Guest Viewpoint: Stand up against organizations that promote hate
This piece reflects the views of the author, Maya O’Boyle, and not those of Emerald Media Group. It has been edited by the Emerald for grammar and style. Send your columns or submissions about our content or campus issues to [email protected]
To resist hate, we need to stand up to organizations that promote it here in the Northwest. The 2016 election has uncovered many disturbing realities in our society. Language used over the past year has taught us that we need to be more vigilant in resisting the xenophobic, racist, homophobic and anti-worker policies that have been pushed not only this year, but throughout our country’s history.
However, in the midst of it all, we have seen people fight back across the country. If we, in Oregon, are going to take a stand against this bigotry, we can start by tackling it in our own communities and on our own campus. Right here in the Pacific Northwest, there are organizations that promote and push the hateful rhetoric and policies we have seen throughout this election.
One of those groups is the Murdock Charitable Trust, an organization based in Vancouver, Washington that funds a variety of organizations not only all over the Pacific Northwest but across the country, seeking to roll back the progress made in America. Among them is the Freedom Foundation, which is partially funded by the Murdock Trust as well as networks tied to the Koch brothers. Anti-labor in their approach, the Freedom Foundation attacks nurses, school teachers, firefighters and other public officials in the Northwest in an attempt to dismantle labor unions, undercutting the importance of giving workers a voice in their places of employment. Considering all of the important contributions unions have made to our country—fighting for better benefits, higher wages and time off of work—it is important we stand with workers and condemn those who fund efforts to diminish their rights.
The Murdock Trust also funds the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which pushes an extreme anti-LGBTQ agenda all across the United States. In perhaps their most famous piece of legislation, the group pushed for the passage of the North Carolina Bathroom Bill, which barred trans people from using the bathrooms that align with their gender identity. One of the organization’s co-founders has even said that AIDS was God’s way of punishing the LGTBQ community.
By choosing to fund extreme anti-labor and anti-LGBTQ organizations, the Murdock Trust is working against the friends, family and neighbors that enrich our community. Perhaps most alarming is the proximity of the Murdock Trust to our university; it is hard to fathom how such hateful efforts are being funded right in our own backyard. As students, we must ensure the safety and support of all in our community, and make sure we do not stand idly by as their rights and very existences are attacked.
As such, we need to take a stand against the Murdock Trust and their harmful funding. On Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Miller room of the EMU, the ASUO Senate will be meeting to take a stance on the Murdock Trust and their funding organizations that attack the interests of University of Oregon students. Come stand in support of the resolution condemning the Murdock Trust, as well as in solidarity with your fellow students.
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