Expressing Myself Against Hate

By Andrea Sofía Méndez

On January 22, I received an email that there had been an act of vandalism in the stairwells of Piano Row. I had received the first email from President Lee Pelton addressing the issue. I was shocked that these acts were anti-Semitic — I had never encountered an incident of that nature that occurred so close to me. It was very upsetting to read that these events happened on our campus: a place I, and many others, considered a safe space. 

A few days later, I received another email about another incident, but this time it happened in Little Building. Offensive comments were made against Asian and Asian-American students. I couldn’t believe that in 2020 people with such backward and discriminatory ideals could still exist. It made me even more angry and frustrated. I cannot even fathom how the people who directly experienced it feel.

In various classes, we talked about how these acts made us feel. I could only think of one emotion: outrage. Why commit such horrible acts to hurt others? Even worse, how can those people be a part of this community? 

I would just like to ask the offenders: how would you feel to be insulted because of where you come from, how you look, or how you speak your mother tongue? How would it feel to be ostracized for simply existing? 

In reaction to these hateful acts, Emerson hosted an event with a really good initiative, “Creative Expression Against Hate,” which was held at the Lion’s Den on February 5th. Members of the community gathered together to oppose all kinds of hate, and to express this opposition through art. The art varied from poems, essays, drawings, and photographs. 

I saw many beautiful pieces made by the most wonderful people, and what inspired me the most was the empowerment the artists had in expressing their thoughts through this form. I was inspired to express myself against hate with my art as well, that being the very reason why I wrote this article. I believe that events like these should happen more often. These events allow students to have a constant creative outlet in which their feelings can be manifested. I encourage all students to express their indignation against hate, in the art form they please, in order for this community to move towards acceptance, harmony, and inclusivity.

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