Twitter has an odd habit of uncovering people’s’ true colors. Last week, a UW Tacoma student’s transphobic opinions were brought to light on the platform. The individual has a history of tweeting abhorrent things, but one in particular stood out. “The day a transgender comes to my work is the day I get fired,” they wrote. “Cause I’m calling you what god made you. Idc.”
Someone else caught the tweet, directing it to UW and UW Tacoma’s profiles to ask a crucial question. What are they going to do about it? UW Tacoma’s diversity statement reads that the university “has the responsibility to build and sustain respectful and supportive relationships, through which intolerance, discrimination and social injustice are confronted and resolved through non-violent behavior.” It follows then, that this individual’s tweets violate this commitment to a safe, diverse campus and nonviolent action must be taken. However, since the tweet was uncovered, the infamous tweeter’s mentions have blown up with a flurry of insults about their looks, race and character. Rather than bring attention to addressing the issue, the comment section has developed into a string of clap backs and petty back-and-forth. What started as a call to action has become a competition of who can slight each other the best.
I don’t want my school to act as a home for hate. While I respect free speech, I don’t believe it should act as a cover for unchecked, potentially violent sentiments disguised as opinions. But if we’ve learned anything over the last two years it’s that arguing rarely results in progress. Change results from coordinated confrontation, not disorganized agitation.
— Danni Derrickson