As residents, home owners, and community members of San Luis Obispo County, we are upset, but not shocked, by the tragic hate crime perpetrated on the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity on the Cal Poly campus. The hate crimes on the campus are ongoing, a cyclical targeting of one group after another who claim individual and/or intersectional identities of female, Jewish, Muslim, Black, LGBTQ-plus, and non-majority identities.
It is common knowledge that a swastika is the symbol used to represent the Nazi party. The wider implications of the sign are terrifying and go far beyond symbolic signaling: Its use is a crime of the most severe degree against these individuals and our collective humanity. We call for local and federal authorities to treat this occurrence for what it is—an act of terrorism.
We urge the editors to call out this latest attack on a Cal Poly-affiliated organization and to hold university President Jeffrey Armstrong accountable for more effective training, action, and education. It is urgent for appropriate authorities to root out these perpetrators of hate on our university's campus and/or its environs, and to implement severe consequences for this atrocious behavior. Also, while we understand the choice not to include photos of the defacement, we believe an optional choice to click on the images (when online) could have been made available. It's critical to a deeper understanding of the problem of anti-Semitism we're facing here in the "Happiest place in the country."
White supremacy, or as poet Nikki Giovanni calls it, "white cowardice," is a mindset that poisons our community. Let us, as a community, rise up to make it clear that we have no tolerance for intimidation through acts of hatred.
Stephanie Allen, Sylvie Asselin, Randi Barros, Marcie Begleiter, Robbie Conal, Fred Davis, Cassandra Chandler Grossman, Elisabeth Grossman, Kellye Grayson, Jeff Hammerberg, Terry C. Hargrave, Benjamin Lerner, Vivian Levy, Adele McGee, Christina McPhee, Merlin Parker, Carol Paulsen, Dr. Susan Robinson, Dave Robinson, Yvette Roman, Deborah Ross, Rachel Ross, and Denise Leader-Stoeber
Cayucos, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and Atascadero