- The Washington Times - Friday, July 1, 2016

The Bias Response Group at Skidmore College in New York says Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, which made its way onto several whiteboards on campus, was a “racialized, targeted attack” against female faculty of color.

Three whiteboard messages with the phrase “Make America Great Again” were included in the BRG’s annual report and classified as “written slur[s] or graffiti,” Campus Reform reported.

“Multiple faculty door whiteboards have been the target of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent social media campaign, now dubbed ‘the Chalkening.’ This campaign encourages supporters to chalk/write the slogan: “Make America Great Again” in visible places on college campuses,” the report said. “Three faculty door whiteboards have been targeted (that we know of) and this is the third instance in which the words ‘Make America Great Again’ were written on the office whiteboards of female faculty of color; two of these were left on the same person’s door.”

“The BRG acknowledges that political speech is free and protected,” the report said. “As a group, though, we are committed to the idea that political speech is open, engaged, and part of a public debate. These seemingly connected reports suggest a pattern of using the idea of political speech to target specific members of the Skidmore community. As such, the majority of BRG members do not interpret these messages as political speech but as politicized, racialized, targeted attacks intended to intimidate.”

The group said there was no community alert about the incidents, which occurred in April.

Skidmore’s Bias Response Group has annual reports dating back to 2008-2009, Campus Reform reported. The group is made up of one faculty member appointed by Skidmore President Philip Glotzbach, a Student Affairs rep, the director of Student Diversity Programs, the director of Intercultural Studies, and two students.

Skidmore defines a bias incident as an “act of bigotry, harassment, or intimidation involving a member of the Skidmore community that a reasonable person would conclude is directed at a member or group within the Skidmore community based on race, color, ethnicity, nationality, economic background, age, physical and mental health or ability, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, veteran status, or religious practice.”

“A bias incident can occur whether the act is intentional or unintentional,” the private college said. “Speech or expression that is consistent with the principles of academic freedom does not constitute a bias incident.”

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