'all lives matter,'" he said. "It's protesting their protest."

Green said the James Madison College Conservatives are about bringing two opposing sides together to hear everyone's opinions.

"In an election year, we need to stick to things that will convince people of the worth and merit of our proposed ideas," he said.

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