The University of Minnesota held a “Paint the Bridge” event this past Friday at the Washington Avenue Bridge, and the school’s College Republicans dared — dared!! — to paint the phrase “Build the Wall” on one section of the structure.
As a result, the Minnesota Daily reports, the message has been painted over several times since, with one counter message reading “Stop White Supremacy.”
There was also a 150 person-strong protest yesterday in response to the “xenophobic” phrase, organized by the “immigrant student advocacy group” Navigate MN.
As is often the case (sadly), the concept of free speech eluded some of those in attendance.
“This is free speech and we are completely in agreement with that, but when the speech marginalizes other people and builds hate, and hateful actions against other people, that’s when you have to draw the line,” said Emilia Avalos, executive director of Navigate MN.
Unfortunately, even some college officials don’t comprehend the First Amendment, either:
[M]any who attended the protest echoed Avalos’ statements about the limits of free speech and criticized Kaler’s response to the painting.
“I just hate how people are hating on other people who weren’t born here,” said Natasha Kataeva, a University biology graduate who immigrated to the United States, “I think the fact that it was vandalized is wrong because of freedom of speech, but at the same time, I’m not really too upset about the…