Wall demonstration best met by disengagement

Trump display designed to attract attention through reaction, best if those planning to protest not attend



When confronted with something you know you’ll disagree with, walking away from the source can be the best soluion. When that source thrives from your attention as well as your reaction, disregard is a better argument than any other.

BRUCE MULMAT, Evergreen columnist

The WSU College Republicans plan to show support of President Donald Trump’s border security plan for the second time on April 16. People will always disagree on politics, but if you come to this demonstration with your mind set on opposing it, you’ll only escalate the situation.

If you can’t handle this event with composure, it’s better you avoid it entirely. Ultimately, the best way to resist this protest is to disregard it entirely.

In 2016, the Glen-Terrell Friendship Mall was abuzz with activity as a spray-painted gold wall was erected. No one got into a physical altercation, but this was prevented only by a close margin.

The Bias Advisory Response Team will be at the demonstration this year to keep things civil while still letting students express their views. Coordinating this team is Jaime Nolan, associate vice president for community, equity and inclusive excellence. This team allows for the demonstration to happen while giving an opening for discussion.

“We can have alternative responses to these actions,” Nolan said. “These things aren’t mutually exclusive.”

We are in control of how we react to different views, though it is difficult when they’re made to provoke. The College Republicans want an outcry over this event, following the theory of “any press is good press.”

Causing a scene will just benefit the goal of getting more attention for this event. If you’re prone to rise to the bait offered by the mock wall, it’s better not to get involved.

Alternative programming will also be offered during this event to keep people from negatively engaging, Nolan said.

Feel free to question other people’s opinions, but free speech is a critical part of our society and everyone is allowed to have differing opinions and express them. However, if the only way you can think to do so is through name-calling or heckling, just walk away.

“We have to be able to articulate to why we want X, Y or Z,” Nolan said.

Attend the demonstration if you want, but understand that yelling at each other won’t change a thing. If you plan to attend, de-escalation training for students will be provided at 5:30 p.m. today in Butch’s Den in the CUB, Room L60. It’ll give you valuable advice on what to do to keep it a conversation and not a confrontation.

If you can’t make it to this training, just remember this: the best response is not to have one.