EDITORIAL: Message still lost

While this past NovaFest saw students enjoying the festivities and beautiful weather, five separate occurrences of racial graffiti over the past week placed a dark cloud over what was an extremely positive and successful weekend. These incidents were clearly visible in Sullivan, Moriarty and Good Counsel Halls to students and visitors alike. The graffiti is a disgraceful reflection of the individuals involved.

Even more troubling are the similarities to previous racial slurs that marked the walls of McGuire Hall in early February. Members of our community were outraged then as they are now. However, in spite of the outcry against the graffiti and a call for increased tolerance, it seems that by the actions of those responsible, not much has changed.

The contrast between what students say and what they do was highlighted even further by the high level of participation in the Day of Silence on April 18. The event was so popular that the Gay-Straight Coalition ran out of T-shirts to hand out to participants. While this display is a welcomed step forward, it’s important to remember that tolerance is not selective. Students appear to be accepting of differences in others, but as these instances of graffiti have demonstrated, that might not be the case.

The need for tolerance has increased over the past week in light of the tragedy at Virginia Tech. The shooting has heightened fears that the public will lash out against Korean Americans as a way to express their anger. It is upsetting to realize that in a society that claims to be modern and advanced, an entire ethnic group feels personally threatened in correlation with the actions of one individual. As a nation comprised of immigrants and their descendents, there is no reason why such a mentality should exist if our country truly finds value in all of the ideals that we claim to hold in high regard.

Given the extent to which these incidents affect our daily lives, there is no better time than the present to use this opportunity as a means of spreading a kind of tolerance that extends to everyone and knows no boundaries. It is vital to acknowledge the importance of creating an atmosphere that is both open and accepting to everyone and closed to those whose negativity can be detrimental to the greater well-being.

On a smaller scale more closely related to the Villanova community, we must foster an environment that refuses to tolerate the intolerance of others, regardless of whether the issue is related to race or sexual orientation. We should have an utter intolerance of such hateful acts and move toward a future where such bigotry is a thing of the past.