Thursday’s protest unified the Towson community

By: Dylan Brennan, Columnist

Freedom of speech is one of the best and worst things Americans have. While Thursday was an obvious representation of some of the worst it has to offer, I am elated that so many Towson students showed the power of the first amendment right back at them. For those unaware, Holy Thursday was met with angry and eventually violent people acting not outside the tactics of the Westboro Baptist Church. While we could not remove them for telling practically all of us that we would burn in hellfire, so many students decided to show some free speech of their own, telling them how they felt about this kind of rhetoric.

I am so glad that we, as a student body, resolved this situation in a peaceful fashion, with no punches thrown or property damaged. I know it is easy to give into baser instincts and run guys like these out of town, but we made them prove how awful they truly are with the violence shown to a fellow student. To this student, I send my sincerest condolences and respect, as you are the one we should be talking about far more than these out-of-towners causing trouble. I am aware that charges are pending, and I wish nothing but for that man who attacked you to be punished as much he can be.

I know that I graduate soon and that my next article will be my farewell, but I pray that Towson students continue this tradition of nonviolent counter-protest should something like this happen again. I started in this column years ago railing about how people from schools like Berkeley would destroy their own campus to save it. After Thursday, we have only strengthened our campus, and have become a more unified community. Should we receive provocateurs or hatemongers again, let us not become worse than what we stand against, but better. I would never censor or block any person or talking point, but I welcome criticism and peaceful activism in response. Towson students have proven they believe the same thing, and I couldn’t be prouder that I have learned from and befriended so many of you in my four years here.

Thank you to all who participated in this counter-protest, and may all future incidents like this be met with the same level of creativity and composure as we expressed before.

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