“Being outnumbered on campus does not equal oppression. Your minority numbers on campus do not make you a ‘minority group’ as viewed by society, like LGBTQ people, or people of color. Conservatism is a chosen belief, not an identity. Unlike sexual orientation or race, your beliefs are your choice, and if your beliefs are intolerant to the rights and existence of minority groups, then you can’t expect your views to be tolerated by those same minorities. Just because you are prevented from oppressing others, doesn’t mean you yourself are being oppressed. Your discomfort at expressing your political views without the unanimous support of every group your views actively dehumanize is not the equivalent of systematic oppression.”
In September of 2016, former ETSU student Tristan Rettke made national headlines when hedisrupted a Black Lives Matter protest in the ETSU campus Borchuk Plaza. Rettke was wearing a gorilla mask, carrying a rope and a confederate flag bag that contained bananas that he attempted to give to BLM protesters while yelling racial slurs.
In the semester after this incident, conservative students at ETSU now say they are the ones being oppressed. McKenzie Lee, chairperson of the Conservative Coalition at ETSU said,
“These minorities on the left claim to be scared when really, they’re the ones doing the scaring. They get so angry when you don’t believe like them.”
On April 8, 2017 the Johnson City Press ran an article titled “Are conservatives ‘oppressed’ on ETSU’s campus?”Out of the seven students interviewed for the article, conservative student Erica Holmes was quoted in the article saying she felt she…
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