Editorial: Lincoln Land values diverse lives

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Editorial: Lincoln Land values diverse lives

By Lamp Editorial Staff

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On the evening of Sunday, August 11, 2019, Lincoln Land sent social media followers a note from President Charlotte Warren. It reminded the community that one of Lincoln Land’s values is indeed diversity.  

The note was prompted by a video of two girls from the Auburn area who appear intoxicated while making racial slurs towards AfricanAmericans The State Journal-Register reported that the video was made in October 2017, but it had recently resurfaced and gone viral, leading another Springfield website to post a story on it.  

Both girls were students at Auburn High School at the time, and one of them was identified as an LLCC student on the Springfield website that first reported the story. That woman is no longer a student at LLCC, according to Lynn Whalen, executive director of public relations and marketing at Lincoln Land. One of the women, however, was previously enrolled at LLCC. 

One girl is heard saying, “Bring back the KKKWoooo!”  

The other girl retorts, while laughing, “SHHH! People like black people sometimes.”  

Auburn High School released a statement on Sunday night saying that the girls behavior in no way, shape or form reflects the views of the school or community. 

Lincoln Land Community College has also made it clear that the school does not tolerate this kind of behavior. In the president’s statement, she writes: Discrimination, harassment, and/or intimidation of students, employees and other individuals at any College facility or in connection with any College activity are taken seriously.”  

Had the girl been a current enrolled student at Lincoln Land the situation would have been “investigated and adjudicated per the policies and procedures of the College,” according to Warren’s statement 

The Lamp staff commends Warren for immediately speaking up on behalf of our school. This quick action shows that Lincoln Land truly cares about upholding its values about diversity and progress. LLCC should pride itself on being a community college that promotes culture in such a way that makes members of that culture or background feel accounted for and protected just as much as anyone else. 

We hope these two individuals can learn from their mistakes. In the article from the State JournalRegister, which did not name the women, one of thesaid she didn’t even remember making the video. She claimed that the video was an “inside joke” between her and her best friend.  

Whether or not this is true, it’s important to know that making comments that insult an entire race of people is an incident that deserves real consequences.  

The Lamp also hopes this is a good reminder that our social media actions can live long after the moment. These teenagers likely had no idea that their video would go viral, let along almost two years later.  

While we hope that they suffer some consequence for their hurtful words, we also realize it’s a harsh life sentence. Once something is online, it lives forever.  

Let us not forget that this type of hateful speech has no place in our community. We remind people it’s not funny, and they should realize this type of hateful speech can spur people to do heinous things. We need only to point to the recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, that targeted people because of their ethnicity and other shootings, such as an attack on a Jewish synagogue in Pennsylvania. 

Had the girls been current students at Lincoln Land, we would like to think they would have to suffer through the weight of those consequences. But today, we hope that this situation can serve as a warning for everyone tbe more mindful of others and to think before they postWe hope they realize they also represent Lincoln Land and their high schools, leaving those communities associated with the words as well.  

Finally, we hope Lincoln Land will take this as an opportunity to teach others about not engaging in such hateful acts.