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On September 10th, the Occidental College Republicans Club elected to honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks by planting 2,997 painted American flags — one for each victim — on the quad lawn at the small California college. A day later, they discovered vandals had laid waste to their tribute.
‘Vandals crushed, snapped and threw in the garbage every single flag,’ the college GOP club said on Facebook. ‘Not one was left in the ground.’
‘This is beyond politics, this is about those lives that were so tragically taken,’ the college’s Republican club posted.
Drunken vandalism happens on college campuses, but what would compel students to spite 3,000 deaths by making such a destructive statement on a very sensitive topic? Here’s exhibit A, a post from the Coalition Oxy for Diversity and Equality (CODE):
The tl;dr of this post is as follows:
– It was “unclear” that each flag represented a life lost
– Even though The Conservatives of Oxy intended this to be apolitical, it was inherently political because they’re republicans
– By not making the issue racial, the tribute didn’t sufficiently emphasize marginalized lives lost
– It didn’t make any mention of “Islamaphobia”
– The flags were removed to open a dialogue about “whose narrative gets to be told” or some bullshit like that
Nothing is sacred to these professional victims. They imply that marginalized groups’ death and suffering deserves greater attention and memorials should transcend just grief and remembrance and push a politically divisive message.
Hold on; It gets worse.
Here was a post from the group on the day of the incident:
Once again, I’ll give you the SparkNotes:
– The American flag is “triggering” because it’s a symbol of “genocide, rape, slavery and colonialism”
– Once again, the flag doesn’t emphasize the diversity of lives lost on 9/11 (because, again, it’s a memorial, not a political statement)
– Putting American flags in the middle of campus means the school doesn’t care about students’ “fear and trauma”
Compare the two posts. There’s some discrepancy, as to be expected.
While CODE insists it had nothing to do with the vandalism (I bet), they said the Republicans had it coming because their flag-planting memorial was inherently political because they’re Republicans. But then, they say the message wasn’t political enough because it doesn’t put marginalized suffering above the lives lost to senseless acts of terror. Ergo, they deserved to have their tribute destroyed.
Credit to the Oxy Republicans for taking the high road with these clowns. Rather than making political statements by destroying someone else’s memorial, they opted to quietly fix and replant their flags, which is the biggest “fuck you” they could offer.
“If you try to destroy it, we will rebuild it,” the college’s GOP group said..