Letter to the editor: Carl Paladino’s presence reflects hostile environment for students
We are writing to denounce the presence of known white supremacist and hate monger, Carl Paladino, on the University at Buffalo campus on Monday, April 3. As a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff, Paladino’s presence as an official speaker is both threatening and disturbing on our campus. Since this past summer, Paladino has faced numerous and persistent calls for his resignation from the Buffalo Public School Board because of his well-known history of and continuing use of openly racist, transphobic, homophobic, misogynistic, and anti-immigrant public remarks. Several thousands of Buffalo residents demanded that he step down from the School Board. Legal steps have been taken by some of the School Board members, too, to have Paladino’s tenure terminated, claiming that his toxic statements and hate speech make him unfit for a position from which he is supposed to protect the well-being of Buffalo’s students in the public school system. Finally, during the public debate about the Gender Identity Policy in public schools last year, Paladino repeatedly accused trans students of being pedophiles and sexual harassers. This history as well as his presence at the recent rally, “The Spirit of
America,” in Niagara Square makes his appearance at UB an affront to the values we strive to uphold as a community. Paladino’s official visit therefore represents an increase in hostility toward marginalized students on campus.
We are disappointed that the Student Association has not commented on this event given the appearance of their logo on the flyers advertising the event. We demand the Student
Association provide an answer regarding whether they approved, supported or funded the event in any way. If so, the Student Association needs to explain their decision to fund a campus visit of a locally and nationally known transphobic and homophobic white supremacist. The Student Association is supposed to represent the entire undergraduate student body and has no business participating in such an event.
The faculty, staff, and students of the UB Sanctuary Campus Initiative