- The Washington Times - Friday, March 10, 2017

The president of Pitzer College in California is condemning hate speech after a group of Hispanic students’ message to white girls about cultural appropriation made headlines.

Students recently spray-painted “White Girl, Take OFF Your Hoops!!!” on a campus wall dedicated to free speech. Alegria Martinez, a college Resident Assistant (RA) and member of the Latinx Student Union, later explained to students in a campus-wide email thread that she and other women of color wrote the message “after being tired and annoyed with the reoccuring [sic] theme of white women appropriating styles.”

“The culture actually comes from a historical background of oppression and exclusion,” Ms. Martinez wrote, The Claremont Independent reported. “White people have actually exploited the culture and made it into fashion.”

Student Jacquelyn Aguilera, who also helped write the message, added, “If you didn’t create the culture as a coping mechanism for marginalization, take off those hoops … I use ‘those’ instead of ‘your’ because hoops were never ‘yours’ to begin with.”

Conservative media outlets pounced on the message as another example of liberal extremism on college campuses.

Responding to backlash, Pitzer College President Melvin L. Oliver wrote an email to students condemning hate speech on campus, The Daily Caller reported.

“As a place of higher education, we strongly cherish and defend intellectual curiosity, productive discourse and opposing views that may broaden our perspectives as global citizens,” Mr. Oliver wrote. “However, when speech resorts to hate, violence and threats, we will not tolerate these acts nor the perpetrators of these actions.

“Coverage in a local publication of a recent posting on the free wall has ignited a cycle of violent hate speech that threatens the safety and well-being of every member of our community,” he said. “Some students are experiencing harassment and death threats.”

Mr. Oliver told students to report people spreading hateful rhetoric to the Pitzer Office of Student Affairs and the Claremont Police Department, The Daily Caller reported.

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