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White Supremacist Visit to UC San Diego Prompts Discussion

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UC San Diego Student Center, where Identity Evropa Recently Staged a Flyer Campaign
The UC San Diego Student Center, where minority resource centers, a food coop, and student businesses reside. (Photo by Jacob Sutherland)

Recent actions taken by a white supremacist group, Identity Evropa, have prompted discussion on issues facing UC San Diego. Of chief concern is a lack of social awareness among a majority of students.

Last week, fliers and posters were dispersed outside of classrooms holding Dimensions of Culture Series (DOC) lectures, a set of required courses for students of Thurgood Marshall College that focus on diversity, justice, and imagination. The fliers called upon students to join Identity Evropa, a hate organization, urging students that their opportunity to “embrace their European heritage” would soon fade. Later that week, the organization hung two banners over the Price Center, one reading: “Carry on, citizen,” along with the other reading: “No Amnesty! End DACA!”

Identity Evropa Flyer Depicting Greek Statue with caption "Our Future Belongs To Us"
One of several posters displayed around the DOC Lecture halls by organizers from Identity Evropa. (Photo from @IdentityEvropa on twitter)

According to the Identity Evropa website, the aim of the organization is to: “oppose those who defame [their] history and rich cultural heritage.” Over the summer, Identity Evropa hung banners denouncing DACA, and recently, they organized a group of their members to return to Charlottesville, Virginia, in response to the events that occurred in the city in August.

Dr. Lisa Ho, a professor of DOC 1, discussed the incident in one of her lectures last week, noting how diversity is not something desired by everyone in the United States. She criticized the group for trying to instill hegemonic ideas among the student populace that provoke discrimination against students from marginalized communities, specifically those who are not of European descent.

Currently, UC San Diego is running an internal investigation on the two incidents. The university will have to answer whether or not Identity Evropa’s actions are going to be considered free speech or hate speech. This comes at a time when the idea of free speech is a hotly contested item across the nation, as seen last month at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, when the “Campus Free Speech Act” was passed by the state legislature.

Even so, UC San Diego is continuing to provide an atmosphere where free speech is allowed to thrive while also allowing for the protection of its students. Just last month, University of California president Janet Napolitano issued a statement aligning the system of eight campuses with the rights of those previously protected under DACA.

While Identity Evropa has not committed violence on the UC San Diego campus, their actions are egregious towards minority students. That being said, for now, at least, it appears that students will conduct their studies “business as usual.”

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