A choice

Aggies came together tonight. Whether it was at the Aggies United event or at one of the many events held around the Memorial Student Center to protest Richard Spencer speaking at our University.
 
But even if not a single Aggie attended his speech, sadly some did, even if he spoke to an empty hall on our campus the damage has been done.
 
The damage has been done because this individual accepted the invitation to speak at our University expecting a welcoming reception.
 
That by itself is a loss for the University worse than any defeat that our football team has ever suffered.
 
The fact that our University would be perceived as a place where racists might be welcome should make students, former students, professors, and administrators stay up tonight and think.
 
Texas A&M is supposed to be a world class University. By sheer numbers we are. We are the largest University in the state by enrollment and the third largest in the country. Like it or not this carries with it a burden to lead.
 
Leadership is a virtue that no true Aggie shies away from. But we have to choose the path where we are leading our nation.
 
Do we choose the path of bigotry? The path of hate? Do we live up to all the bad stereotypes that rivals hold of A&M?
 
Or do we instead try to earn the title of a world class University? Universities are places to think, places that embrace diversity of thought, of opinion, of people from all walks of life and from various places around the world.
 
People like Richard Spencer want conformity of thought, conformity of speech, and conformity of people. They use the privilege of free speech to spread their hate to places where they think that it will grow.
 
The damage is done. He spoke, and the protest rallies have come and gone. But now it’s up to the University community to decide what happens.
 
Will students turn a blind eye to those that openly discriminate or will they speak up? Will former students become more conscious about bigotry in their work and daily lives or become conformists and bigots? Will the administration do more than just give lip service to diversity and to enforcing codes of conduct against bigotry or actually try to do something meaningful.
 
These are the questions that every Aggie and every person connected to Texas A&M University must ask themselves tonight.

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