Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
Words are so powerful. That’s not something new to me. But these past two weeks have reminded me just how much the things we say and do effect other people. The power of the tongue, whether in print or through word of mouth, can change someone’s day.
After running “Gay: Not the New Black,” last issue, a barrage of social media posts have been directed at this publication and staff.
First, I want to thank everyone who commented and shared the story — Thank you for illustrating the powerful impact of free speech. While going to UMHB has many perks, exercising the ability to express myself on a lot of different platforms is one of my favorites.
Many terrible things have been directed at me and the people I care about because of one writer’s opinion. To answer any doubts, yes I love the Lord with all my heart and would not want to compromise my love for Christ by allowing something hateful to be published, which brings me to my real point.
The previously published article did not, seek to condemn or disapprove of any people group. Instead, it sought to present a comparison brought up by publications like The Huffington Post. Comparing gays and African Americans did not start with The Bells. It’s an old and unfair weighing of two very different struggles, brought to our writer’s attention by larger media outlets.
The point of “Gay: Not the New Black” was not to deem either struggle as right or wrong. It wasn’t to question or mock any group of people. The only wrongness pointed out was in reference to the comparison of these two very real struggles. The writer provides his own opinion via his commentary, stating that he believes the physical violence inflicted on the black community cannot be compared to that of the LGBT community. Not to say that both groups haven’t suffered terrible, unfair and unnecessary hurt — they definitely have.
Yes, I believe in treating every single human being with kindness and courtesy. And even more so, I love this university and would never do anything to make people think otherwise.
It saddens me to hear that some alumni are ashamed to be affiliated with their alma mater because of one opinion piece.
Whether it’s a Facebook group or a comment, rather than lashing out at the people who published a sensitive story, I think we should all take a step back and remember what matters, and why so much disagreement has arisen.
Love. We should love each other. I don’t care who you are. You deserve love. I will do my best as editor-in-chief to show this love and reassure readers of our dedication to a higher calling.