Madison Dibble

The University of Minnesota College Republicans are xenophobic, or at least that is what they have been called repeatedly since they painted “Build the Wall” on the Washington Avenue Bridge.

This is hardly the first time members of the GOP have been labeled xenophobic; the term follows their every move.

Build the wall? Xenophobic.

Limit the intake of refugees? Xenophobic.

Prioritize Western values of liberty? Xenophobic.

Merriam-Webster defines “xenophobia” as a fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign. Republicans could not possibly see past their own terror of all things foreign to see our southern border as an issue ofsecurity,drug trafficking, orhuman rights… No. They are blinded by fear, so “Build the Wall” must be xenophobic. The College Republicans are simply afraid of foreign ideas.

But are Republicans leading in the fear-mongering of anything that is strange or foreign? On this campus, the answer is no. Leftist students are terrified of the strange and foreign ideas of their conservative counterparts.

Take a look at the conservative population on this campus: They are a verysmall minority. They come from different backgrounds and believe different things. They believe in the Second Amendment. They support Israel. They think a baby’s right to live outweighs the mother’s right to convenience. And yes, some believe we should build the wall. All of which are foreign ideas on this campus.

So, out of fear of the conservatives’ foreign ideas, leftists shut them down. They cover their paintings; they label them as racists and bigots and xenophobes so they can avoid having conversations, because why would campus leftists waste their breath talking to racists and bigots and xenophobes?

Instead of asking the College Republicans why they support the policy of building the wall, they ask them why they chose to trigger other students.

Would they ever ask a Democrat if his or her wearing a “Love Trumps Hate” shirt intends to anger Republicans? Would they ever ask a Democrat if saying “Feel the Bern” is insensitive to people who died under socialist dictatorships? No, because those ideas are not foreign on this campus. There is nothing scary about socialism here, so why would we question it?

Xenophobia is an issue, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking it is simply an issue when it comes to Donald Trump’s policies. Both sides need to overcome their fears of having conversations with people that are foreign or have foreign beliefs.