UNC leaders, students denounce violent anti-Trump flier

Posted February 16, 2017 11:21 p.m. EST
Updated February 17, 2017 4:50 p.m. EST

— Administrators and students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have condemned a flier posted on campus Thursday that appears to encourage violence against supporters of President Donald Trump.

The flier had a caricature of someone setting fire to a hat with Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan and someone hitting a person with a swastika tattoo over the head with a bat. "If You See Something, Do Something," stated the flier, and image of which spread rapidly on social media.

"I definitely think it’s wrong," UNC senior Catherine Mulqueen said. "It’s also disappointing because it makes, I think it makes, people who are opposed to Trump look bad. It kind of fuels the fire of saying that, like, people opposed to Trump are just as bad or just as violent or just as racist."

Will Rierson, administrative vice chairman of UNC College Republicans, said he had no qualms about the flier as long as it was just a picture and not actions.

"We have tough skin. We’re a minority on college campuses. You can say whatever you want to as long as you don’t make a real and credible threat. I’m perfectly fine with whatever your political viewpoints are," Rierson said.

Chancellor Carol Folt said campus officials were taking the matter seriously.

"The flyer and its message are the antithesis of the values that are the foundation of our University. It is not designed to spark civil discourse or encourage thoughtful debate. Its intentions are to incite violence, and there is no place for that here or in our society," Folt said in a statement.

Rierson said he was pleased to see Folt swiftly denouncing the flier.

"Our university thinks that free speech should be for everyone," he said. "Students that support Trump should able to go around, wear T-shirts, wear hats and discuss things here on campus."

Senior Harry Wasnak said he found the flier to be less offensive than some of the president's comments disparaging immigrants, minorities and women.

"Our president has said some really morally questionable things that we’ve condoned," Wasnak said. "All things considered, this is nothing. This is people making a mountain out of a mole hill."