By Emmanuel Gutierrez |Features Editor|
As an escape from digital chat rooms and flaming, cyber-space forums, two pens dangled before a massive cloth inscribed with “America is” in crimson paint, offering students a platform to express their national sentiments for others to see.
As of writing, the Coyote Chronicle is unaware of the club, class, or persons responsible for hanging up the interactive mural.
Regardless of that information, Coyotes have willingly participated in what may be a social experiment to gauge and analyse the responses or behaviours of participants.
“It’s interesting. People from different races, backgrounds, and creeds have different things to say. It’s not right or wrong. It just is,” said student Dave Durga.
From afar, I noticed students walking past the mural, hurrying to their destinations, seemingly uninterested by the crudely drawn, yet dynamic typography on display.
Responses included (the following spelling and grammatical errors are directly quoted from the cloth):
“A nation of people who are not greatful for what they have.”
“Contradicting & Ignorant.”
“Not a country.”
“A piece of sh*t, but can be severely improved.”
“Good on paper but injust in practice.”
And many more.
When I took the time to read every line, take photos, and quickly jott down a message of my own, a small crowd gathered around.
Apparently, all it took was one interested soul to break the ice.
“I don’t know why it just says ‘Jesus.’ Why not Allah or Yahweh as well?” student Mercy Hernandez thought out loud.
“‘It’s ok if you’re white,'” read Hernandez. “Well, that’s cool,” she added sarcastically.
“It’s our First Amendment right, right there—freedom of speech,” said student Eloy Carlin.
Carlin refused to write anything down; he merely wished to “absorb the perspective of others.”
In regards to the overwhelmingly negative comments, student Tristan Cooper said that those students hide behind the anonymity of the mural where no names are listed, similar to an online forum.
“They only write what they write because of the lack of accountability. This way, no one has to defend what they believe. They tag it on a wall and walk away, hoping to anger others,” added Cooper.
Some comments were in direct response to others, either defending the ol’ red, white, and blue or take part in its condemnation.
How would you complete the sentence, “America is…”?