After learning about negative and racially charged portrayals of Lincoln College students Dr. David Gerlach shared his thoughts Saturday in a letter to the community.
"At a time when our community is facing social, financial, and emotional challenges primarily due to the novel coronavirus, we need to band together to offer support and encouragement to one another," wrote Gerlach.
The bigoted behavior has not been limited to online activities wrote Gerlach.
"Our students have also had to endure vehicles displaying confederate flags driving through campus and incidents of shouting insults and threats. This behavior would be appalling in any community, but it is incomprehensible how anyone living in a city named for Abraham Lincoln could display flags that pay tribute to those who tried to destroy our nation," continued Gerlach.
He reminded the public that some students are experiencing life in a different setting.
"The social media comments represent just a tiny handful of individuals and are not representative of the overall Lincoln community. Unfortunately, for students who are young and living away from home for the first time in their lives, a few comments can feel as though the entire community is against them and wants them to feel unwelcome," he continued.
He reminded the general public of the money the students bring to the area.
"Lincoln College has a $53 million annual economic impact on Lincoln and Logan County. All businesses and residents of the community benefit either directly or indirectly from that investment. The students that are the target of these attacks are the source of that economic impact. Those who attack our students are, in a very literal sense, biting the hands that feed them," wrote Gerlach.
He encouraged the community to show kindness and patience.
"Our students have only a few short years in our community. But, for the rest of their lives, as they pursue careers, build businesses, make investment decisions, and influence others, they will carry with them the impressions of the community they develop during these years. Lincoln and Logan County cannot afford to let a tiny group of hate-filled individuals soil its reputation for decades to come."
via Lincoln Courier
September 15, 2020 at 06:12AM