Actions May Speak Louder Than Words, But Sometimes Words Are All We Have
Politics and Activism

Actions May Speak Louder Than Words, But Sometimes Words Are All We Have

College students may be seen as "kids," but these kids had something to say when bigotry entered The College of New Jersey.

320
Actions May Speak Louder Than Words, But Sometimes Words Are All We Have
Darienne Cannao

***Note to all readers – this piece is vaguer than the exact events of Thursday, April 12, 2018. This was done in order to prevent offending anyone based on characteristics, including but not limited to, gender, race, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs***

~

Until Thursday, April 12, 2018, the most name calling I ever experienced came from petty arguments with my siblings. These words never left a mark on me for the simple fact that they were not aimed at offending uncontrollable characteristics like my gender.

As I walked through Alumni Grove, a popular hang-out spot on the campus of The College of New Jersey, a sign labelled “WARNING” caught my attention. Holding this sign, along with various others, was a man preaching his beliefs that were aimed at offending people’s genders, sexual orientations, and religious beliefs.

I was hurt. I was shocked. And I was ready to fight back.

A group of people standing before me held up the pride flag to show the demeaning men that their hate is not strong enough to overpower love. Girls removed their shirts, reminding the men that they have no control over what women do with their bodies. And we chanted. We screamed. My eyes flooded with tears because I have never seen so many college students, half of who are strangers to each other, come together to fight against the hate.

As much as we fought back, they were protected.

As a writer, I am well aware of the First Amendment Right, protecting freedom of speech. However, these men were not practicing their freedom of speech – they were hiding behind this Amendment and spreading hate.

Campus police officers placed barriers in the grass, separating us protesters from the so-called “preachers.” These physical posts did not stop the crowd from reminding these hateful men whose campus they were on. As they held signs calling the students of The College of New Jersey “intolerable,” confusion filled the minds of everyone. In what ways are we, the students of this school, intolerable? The daily agenda for many was to attend classes, grab some food, and interact with our friends, until we were interrupted, and we decided to fight for our beliefs.

I had never realized how naïve I truly was.

I have never doubted the existence of bigots worldwide, but closed-mindedness is something I once saw as a minuscule problem compared to the hundreds of issues faced in the United States.

I had the opportunity of speaking with the “head” of this group numerous times. When questioning what his purpose was on my campus, he lashed back at me with numerous sexist slurs and during a separate interaction, he told me to “Shut up. You’re a girl. Women belong in the kitchen.”

The hardest part was the fact that these men brought children with them.

Among the group of four were two children. One was an estimated age of eight, and the other claimed to be a freshman in high school. I looked at these boys, only to question how many hours of brainwashing they have endured when living under such circumstances.

As unfortunate as this day may seem to many, it was an eye opener. The world is full of people who will stop at nothing to spread their opinions, as disgusting and belittling as they may be. I am more than a woman who “belongs in the kitchen,” and everyone involved in the protest has become slightly more aware of the impact our voices can have on the world.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.

NBC

From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments