President Martin's message on free speech and hate imagery

by President Susan, Published October 04, 2010

EMU President Susan Martin

While I fully support a free and independent press, appropriate care and concern about hate imagery and its impact must be a consideration in the editorial process. I personally find the imagery [in the Sept. 28 Eastern Echo KKK comic] disturbing and distasteful, and do not believe it advances the cause of positive understanding of the wonderfully rich and diverse community in which we live. I am working with our team to use this as an opportunity to expand campus dialogue about race and social matters.

As an initial step, Provost and Executive Vice President Jack Kay will lead an educational program on hate and hate symbols, which is open to all students, faculty and staff. The panel discussion is scheduled to take place this Thursday, October 7 at 12:15 p.m. in Student Center Ballroom A . The panel will include faculty and staff with expertise in topics such as the role of imagery and its use in the media, including a historical perspective, and why images like this one generate the strong feelings that they do.

Provost Kay will moderate the session. He has conducted extensive research on extremist groups, focusing on the communication strategies of hate groups. In addition to publications in scholarly journals, his research is cited in newspapers, radio and television. He has testified before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and has been a consultant to law enforcement.

I strongly urge all members of our EMU community to attend the event and participate in this challenging discussion.

President Susan

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